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 time off from the books. Whether looking for a break from the snow or from the busy work and school schedule, get away this spring while you can. We've got the best places you can take your family for a wholesome, yet fun, spring break getaway in 2016.

Written by Lissa Harnish Poirot

Orange County, Calif.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
238 Family Reviews
For a SoCal spring break that will surely have perfect weather, visit Orange County, California. The various towns nestled between Los Angeles and San Diego offer beaches, piers, water sports, amusement areas and more.

The Huntington Beach Pier is a must-see, with its shops and dining spots. And if your kids are interested in surfing, let them first learn about the sport’s history at the International Surfing Museum before trying it themselves with one of the water sport companies in town. Be sure to make day trips to nearby Newport Beach for the Balboa Fun Zone, which has an old-fashioned Ferris wheel and games for kids of all ages.

Where to Stay: Montage Laguna Beach


TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
1160 Family Reviews
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!). There's grand resorts with kids' camps and clubs, professional sporting events, nearby spring training baseball games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and meet-and-greets, golf, tennis and spas. No matter the age, everyone will join this getaway.

Where to Stay: Marriott's Harbour Lake

San Antonio, Texas

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
723 Family Reviews
While many spring breakers may head to South Padre Island, your family might also like a trip to San Antonio. Families will love to stroll and explore the world famous River Walk with its many shops and restaurants. The five San Antonio Missions, which include the Alamo, were recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a great place for the kids to learn more about Texas and Mexico cultures.

But there’s plenty of entertainment opportunities, too, at Sea World, Six Flags, and even a toilet museum -- Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum (just outside San Antonio), which will surely give the kids a giggle.

Where to Stay: JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa

New York City

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
800 Family Reviews
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.

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: Hotel Giraffe

Amelia Island, Fla.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
733 Family Reviews
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

Carlsbad, Calif.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
644 Family Reviews
Located just 30 minutes from San Diego, a spring break trip to Carlsbad can include the beaches, theme parks, zoos and museums all during one vacation. Spend a morning at the Carlsbad State Beach, which is 5 miles of quiet sand, before heading to Carlsbad Village for snacks and shopping.

Be sure to schedule a day at LEGOLAND California and the San Diego Zoo. The latter offers a special experience for visitors who are early risers. Families can sign up to see the various animals, like the pandas, up close during a two-hour tour before the park even opens. Plus, you can hop on the Carlsbad Coaster to get there -- it'll be an inexpensive train ride that kids will love!

Where to Stay: West Inn & Suites

U.S. Virgin Islands

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
538 Family Reviews
Snorkel, fish or just soak up the sun during your spring break at one of the islands that makes up the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are no passports needed for this Caribbean vacation and the U.S. dollar is the currency, so you’ll feel right at home.

The island of St. Thomas, in particular, has great beaches, shopping areas and sightseeing tours available. Stop by the Coral World Ocean Park for a special experience in the water. Kids over 80 pounds can walk along an underwater trail near a coral reef with the help of an oxygenated helmet.

Where to Stay: Marriott's Frenchman's Cove

Riviera Maya

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
961 Family Reviews
Less densely developed than Cancun's hotel zone that attracts college-aged spring breakers galore, Riviera Maya is 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 across 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 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 Riviera Maya

Hilton Head Island, S.C.

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
106 Family Reviews
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, 5-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

Oahu, HI

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
2627 Family Reviews
The third-largest Hawaiian island is certainly busy, with towering buildings, an abundance of activities, lots of fun shopping and crowds galore. Still, Oahu is family-focused and the kids aren't crowd surfing but actually surfing Hawaii's 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: Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

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Montage Laguna Beach Reviews
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Marriott's Harbour Lake Reviews
inmomof3 - Apr 28th, 2011

We chose this resort because of the pirate theme and the cool pools. We have 3 young boys, this resort did not disappoint us. It was great. Pools were neat, and heated which was great for a February vacation. The mini golf on site was nice too. ... read more
tsolen - May 31st, 2010

We stayed at the Marriott for 3 days/2 nights, which wasn't long enough. We found a great deal on the Internet and was very worried about it. After reading some of the reviews, I was still worried about it. I am so glad we went with our gut and booke... read more
Marriott's Harbour Lake reviews
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa Reviews
anderssoncompany - Sep 2nd, 2014

My wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past week and I wanted to do something special for her. Our plans were to go out of state to do some dreambuilding for retirement in Montana. Life and job got in the way of those plans so we... read more
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa reviews
Hotel Giraffe Reviews
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Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort Reviews
Alburg - Sep 2nd, 2014

Beautiful new rooms and great location on the beach. Great pool for families with fun events during the day. ... read more
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 comp... read more
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort reviews
West Inn & Suites Reviews
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Marriott's Frenchman's Cove Reviews
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Grand Velas Riviera Maya Reviews
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Inn at Harbour Town - Sea Pines Resort Reviews
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Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa Reviews
Casandy - May 12th, 2016

Our greeting was great and we were extremely well taken care of upon arrival. Our 2 bedroom suite is beautiful. This place is busy..and this is not the busy season. The water slide is fun..lazy river nice. Evening story was ok. The pools and hothe tu... read more
lassie - Apr 30th, 2014

Loved it! From the warm welcome, lovely accommodations, friendly staff, fun family activities and children programs all rated top notch. Don't miss the character buffet breakfast $$$ expensive but worth it. ... read more
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa reviews