Spring break isn't just for college co-eds, but it sure feels that way sometimes. Plus, the last thing you want to do is plan an exciting family trip somewhere, only to be embarrassed by the antics of wild 20-somethings taking a break from the books. What's a family looking for a little fun (after a long, snowy winter like this one) to do? We've got the best places you can take your family for a wholesome, yet fun, spring break getaway in 2014.

Written by Lissa Harnish Poirot
Situated in the northeastern-most part of Florida, Amelia Island is not only beautiful, but also peaceful. It has managed to escape much of the commercialization that plagues other parts of Florida, and as a result, doesn't attract the typical college spring-breaker. The island is rich in history and has been under the rule of eight different flags -- the most of any place in the United States.

But if your kids aren't looking for a history lesson on their school vacation, skip it and head straight to the beaches. There are plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, fishing and kite-flying on Amelia Island's shores. If the family tires of the sand, head to Fernandina Beach for shops and restaurants. This charming city is a celebration of the Victorian era and boasts restored mansions and manicured lawns along Centre Street, the main drag.

Where to Stay: Omni Amelia Island Plantation

When you think of the Panhandle, you may have images of MTV's Spring Break reality show filming the antics of young adults spilling onto the beaches of Panama City, but just down the road, far from the parties and noise, is the Beaches of South Walton. Consisting of 15 "towns," each with a design of its own, the beaches are soft and uncrowded, and completely family friendly.

It's all about R&R here, where 200 miles of trails, coastal dune lakes and 26 miles of coastline beckon for exploration by foot, bike, kayak and more. Sea turtles nest on these beaches, as well, so the kids may get a glimpse of the beautiful mother turtles or their hatchlings.

Where to Stay: WaterColor Inn & Resort

Kids want nothing more than to play on the beach? No problem -- San Diego offers 70 miles of sandy fun. Mom and dad are museum junkies? Balboa Park offers a collection of the world's finest in one place. And when you're ready for something you'll all enjoy together, you can head straight to the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld, because no matter how young or old you are, these places always please.

San Diego is small enough to feel manageable and large enough to offer plenty of hotels and restaurants for every budget. You can easily take in all the area's attractions in a few days and still have plenty of time left over for building sandcastles at Coronado Beach in charming Coronado, just outside of the city.

Where to Stay: Hotel del Coronado

A little more difficult to get to than other Caribbean islands, the British Virgin Islands' lack of direct flights puts off the college kids, but offers quiet Caribbean reprieves for families. Here, a collection of 60 islands makes for the perfect laid-back getaway where you'll do nothing but play in the water. Snorkel, dive and sail the turquoise blue waters that have attracted sailors for hundreds of years. Part of BVI's charm is its lack of mass tourism, giving your family a true sense of Caribbean life.

If you can, charter a vessel and sail the 80 nautical miles to truly experience BVI's beauty, stopping in Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Less densely developed than Cancun's hotel zone that attracts college-aged spring breakers galore, Riviera Maya is just 30 minutes to the north and much more family-friendly. A number of all-inclusive family resorts make the getaway easy, as well as a number of lodging options spread over 86 green miles lining a beautiful coastline.

You can park at a pool, often complete with kiddie slides and attractions, or snorkel and splash in eco-adventure parks. Catch a tour of the magnificent Mayan ruins just on the outskirts of the area for a more historic adventure. The Riviera Maya has a little something for everyone.

Where to Stay: Grand Velas All Suites Resort & Spa

While the college spring breakers can be found in Myrtle Beach, the families scoot further south to Hilton Head. Just off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia is a 12-mile-long, five-mile-wide island featuring 14 miles of sandy beaches, 20 world-class golf courses and more than 100 miles of bike paths. This is the place to wile away your days in peace and quiet.

Resort choices are aplenty here, from renting private villas to family-friendly hotels to beachside resorts. Hop in the car for quick trips into Savannah or Charleston for a taste of the Old South and its rich history, then return for eco-adventures like "crabbing" or spotting bottlenose dolphins playing in the surf.

Where to Stay: Inn at Harbor Town - Sea Pines Resort

The third-largest Hawaiian island is certainly busy, with towering buildings, an abundance of activities, lots of fun shopping and crowds galore. Still, this island is family-focused and the kids aren't crowd surfing but actually surfing Hawaii's big waves and relaxing with the Aloha Spirit.

Restaurants aplenty, splash and play pools, surfing lessons, elaborate luaus, fireworks, spas… what's not to love about a trip to the islands? It can be a little pricey and the flights may be long, but all the better to ward off college-aged kids looking for a cheap getaway.

Where to Stay: Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa

When you think of California, it's often Los Angeles and San Francisco that grab the spotlight, but the quaint community of Santa Barbara makes for an ideal family getaway. Propped against the Santa Ynez Mountains and lined by pacific Coast beaches, Santa Barbara is an outdoor-lover's paradise, offering hiking, biking and endless water sports -- including some of the state's best surfing.

There are no clogged freeways here, and even better is the free trolley that carts families around downtown and the waterfront. Just up the coast are amazing local vineyards producing some of the country's best wines, as well as affording fantastic views.

Where to Stay: El Capitan Canyon

When it comes to action, adventure and entertainment, there's no match for Orlando and what it offers families. While the college kids may be crowding some of the theme parks, it's because they are playing like kids and having the same fun your little ones will be having. Disney rules the roost here, but thrill-seekers will find a plethora of theme parks, as well as opportunities to get up close and personal with wildlife at SeaWorld, Gatorland, Animal Kingdom and more.

But Orlando is much more than theme parks (really!). Grand resorts with kids' camps and clubs, professional sporting events, nearby spring training baseball games and meet-and-greets, golf, tennis and spas. No matter the age, everyone will join this getaway.

Where to Stay: Nickelodeon Family Suites

Spring breaks don't have to be all about the beaches. Now is the perfect time to visit the city that never sleeps and show the kids a good time. From its iconic landmarks to its top-notch entertainment, The Big Apple makes it easy to find something to do for kids of all ages. Plus, with the recent opening of One World Trade Center, there's never been a better time to visit.

Visit the Empire State Building, State of Liberty, Central Park and Times Square, followed by a Broadway show (we suggest The Lion King) or visit to the American Museum of Natural History, where Night at the Museum was filmed. You can even sleep over at the museum, too!

Where to Stay: New York Marriott Marquis

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10 Best Spring Break Spots for Families
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort Reviews
Papasote - May 12th, 2012

We were caught unaware they were under construction when we scheduled our trip. The first morning construction outside our room began at 5am and I mean large equipment construction with backing devices that make you crazy. Must have been enough ... read more
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort reviews
WaterColor Inn & Resort Reviews
nolamom - Oct 2nd, 2009

This was the second time we have gone to Watercolor Resort for our Spring Break vacation. We have stayed at the hotel both times, as our kids are small enough to stay in the same room on a sofa-bed. It is less expensive to rent a condo or a house, ... read more
deaconblues11 - Sep 17th, 2009

Love the location and atmosphere of WaterColor, Seagrove Beach, FL. Much quieter area as opposed to Panama City and Destin. Beaches are beautiful. Beach access is easy. Love the bike trails. Accommodations are nice. What I don't understand ... read more
WaterColor Inn & Resort reviews
Hotel del Coronado Reviews
So Cal Mom - Nov 26th, 2012

To get in a festive holiday mood, we take an annual trip down to Coronado Island. It's a magical time of year next to the Pacific Ocean. Our kid's smile while walking into the historic Hotel del Coronado's lobby admiring the tallest Christmas tree ... read more
dab0709 - Sep 18th, 2011

For the price we paid for our suite, we were grossly disappointed. Due to a mechanical issue with the elevator, we changed rooms after the first night. The second room wasn't much better. The rooms are in need of being updated. Everything about the ... read more
Hotel del Coronado reviews
Rosewood Little Dix Bay Reviews
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Grand Velas All Suites and Spa Resort Reviews
Be the first to write a Grand Velas All Suites and Spa Resort review!
Inn at Harbour Town - Sea Pines Resort Reviews
Be the first to write a Inn at Harbour Town - Sea Pines Resort review!
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa Reviews
livingforthesummer - Jul 3rd, 2014

I have been coming here with my husband and two boys for 4 out of the past 5 years (last year we went to the Waikola Village.) I prefer the activities on Oahu and the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We will be going back in a couple of weeks, and I just ... read more
Thegreatstay21 - Aug 2nd, 2012

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian village for 7days this summer and we always go once a year. This year was different, when we arrived I waited 10 minutes for help. I always use valet and bell service while on vacation, it's just easier when you ... read more
Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa reviews
El Capitan Canyon Reviews
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Nickelodeon Suites Resort Reviews
drlaura2 - May 29th, 2014

Be VERY CAREFUL if you stay here! We came back to find that housekeeping had left our door open! Although this has never happened to me at a hotel ever, I understand mistakes happen. What made it so bad was that when we complained they said "oh, ... read more
Chrissie33 - May 13th, 2014

This hotel was not worth the price we paid for four days the restaurant food was horrible and it was so expensive. I thought that paying over a hundred dollars for a room it was going to be a cartoon character room and the only cartoon was on pthe ... read more
Nickelodeon Suites Resort reviews
New York Marriott Marquis Reviews
waffles777 - Sep 15th, 2009

What can I say NYC is a great place for the family, from Central Park and Zoo, to Canal Street and the night life. We stayed at the Marriott Marquis which is right on Broadway, so when you went out you were right in the center of all the action. ... read more
New York Marriott Marquis reviews


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