If hot tub parties and wet t-shirt contests aren’t your jam (or even if they are, who are we to judge?) and you want some alternative spring break ideas to fuel your wanderlust this season, we’ve got you covered. From treehouses to comedy festivals to cycling, there are plenty of ways to make the most of traveling in the spring season without going full-on sprang break — read on for some of our top picks.
Take advantage of the spring weather finally starting to bloom across the country and get active in the great outdoors. Cover ground while taking in the sights on a cycling trip — to really feel like you’re escaping the city grind, Wyoming offers wide open skies and long stretches of road well-suited to a bicycle trip. DuBois to Grand Teton National Park is one such route, yielding top-notch views of some of the country’s most majestic mountains to make the burning thighs worth it.
Build a home
As appealing as sipping an umbrella’ed drink beachside may sound, there’s something infinitely more rewarding about emerging from spring break knowing you worked on something more than your own tan. The Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge is tailored to students aged 16-25, and lets you pick a location to travel to and build a home with five or more friends. If you’ve graduated from this age range but still want to make a difference this spring, Habitat for Humanity offers plenty of other options to travel and build, domestically and abroad.
If you’d rather enjoy the amenities of a new city rather than rough it wilderness-style or bronze on beaches, Nashville is a home run in the spring. Music City is on fire with springtime events from the East Nashville Beer Festival to the Wild West Comedy Festival and Nashville Film Festival, for your dose of the arts. Another city that hits its prime this time of year is New Orleans — with Mardi Gras come and gone, Bourbon Street won’t be quite as crowded, which means more mint juleps and beignets for you. Yum.
Fulfill your grade-school clubhouse fantasies with a stay in a treehouse beyond your younger self’s wildest dreams. Building hotels and mini-homes into the treetops has become a nationwide trend in recent years, which means there are options from coast to coast in almost every gradation of luxury. The Missouri Treehouse Cabins are perfectly situated for fly fishing and hiking through the Missouri Ozarks. A bit farther afield and with a much more exotic vibe, the Tropical Treehouse in Puerto Rico is what free spirits’ dreams are made of.
As FDR famously said, “there is nothing so American as our national parks,” and what better time to make the most of the country’s wide array of natural beauty than when the sun is shining and vacation is yours for the taking? Wonder at El Capitan’s commanding Dawn Wall, a 3,000-foot smooth granite wall, many waterfalls, and ancient giant sequoias in California’s Yosemite National Park. Or, on the other side of the country, let yourself be swept away by the quiet magic of Acadia National Park in Maine, a place made for dazzling displays at sunrise and sunset.