Skip The Booze For These Nature-Filled Trips On Your Best Spring Break Yet

by Collette Reitz

When you hear someone talk about spring break, it usually conjures up images of six-packs (of both beer and flat abs) and tanned up college kids ready to party. Sometimes, though, you might want an actual vacation that doesn't include hangovers. Thankfully, there are plenty of getaways that are perfect for the spring breaker in search of somewhere different (and possibly even better) than a weeklong party. Here's where to go on spring break if you don't drink and would rather reset in nature.

Ideally, spring break should always be about relaxing and recharging for whatever awaits you when you return to the real world. For some people, that might mean laying with your toes in the sand on the beach and finally finishing that book you've been reading. For others, getting outdoors in a more adventurous way can be just the rejuvenation you're looking for. Whatever your idea of a vacation is, there is a spring break destination that is perfect for you.

And like I said before, not every spring getaway is required to look like a mid-2000s spring break episode of MTV's TRL — there are alternatives. From national parks to an afternoon at the ballpark, there are plenty of opportunities for your best spring break yet.

Saguaro National Park


What better way to celebrate a reprieve from freezing winter temperatures than by immersing yourself in nature? Saguaro National Park is located in Tucson, Arizona, and it's the perfect spot for an adventurous spring break, according to Trip Savvy. Now, you might first think of the Grand Canyon when you picture national parks in Arizona, but Saguaro National Park should definitely be on your list.

Named after the saguaro cactus (which is also considered a symbol of the American West), Saguaro National Park features over two dozen species of the prickly plant. Spring is the best time to visit the park when wildflowers like the gold Mexican poppy and desert marigolds are in full bloom. There are many hiking trails available for you to fully experience all the beauty the park has to offer. And if you can't get enough of the saguaro cacti, there are local campsites available.

Arches National Park

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If vibrant colors are your thing, then a trip that includes a visit to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah is the vacation for you. According to Fodor's Travel, you'll find over 2,000 natural stone arches as you explore the park. You can take in the beauty of the red-rock formations as you hike the trails of Arches National Park, or you can really immerse yourself in nature by camping out in the park.

If you choose to camp overnight, you can become an expert stargazer since the springtime night sky is crystal clear. Another perk of exploring Arches National Park in the spring is that the number of visitors is generally lower than the summer crowds, so you won't have to worry about wrestling through crowds to snap that perfect photo of the arches surrounded by the snow-capped La Sal Mountains.

Yosemite National Park

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Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park is one of the oldest U.S. national parks. Established in October 1890, the California national park is also the third most visited national park. You'll see why Yosemite National Park is so popular when you experience the park's varied natural features that include mountains, glaciers, lakes, and waterfalls.

According to Fodor's Travel, the warmer springtime weather melts the snow and ushers in Yosemite National Park's peak waterfall season. There are campsites available all year long, and if you have a later spring break in April or May, you'll have an up-close look at the huge bloom of Yosemite's dogwood blossoms.

Spring Training Baseball

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Becoming one with nature in a national park is one way to get outdoors, but there are other options, too.

Even though Major League Baseball's (MLB) regular season doesn't start until March 29, there is still plenty of MLB action happening right now. All 30 teams shake off the dust of winter by playing in either the Cactus League or the Grapefruit League for Spring Training through March 27. The Cactus League is in various cities in Arizona, while the Grapefruit League is scattered across cities in Florida. Either location will give you the sunshine you crave to brighten up your spring break, and you can usually buy tickets cheaper than you would for a regular season game — so your spring defrost doesn't have to break the bank.

If having a spring break beer in the stands isn't your style, there are plenty of other ballpark treats available for your enjoyment (like a giant soft pretzel and fresh-squeezed lemonade). So, find out where your favorite team plays, and then you can relax and watch them from the sun-soaked stands.

Spring Break Ski Trip

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This last option will still bring some sunshine, but it might come along with a little cold. If you're in need of an action-packed spring break, then a ski trip might be just what you need. Plus, if you're totally missing the Winter Olympics, then you can get your own snow-filled adrenaline rush.

Many people agree that Breckenridge, Colorado is one of the best locations for the perfect ski trip. According to SnowPak, Breckenridge has the highest ski lift in North America. Breckenridge Ski Resort also boasts plentiful ski slopes as they span across five peaks. When it comes to the terrain, Breckenridge has a great variety of groomers, glades, and moguls, so you're sure to find the slope that fits your speed.

Once you call it a day on the slopes, you can go into town where you'll find lodging to fit your budget. If you're planning a ski-free day, you can also explore the past in historic downtown Breckenridge or you can take in the current culture in the Breckenridge Arts District.

Spring break has long been known for wild parties and lots of drinking, but it doesn't have to be that way. It's your vacation, and you get to do with it what you want.

So, if you don't want your spring break plans to include regular hangovers, then you can check out these alternatives to really make the most of your vacation and get the real rejuvenation you need.