With half the country facing MORE arctic weather this late in winter, it’s hard to believe that Spring is getting closer everyday. So, if you’ve been too frozen to make travel plans for your family’s Spring Break, then it’s time to crawl out of your winter burrow. While you’re thawing and thinking about where to go, here are 6 suggestions for relaxing, interesting, educational, and fun Spring Break destinations on the Eastern Seaboard.
1) The Quiet Corner, CT: If you’re looking for an escape from e-mail, e-publishing, e-trading, e-marketing, or e-vil in general, a relaxing break in the north eastern portion of Connecticut known as “The Quiet Corner” might be just the thing. Located off I-395 and strung out along Route 169, America’s second longest National Scenic Byway, the Quiet Corner holds what has been called, “the last green valley” in the midst of the Boston-Washington Megalopolis. This 32-mile long valley is the home to bucolic Yankee towns and 18th century farmsteads. The leisurely pace lets you tour it by bike, visiting historic sites as well as wineries, B&B’s, restaurants, and antique shops. There’s lots to do and travel packages to fit any budget.
2) For those of a sinister literary bent or who just want to out-geek their bucolic-bored teenagers, spend a day in Providence, RI just 30 miles away and check out the Lovecraft tour that traces the haunts and inspirations of the American Master of weird tales, H.P. Lovecraft.
3) The Pocono Mountains, PA: Haven’t had enough of winter just yet? The Pocono Mountains of north-eastern Pennsylvania provide plenty of chances to fill your wintertime bucket list before the Spring thaw. That means skiing, snow boarding, dog sledding, luge, tobogganing, and even white water rafting (beginning in early April). The Poconos is also famous for romantic getaways (well… baby, it’s cold outside). There are also breweries, distilleries, wineries , unique shopping, and great places to eat.
4) Williamsburg, VA: I’ll confess a weakness for the Virginia Peninsula during March just as the flowers and shrubs begin to stir. It’s also a great time to explore the area because crowds are typically light, the weather moderate, and (most importantly) mosquito-free. There’s Colonial Williamsburg where colonial history blends with art, architecture, archaeology, food, drink, and especially music (a pal of mine fiddles at Chowning’s Tavern on occasion). The peninsula is also great jumping-off spot to visit the James River Plantations strung out along scenic Virginia Route 5 in Charles City County or to see the nearby Yorktown Victory Center where the British surrender ended the American War for Independence. And if all this history-stuff is just too danged stuffy, then hit Busch Gardens for a weekend of rides and shows. The park’s first full weekend begins on March 21.
5) Charleston, SC: This Southern city is also stuffed full of American history including the May 1718 blockade by the notorious Blackbeard, the still controversial 1822 Vesey Revolt, and the April 1861 attack on Ft. Sumter that began the American Civil War. During Spring Break, the average March high temperature is 66 degrees – while this might be a little chilly for swimming, visitors can rent beach houses on the islands surrounding Charleston, including: Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island. There’s also the South Carolina Aquarium, 15 golf courses, museums, shops, and plenty of tasty seafood. Plus, if you’re a gardener, the must-see is Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark and America’s oldest landscaped gardens.
6) Key West, FL: If you’ve really want to drive as far away from winter as you can on the East Coast, Key West is the place. Located at the very end of U.S. Route 1 in the Gulf of Mexico, it is closer to Havana, Cuba (94 miles) than to Miami (129 miles). With an average March temperature is 78°F, you should probably bring your sunscreen! Key West is a large town that is also very walk-able. Yes, spending Spring Break in Key West may seem a dumb idea to families but this year, city authorities are implementing a plan to reduce student drinking on public beaches. There are several resorts and hotels that purposely restrict guests under the age of 25 from renting rooms. There’s also an ocean full of things to do, like snorkeling, jet skiing, water skiing, para-sailing, kayaking, and swimming in the surf at any of Key West’s beach’s. Remember, it is an island and prices will be higher than the mainland. But when it’s time for you and your stylish tan to head back north, you’ll think it was worth it!
Are there any locations on the East Coast that you prefer visit for Spring Break? Tell us about them in the comments!