This Is How You Do Spring Break Like An Adult

Photo: Alex Segre/REX/Shutterstock.
Ah, spring. It's a time of year when the winter doldrums can seem overwhelming; the excitement of the holidays has passed, but summer is still comically far-off. But that also makes it the perfect time to travel. After all, there's nothing like a change of scenery plus a little R & R to help you shake those winter blues.
And if the words "spring break" summon images of dilapidated beachside crash pads and cheap tequila, forget what you know. Whether you're looking for a quiet and sunny oasis or a lively cosmopolitan city, there are plenty of awesome spots for a more refined spring break getaway. Here are 15 of them.
1 of 16
Photo: Alex Segre/REX/Shutterstock.
Berlin, Germany
Nightlife, European history, really clean public transportation: Berlin has it all. Book a room in one of the many minimalist hotels that dot the city, like Hotel Q! in the Kurfürstendamm neighborhood, known as Berlin’s Champs-Élysées for its scenic boulevards and designer shops. A short walk way, you can explore the Tiergarten, an urban park perfect for picnicking, biking, and visiting some of the city's oldest monuments.

Or, hop on the U-Bahn, the city’s metro system, and go deeper into the Mitte (the city center). Check out the flea markets, record stores, and independent boutiques as well as the "Museum Island” in the middle of the Spree river, home to archeological treasures from around the globe.

Spend the day exploring Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain for Turkish food, street art, and the remains of the Berlin Wall. After a day of exploring, rest up and then hit one of Berlin’s famous nightclubs, like Barbie Deinhoff’s, a Barbie-themed club with bright-pink fluorescent lights, cheap drinks, and thumping music that will keep you dancing until dawn.
2 of 16
Photo: Steve Rapport/REX/Shutterstock.
Monterey, California
If you’re interested in gorgeous views and rambling day hikes, but not so into leaving civilization behind, check out Monterey. This charming seaside town, located about an hour south of the Bay Area, proves that Californians take their leisure time seriously. Attractions include the world-famous Pebble Beach golf course, plus spas, parks, and wineries galore.

There are plenty of inexpensive hotels in the area, but, if you can, splurge on a room in the heart of the city, like Monterey Plaza. Not only will you be within walking distance of adorable shops and restaurants, you’ll have a front row seat to those glorious Pacific sunsets.
3 of 16
Photo via @anaduffy.
Harbour Island, Bahamas
It's called the Nantucket of the Caribbean for good reason. After you've made the connection to North Eleuthera Airport and arrived via water taxi, you'll immediately understand why the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, and Bill Gates have chosen Harbour Island as their home away from home.

Pilot your golf cart — there are no cars here — past the rows of soft-hued, eighteenth-century cottages and around the free-roaming chickens as you make your way to the island's famed, pink-sand beaches, and thank your lucky stars
4 of 16
Photo via @patagoni_k.
Patagonia, Chile
It's time to head south. Way, way south.

Break up your journey to Punta Arenas — a gateway to Patagonia — with a stopover in Santiago (the Los Angeles of South America); there, you'll find the first of many drop-dead-gorgeous views of the Andes. Head to Santiago Metropolitan Park (Chile's version of Runyon Canyon) for a warmup hike and funicular ride, followed by dinner and a nightcap in the hip Providencia and Bellas Artes districts. (If you have time for excursions, Valparaíso, the seaport home city of beloved Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, is an easy 90-minute bus ride from Santiago.) Then, head the airport for your real adventure to begin.

After touching down in Punta Arenas, take a relaxing stroll through Plaza Muñoz Gamero, hike to the top of Cruz Hill, and then settle in for the evening at La Marmita for some classic Chilean fare. Penguin-lovers, take note: The southern city is also the launchpad for ferries that cross the Strait of Magellan, famous for its colony of tuxedo-feathered birds.
5 of 16
Photo via @snave57.
Reykjavík, Iceland
If the idea of all-night dancing at a Euro-style discotheque appeals to you more than an afternoon of baking in the sun, then this northern party capital should rank high on your list of must-visits.

The Icelandic city really caters to the venue-hopping crowd: Its hot spots (like longtime staple Kaffibarinn) line one thoroughfare, and they stay open till the wee hours of the morning every Thursday through Sunday.

When you want to lay down your dancing shoes, hop on a 45-minute bus to the world-famous steaming Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa. Not only are its mineral-rich waters warm enough for year-round swimming, but the silica mud will do wonders for your skin. Oh, and did we mention the in-lagoon bar?
6 of 16
Photo via @andreaschnoorpr.
If you can't decide between the beach or the rainforest, well, go ahead and choose both.

This Edenic locale is within easy reach of the East Coast and features plenty of rustic-luxe, eco-minded boutique hotels; for beach-goers, we're fans of private retreat Cayo Espanto and the El Secreto's romantic villas. If you're looking for an unobstructed view that's bursting with wildlife — we're talking leggy egrets and herons, howler monkeys, and an array of wild cats (think pumas, ocelots, jaguarundis, margays, and jaguars) — post up in one of the jungle-style abodes at the Gaïa River Lodge.

The coral reefs just offshore also make Belize's beaches the perfect launch points for skindiving and snorkeling enthusiasts. What's better than a vacation where all you really need is a bathing suit?
7 of 16
Photo via @aethkat.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Endless fair-trade coffee, harbor cruises, whale watching, and lobster: If you think Halifax sounds like an incredible mashup of other brisk cities like Portland, Boston, and San Francisco, you’re right.

The bohemian city, which typically starts to warm up (with temperatures into the 50s) in mid-to-late April, not only has laid-back hipness to spare, but also boasts quite a rich history. Its Maritime Museum of the Atlantic is a must-visit, with shipwrecked relics, including some from the Titanic.

Adventurous visitors can jaunt to Prince Edward Island, and explore the candlepin bowling and friendly social clubs that stand in for city pubs. If you're really lucky, you may even spot a moose.
8 of 16
Photo via @roamingcamera.
Bogotá, Colombia
Amble the wide carreras and cobblestone calles of historic district La Candelaria, where you’ll find rows of pastel colonial homes, laid-back coffee shops and cafés, and a vibrant arts scene. Though the Botero Museum is more famous, the Museo del Oro is a must — plus, it offers some English-language tours.

At night, head north to Zona Rosa — a.k.a. "The T Zone" — where the vast number of restaurants, cocktail bars, and designer shops will have you thinking you're right at home. If you're feeling brave (and ready to party), try chicha, the city’s signature (and quite strong) maize libation. If you don't want to be nursing a hangover while summiting Monserrate the next morning (who could leave Colombia without seeing those views!?), stick to the trusty coca sour, a South American delicacy.
9 of 16
Photo via @runruhpnw.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Nestled in the mountains just northwest of Mexico City is a onetime silver-mining settlement turned midcentury expat art colony, best known for its spring-all-year weather and über-charming streets. Picture cobblestones, fuchsia bougainvillea, and homes festooned with brightly painted, ornately carved wooden doors.

Behind the vine-covered walls are open-air courtyards equally perfect for an afternoon nap and happy hour (when you should down plenty of frothy pulques, a local libation made from the maguey plant). Get creative and take a culinary class (who doesn't want to learn the secret to a perfect tamale?), or simply visit El Tianguis, the huge, bustling Tuesday market, where you can people-watch, eat (cecina tacos!), and relish in the artistry swirling around you.
10 of 16
Photo via @mohanad_jihad.
Havana, Cuba
With the loosening of travel restrictions to the island nation, there's never been a better (or easier) time to visit Havana.

Sure, the city has been off-limits for some time now, but the sights and sounds still feel quite familiar (and not just from that Dirty Dancing sequel). There's live Afro-Cuban music à la Buena Vista Social Club, classic chrome-fendered American cars, and vivid graffiti and street art that offer a bright, colorful flair very few other cities can match.

Other sights to see? Pay homage to great explorers at Colon Cemetery (where many military heroes and adventurers are interred, though not Columbus himself) and dive head-first into the literary past of Ernest Hemingway at the author's former home turned museum.
11 of 16
Photo via @lynneacarina.
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Just a hop, skip, and a quick swim from tourist-overrun San Juan, this lesser-traveled isle southeast of mainland Puerto Rico truly has something for everyone. It's so beautiful, in fact, that it's hard to believe this tropical paradise was once used as a bombing range for the United States Navy (history buffs can still visit the abandoned bunkers).

Rent a Jeep and beach-hop all day long, from the more accessible (and wildly popular) Sun Bay to more rugged stretches like black-sand Playa Negra. If you're in search of an adventure, explore the primo snorkeling, kayak in the world-renowned bioluminescent bay, or take in the turquoise ocean views astride one of the island's famed roaming ponies. Foodies are also in luck. Feast on fresh seafood and the best ribs (seriously!) along Esperanza's malecón, or boardwalk, or at the famed El Quenepo — because everything tastes better when it's straight from the ocean.
12 of 16
Photo via @lyionis.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Skiers heading out West ought to keep these classic Colorado slopes in the front of their minds.

Steamboat boasts six peaks, 3,000 skiable acres, and 165 trails — not to mention its trademarked Champagne powder snow. And with shopping, renowned pre-ski brunches (biscuits and gravy at Winona's are calling your name), après-ski bars, and several hot springs close at hand, those who'd rather skip the bunny slopes can get into the spirit without even putting their feet in a pair of skis.
13 of 16
Photo via @caitiealice.
Little Compton, Rhode Island
While summer may be the peak season for this stretch of the Atlantic just south of Cape Cod, you’ll find this beach village much more mind-restoring in the quiet spring months.

A short train ride from Providence will drop you amid the "New Hamptons" — as Little Compton has been called — and its plethora of meditative ponds, beaches, and dunes. Keep things low-key as you stroll by the ocean, troll its quaint shops for textiles and handmade jewelry, and visit its vineyards. And, if you have wheels, you can skip over to Newport to marvel at 18th-century mansions like Marble House, where Alva Vanderbilt threw her infamously lavish costume parties.
14 of 16
Photo via @heseverywhere.
Sayulita, Mexico
The alternative to hard-partying Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita lies far enough away on the crystalline Riviera Nayarit (often hailed as Mexico's perfect coastline) that you’ll be awakened by roosters and trailed by sleepy dogs as you traipse around on foot.

Despite its rural trappings, however, the tiny village hideaway is bursting with shopping potential: Try boho boutiques like Evoke the Spirit, Artefakto, and Pacha Mama for handmade jewelry, textiles, clothing, and art. And, if the local reggae scene (not to mention the ceviche-like aguachile and agave-based local spirit raicilla) is not enough for you, well, you can always hop in a cab and hit PV for a big (and very spring break) night out.
15 of 16
Photo via @kaldav.
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
The time to visit this expat-beloved surfer enclave on the Pacific Ocean is now. Sure, San Juan del Sur still has a sleepy-fishing-village vibe — but the quiet may not last long. Thanks to luxury resorts cropping up and expanding, and plans for a new Emerald Coast airport under way, the secret may officially be out.

Fly into Managua and make your way two hours south for ample surfing and yoga — not to mention all the simple, fresh-caught shrimp and fish at one of the city's many beachside bars — along the curve of sand framed pretty much perfectly by cliffs.

For a dose of urbanity (and revolutionary history), pull over en route to take in the scenery of the colonial city of Granada. It's no surprise it's often dubbed the Paris of Central America.
16 of 16

More from Travel