By Kitty Bean Yancey
A quiet mountain retreat or a lively beach town. What tickles your fancy? Here are suggestions for spring break spots to suit various vacation styles.
For the Rechargers: Navarre Beach, Florida
Florida during spring break can be crowded and crazy. But at this laid-back destination between Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach on the Santa Rosa barrier island, there’s plenty of space to lay down a towel on miles of sugar-white sand before taking a dip in soothing Emerald Coast waters. After savoring a spectacular sunset, sip a Syrah or Sauvignon Blanc at Vine Wine Bar & Shop. For more information visit navarrechamber.com.
Where to stay in Navarre Beach: try a gulf-front condominium.
For the Family Bonders: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
If spending quality time together without many spring break distractions is a priority, look no farther than a vacation rental along this private barrier island near Charleston, once voted “the happiest seaside town in America” by Coastal Living magazine. Tranquil beaches, swimming pools, five golf courses, 24 tennis courts, bike trails and kayaking are diversions. Activities from nature walks to crafts classes, fishing and family excursions are easy to arrange via an island concierge. Dining options abound, from overlooking a golf course gator pond at Cherrywood BBQ, to blueberry pancake breakfasts at Southern Kitchen. For more information, visit kiawahresort.com.
Where to stay in Kiawah Island: A cottage, villa or condo will do just fine
For the Outdoors Enthusiasts: Sun Valley, Idaho
No matter the season, “our mountains come with to-do lists as tall as they are,” says the Sun Valley tourism website. That’s no idle boast. Snow on the 70 runs across two ski areas usually stays until April. You also can snowshoe, bike, bowl, hike, and take a sleigh ride. After working up a sweat, soothe aching muscles at The Spa at Sun Valley. For more information, visit visitsunvalley.com.
Where to stay in Sun Valley: Relax in your own private home.
For the Super Shoppers: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Known for its long stretches of sand, boardwalk and fine dining, the vacation mecca south of Wilmington and east of Washington, D.C., also is a sales tax-free haven for bargain hunters. Load up on discounted Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren fashions, Coach and Kate Spade purses, Nike and Lululemon athletic wear and more at the sprawling Tanger Outlets — boasting more than 125 stores. Scoop up an item seen on TV for a fraction of the price at the Rehoboth Beach QVC Outlet. Or troll for one-of-a-kind finds at the small shops lining Rehoboth Avenue. A bonus? Stay along the quiet and secluded beaches in neighboring North Bethany, just a short drive away from the shops. For more information, visit visitrehoboth.com.
Where to stay in Rehoboth Beach: A beach home rental is all you will need.
For the Culture Mavens: Aspen, Colorado
This Hollywood ski playground also stars as a destination for lovers of the arts. The Aspen Art Museum stages edgy exhibitions of international contemporary works. Wheeler Opera House hosts concerts, tributes to acts such as the Beatles, even sing-a-longs to movies. Aspen Music Festival and School showcases big-name headliners. Aspen also is known for galleries including Pismo Fine Art Glass. Stay on point with a ticket to the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. For more information, visit aspenchamber.com.
Where to stay in Aspen: The Inn at Aspen is a perfect choice
For the Entertainment Seekers: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Boogie at night, then sleep in late — unless you have a tee time on Myrtle Beach’s nearly 100 golf courses. The water’s usually a tad cold for swimming in spring, but music and good times abound at spots such as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, House of Blues and The Bowery, which has been serving up food and entertainment since 1944. Country super group Alabama once was The Bowery’s house band. For more information, visit visitmyrtlebeach.com.
Where to stay in Myrtle Beach: Try a condo with a room to spread out
Kitty Bean Yancey is a Washington, D.C.-based award-winning former USA TODAY travel writer. She freelances for publications including AARP Magazine and AAA publications.