6 unusual spring break destination ideas
Face it: Popular vacation destinations like Cancun and Daytona Beach are going to be flooded with rowdy college students and partyers. If you prefer a vacation less traveled by, try one of these spring break alternatives.
View of rocks in the ocean from Second Beach in Olympic Peninsula. (Photo: Getty Images)
Both eerie and beautiful, this beach off the coast of Washington is the perfect place to explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and an even better place to film the Twilight franchise reboot. Unlike the beaches of Florida or California, Second Beach is not congested with scantily clad vacationers but filled with wildlife. Due to the weather, it may be a little too cold to venture into the water, but the extraordinary sights are just as rewarding.
What it’ll cost you: If you plan on roughing it with camping gear and sleeping bags, this trip could be cheaper than last month’s rent. But if you plan on staying at a nearby hotel, it’s going to cost you anywhere from $60 to $300, depending on the quality of y0ur choice.
Don’t miss this: Hike north along the beach and you’ll find a natural arch, one of the West Coast’s many gems.
Blackwater Falls State Park. (Photo: Getty Images)
This state park allows its visitors to enjoy the comfort and convenience of modern day amenities amid the backdrop of lush forests, bountiful wildlife and breathtaking waterfalls. A variety of rental cabins and cottages can be reserved and come fully furnished with the typical kitchen and bathroom functionality of a residential home. Most important, there’s WIFI! Outdoor recreational opportunities include biking, hiking, geocaching, fishing and so much more.
What it’ll cost you: Staying in a four-person cabin will cost you $149 per night, which is cheaper than most hotels.
Don’t miss this: The Timberline Riding Stables offer private tours of the landscape on horseback.
(Photo: Getty Images)
This lighthouse is considered the most haunted place in St. Augustine. Visitors are able to go on the Dark of the Moon ghost tour to discover the history behind it all. For those not into scary things, you can also enjoy the sights and sounds of the ocean and the Maritime Museum. If you happen to visit on a full moon, climb to the top of the lighthouse for the Sunset Moonrise tour.
What it’ll cost you: General admission tickets to the lighthouse are under $15, while ghost tour tickets are $25.95. The cost of a hotel in the area generally ranges from $100 to $300.
Don’t miss this: Located in downtown St. Augustine, the Lightner Museum contains magnificent antiques from the 1800s. The museum itself is a gorgeous building formerly known as the Alcazar Hotel.
The National Memorial Arch is a monument dedicated to George Washington and the United States Continental Army. This monument is located at Valley Forge National Historical Park in Pennsylvania. (Photo: Getty Images)
Here you’ll find the history of The American Revolutionary War. Valley Forge was the winter camping site for George Washington and his troops from 1777 to 1778. Today, tourists are able to explore the vast lands and explore the history through informational tours. Less than an hour away is Lancaster, an area heavily populated with Amish culture.
What it’ll cost you: No ticket is required for admission in Valley Forge. Most hotels in the area start at $100 per night.More Spring Break coverage: 6 things you didn’t know about spring break
Don’t miss this: Yoder’s Restaurant and Buffet in New Holland is a great place to stop for an Amish meal.
Scenic views of unusual rock formations and the Catamounts on Pikes Peak Colorado in the summertime. (Photo: Getty Images)
Four-wheel drive and a sense of adventure are an absolute necessity to reach this high-altitude campsite. Nestled on a pine-covered mountain complete with beautiful streams, the Crags offer campsites for campers and tents with public bathrooms sprinkled throughout (but warning: there’s no running water). The centerpiece of the Crags is a trail through the mountain that leads to a breathtaking view from thousands and thousands of feet up. This campsite is perfect for exploring and enjoying the brisk Colorado weather with a good book.
What it’ll cost you: At this type of destination, camping is essential. The only money required for this trip is for gas, food and camping equipment.
Don’t miss this: The Donut Mill in Woodland Park has cinnamon rolls larger than a toddler’s head!
Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park, Maine. (Photo: Getty Images)
The aptly named Thunder Hole — for the way the Atlantic sea crashes and thrashes the rocky shoreline of this Maine town — is a part of the Acadia National Park. It’s an amazing place to visit during the day, but stick around for the sunset, too. Once your eyes and ears can take the roar of Thunder Hole no longer, you can enjoy the other aspects of Acadia National Park, including hiking trails, mountains and lakes.
What it’ll cost you: This is another place you can set up camp for free, but in March sites are limited. You might be better off crashing at a hotel. Rooms in March are cheap — as low as $90 a night.
Don’t miss this: Hike along the Gorge Path. It’s an easy hike with great views.
Cameron McGough is a student at the University of Kansas and a USA TODAY College digital pro