Every year, different places around the United States and North America take turns being hot spring break locations. There are many popular standbys, but a few newcomers seem to arrive on the scene each year. If you are planning a spring break vacation for yourself – or for your teenager – you’re going to have plenty of options at your disposal. While beach destinations are almost always high on everybody’s list, skiing is quickly becoming a popular choice as well. Whatever you decide, you’re bound to have a whole lot of fun.

Florida locations like South Beach tend to get a lot of the attention when it comes to spring break, but unusual spots like Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Gulf Shores, Alabama are quickly gaining steam as popular spring break destinations. Where you decide to go is largely going to depend on what you want to do. If lying out in the sun sounds good to you, then Virginia Beach may be a suitable option. If hitting the slopes sounds positively heavenly, then Breckenridge may be the best choice.

Spring break is traditionally when teenagers and young adults hit the beach to party with their friends. However, more and more families are getting in on the spring break fun – and more destinations are catering to them than ever. Whatever your preferences may be, there is sure to be a place that will meet and exceed all of your expectations. In order to get the brainstorming going, check out a few of the best spring break destinations:

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South Beach – Miami, Florida

Daytona Beach may be the king of Florida’s spring break destinations, but more and more people are flocking to Miami’s South Beach for their springtime fun. Part of the allure definitely has to do with the upscale city that abuts the beach area of this resort town. The hopping club scene is also a big part of the draw for people who want to include a bit of revelry with their beach vacation fun. Finally, the tantalizing local cuisine – think Cuban and spicy – often seals the deal for those who are looking for a unique, fun place to spend their spring break.

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Jackson Hole, Wyoming

You’re not going to find any beaches in Jackson Hole – and there’s no chance of donning a swimsuit during the spring there – but the skiing is simply out of this world. Ski destinations are quickly becoming popular among people who are tired of the usual beach destinations for spring break, and Jackson Hole is a natural choice. With its quaint downtown area and excellent skiing conditions, it’s not surprising at all that this region is becoming a bona fide spring break hot spot. Choose one of the local resorts and hunker down for some fun in the snow.

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South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island is a suitable choice for teenagers, young adults, couples and families alike. The rowdiness tends to be kept to a minimum here – but partying definitely goes on, especially during spring break. Still, it does have a more controlled environment and things don’t tend to get quite as out of hand on South Padre as they do at many other popular spring break spots. The beaches on South Padre are phenomenal, and the water is warm and inviting. There are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from, making it easy to book a trip here even during the crowded spring break time of year.

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Virginia Beach, Virginia

For those who live east of the Mississippi – and who don’t want to venture super far to get away for spring break – Virginia Beach is a natural choice. The town itself is full of bars and restaurants that will keep those in search of a party happy, and the beaches are clean and pleasant. Since Virginia Beach isn’t usually at the top of the list for spring break destinations, it’s easier to find lower rates and there are generally a lot less crowds here. For those looking for a more low-key way to enjoy their spring break, Virginia Beach is a definite winner – and there are many different places to choose from in terms of accommodations.

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Breckenridge, Colorado

Since skiing has suddenly become the in thing to do for spring break for many people, it’s not really that shocking that Breckenridge is seeing some of the action. Colorado in general is one of the best places to ski in the United States, and people love Breckenridge for its amazing powder and ample assortment of resorts and lodges. Compared with Aspen and Vail, Breckenridge is much more affordable and even people who are on strict budgets should be able to make suitable arrangements for spring break. If you want to swoosh down the slopes for your upcoming spring break, you should put Breckenridge at the top of your list.

Photo Credit: Jimmy Pigg

Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Florida Panhandle is a popular place for spring breakers to have a bit of fun, but by traveling just a few miles to the west, you can escape the most congested beaches and still have oodles of fun over spring break. Savvy travelers also know that Gulf Shores tends to be more affordable than many of the most popular spring break destinations – but the beaches are no less compelling or fun. Whether you want to just lay out and while away the days, or engage in fun water sports like parasailing, Gulf Shores will definitely fill the bill for you – and much, much more.

Things to Consider

As fun as it can be, spring break can also present many very real dangers for teenagers and young adults. More and more parents are choosing to come along for the ride when their kids insist on enjoying spring break – and doing so is never a bad idea. You could book separate rooms and pretty much give the kids the space that they need, while still keeping a watchful eye over them. That way, you can also ensure that they are coming home at night and that they aren’t keeping company with people who might want to do them harm.