Spring break is coming up and you’re bubbling over with anticipation of a full week or two off school – we know the feeling. But it’s not just a break from school or work; it’s a chance to travel somewhere new with friends or family. Spring break is one of the most popular travel times of the year, especially for students, and it’s easy to see why. The weather is starting to warm up, flowers are starting to bloom, and everyone is coming out of the winter gloom. So, it’s time to decide where to go for spring break.
But with so many options across the country, it’s hard to choose one. That’s why we’re here; we’ve put together a list of the most exciting spring break destinations for you. Not only that, but in this article, you’ll also find the closest SIXT branches to each place, allowing you to plan your trip with ease. So, let’s hit the road!
- Outer Banks, North Carolina
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- South Padre Island, Texas
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- San Diego, Southern California
1. Outer Banks: One of the best spring break trips for families
Location: North Carolina
Av. temperature: High 60s °F
Don’t miss: Currituck Lighthouse
Where to pick your rental car from: Raleigh-Durham International Airport, 3.5 hours away
The Outer Banks is actually 175 miles of pristine coastline across the Pamlico Sound from mainland NC. It’s a popular family destination year-round, but it can be one of the best places for spring break because it’s a tad less crowded than it is during the summer season.
Of course, the Outer Banks is known for its beaches, so heading to the water isn’t out of the question. If the weather allows, you can snorkel and scuba dive around the sites of shipwrecks that took place many years ago. But depending on when you visit, the water might be a bit chilly, as the Outer Banks averages temperatures in the high 60s during the spring. You may want to go fishing instead or try your hand at some water sports.
There are plenty of activities to do off the water, as well. The Outer Banks is home to towns like Avon, Corolla, Salvo, and more, all ready to welcome you with open arms. Corolla, in particular, is quite family-friendly, with attractions like Historic Corolla Park, Currituck Lighthouse (don’t forget your camera for this one!), and the Maritime Museum.
There are plenty of budget-friendly hotels and lots of group-friendly vacation rentals for you to choose from, so large gatherings of family or friends are welcome. What this area lacks in nightlife, it makes up for in its natural beauty and plenty of options for outdoor activities.
Many travelers headed to the Outer Banks by air will be landing in Raleigh, North Carolina. SIXT has a branch located at Raleigh-Durham International Airport for your convenience. Make sure you add GPS, when you book your car, so you can always find your way.
2. San Juan: One of the warmest spring break destinations
Location: Puerto Rico
Av. temperature: High 80s °F
Don’t miss: Isla Verde resort strip
Where to pick your rental car from: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, 30 minutes away
This one is a bit more travel-intensive, but if you’re looking for a warm beach destination for your spring break trip, this is it! San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico located on the northeastern coast of the island.
With average temperatures in the high 80s and average water temperatures in the low 80s this time of year, you’ll be able to hit the beach no matter what. Condado Beach is one of the most popular. Just a few steps from the coast, you’ll also find the Isla Verde resort strip, which is famous for its casinos, bars, and nightclubs. For students looking to sunbathe during the day and party at night, this is the perfect spot.
San Juan isn’t all just beaches and bars, though. If you venture into Old San Juan, you can walk the cobblestone streets while marveling at the colorful colonial architecture. When you get tired, stop for an authentic Puerto Rican meal paired with a pina colada (this cocktail was invented here!). History buffs can visit the historic fort of Castillo San Felipe del Morro while outdoor enthusiasts can head to El Yunque National Forest to admire the waterfalls.
From all-inclusive resorts to hostels and hotels, this area has a wide variety of accommodations available for every type of traveler. This destination truly has it all when it comes to activities, nightlife, and natural beauty.
When you travel to San Juan, you’ll be arriving at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. SIXT has a branch here where you can pick up your rental before getting started on your adventure. Select a standard-sized SUV, like a Nissan, so you can fit everything you bring with you.
3. New Orleans: One of the best spring break destinations for culture
Av. temperature: High 70s °F
Don’t miss: Tasting some Cajun specialties
How to get around: You can book a SIXT ride with our App to get around New Orleans quickly and safely
New Orleans is the perfect spring break trip if you’re looking for a blend of food, music, culture, nightlife, and history. This city truly has it all. We’re sure you’ve heard of the world-famous Mardi Gras celebrations that happen here; be sure to plan your trip around this event, as it will affect crowds and prices.
The main must-visit in New Orleans is, of course, the French Quarter. This historic district boasts cobblestone streets, unique colonial architecture, shops and restaurants, and dozens of street performers. You may even want to take a guided tour to learn more about the Spanish, French, and African influences of the city, or opt for a ghost tour if you want something spooky.
The French Quarter is also home to the notorious Bourbon Street. Lined with tons of bars and restaurants, this street has no open container law, meaning you can grab a drink at one place and carry it down the street to the next. As a result, this has become the center of the city’s nightlife, whether you’re looking for some relaxing live jazz (NOLA is the birthplace of jazz, after all), an electronic music party, or a ride on a mechanical bull with country music as your backdrop.
As for food, be sure to indulge in all the Cajun specialties. Jambalaya and gumbo are crowd favorites, and you’ll definitely want to try the seafood. And don’t forget to stop by Cafe du Monde for a beignet, which is a deep-fried pastry covered with powdered sugar. History enthusiasts will want to visit the National WWII Museum, and outdoor adventure lovers will appreciate a swamp tour. Riverboat cruises are also available. You can also take a riverboat tour with the famous New Orleans Steamboat Company.
SIXT provides the car service SIXT ride in New Orleans so you can easily and conveniently get to where you need to go. Our drivers are available 24/7 and you can book for several hours.
4. South Padre Island: One of the best places to go for spring break on a budget
Av. temperature: High 70s °F
Don’t miss: Gravity Park Theme Park
Where to pick your rental car from: San Antonio Airport, 5 hours away
Located at the very southern tip of Texas just north of Mexico, South Padre Island has become a popular destination for students on spring break in recent years. Average temperatures start in the high 70s and low 80s during the spring here, so it’s not hard to see why. As one of the warmest places in the US during this time, students are ready to hit the beach.
However, South Padre Island still flies somewhat under the radar for those exclusively looking for a beach destination. As a hidden gem, this place is perfect for those looking for a beach on a budget, as accommodation isn’t as expensive as it is in other popular destinations. And those looking for a party are in luck: South Padre Island is famous for its 24-hour beach bashes featuring numerous DJs and plenty of space to dance.
There’s still a lot to do here even if you’re not into the party scene. You can go dolphin-watching, kiteboarding, or parasailing, or visit the Beach Park Waterpark. If you’d prefer to get off the water altogether, check out the rides at the Gravity Park theme park or head to Sea Turtle, Inc. to learn about animal protection. The South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center also boasts impressive views from the 5-story watchtower. Those looking for a more relaxed spring break can head to the spa before gorging themselves on incredible seafood by the coast.
Travelers heading to South Padre Island will usually land at the airport in San Antonio, as it’s the closest major airport to this destination. SIXT has a branch here where you can pick up your car and drive down to South Padre Island.
5. Las Vegas: One of the best spring break destinations for a party
Av. temperature: High 70s °F
Don’t miss: Daytrip to the Grand Canyon
Where to pick your rental car from: Harry Reid International Airport, 25 minutes away
Las Vegas is famous worldwide for its resorts, casinos, and entertainment opportunities, and as a result, it’s the best place to go for spring break if you’re looking for a party. You’ll have endless opportunities to gamble, dance the night away, see unique performances, and enjoy five-star restaurants and accommodations.
Being a desert city, Las Vegas’s average temperature in spring is in the high 70s or low 80s, so no need to worry about the weather, either. While you’re there, you have to visit the famous Las Vegas Strip, the High Roller Ferris wheel with amazing views, and the scenic Fountains of Bellagio. With so many things to do and see, the party in Las Vegas truly never stops.
If you’re not much into gambling and partying, there are also plenty of natural attractions in the area that are worth exploring. The Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area is just a short drive away and boasts plenty of scenic drives. If you want to see even more of the West’s unique nature, we recommend a day trip to Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Perfect for hiking, river rafting, or just enjoying the view, this is a must-visit for anyone in the area.
Those traveling to Las Vegas for spring break will likely be landing at Harry Reid International Airport. You can pick up your SIXT car rental directly from here to get started on your adventure right away. Just make sure you have booked the one you want before you arrive, so it can be available and waiting.
6. San Diego: One of the best places for spring break on the West Coast
Location: Southern California
Av. temperature: High 60s °F
Don’t miss: Coronado Beach
Where to pick your rental car from: San Diego International Airport, 10 minutes away
This spring break paradise is perfect for spending time outside without being scorched by the sun as you can be in summer. As one of California’s southernmost cities, San Diego truly has it all: beaches, food, culture, and a relaxed vibe.
If you want to hit the beach, check out the unique La Jolla Cove (also on of the best beaches to visit in December), the surfing haven at Mission Beach, and the peaceful Coronado. For families with young kids, Belmont Park, a theme park by the seaside, is a great place to spend the day. The world-famous San Diego Zoo is located in San Diego’s Balboa Park, and you can go hiking at the Torrey Pines State Reserve.
History lovers will appreciate a trip to the USS Midway Museum. There are also plenty of art galleries, studios, and unique installations to explore if you want a taste of the local cultural scene. At night, the city’s many bars and clubs come alive, serving up delicious cocktails and providing a great party.
As it’s just north of Mexico, visitors to San Diego can also indulge in authentic and delicious Mexican cuisine. Those looking to cross the border for a little fun can also consider heading south into Tijuana for the day.
If you’re flying into San Diego, you can rent a car from the SIXT branch directly at San Diego International Airport to get started on your trip right away. If you are a big party visiting, consider adding more drivers.
Now that you know all the best spring break destinations across the country and beyond, it’s time to start your planning! It’s hard to go wrong with any of these places. With this list and a premium SIXT rental car to help you get around your destination of choice, your spring break trip can be anything you want it to be, whether it’s a relaxing beach vacation or a whirlwind cultural adventure. The spring break possibilities are endless with SIXT.