Interested in hitting the slopes of Colorado or sunbathing in the Virgin Islands? How about surfing in Hawaii or ATVing in Iceland? Spring break is almost upon us, and the time to start planning is upon us. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the top places to visit this spring for your annual end-of-winter retreat—and whether you’re looking for a restorative retreat or a hedonistic getaway, we’ve got you covered. And as the world returns to a (somewhat) more normal pace, there’s no better time to celebrate than now. After all, after the past two years, we all deserve a bit of a break. From the Rocky Mountains to the Caribbean Sea, here are the five best places for spring break in 2022. Happy travels!
View from the top of Elk Camp chairlift in Aspen Snowmass (Adobe Stock)
Aspen Snowmass is celebrating 75 years of skiing this winter, and the milestone anniversary is the perfect time to pay a visit to this quintessential Colorado ski (and culture) capital. There’s just as much to do off the slopes, as well, as the Aspen Art Museum is staging a dedicated Andy Warhol exhibit this winter (and Hotel Jerome is displaying the artist’s Colorado photographs in tandem, as well). Book a stay at The Gant Aspen, which is located within walking distance from both town and mountain. Finally, spring break is notoriously the most joyous time of year to hit the slopes, if only to appreciate the outrageous outfits donned by revelers on the chairlifts. (When the temperature rises, self-confidence does, too, it seems.) And after the past couple of years, we all deserve a bit of a laugh.
Bucks Island (Image provided by Visit USVI)
If you’re interested in leaving the country but disinterested in the hassle of crossing international borders, the U.S. Virgin Islands (also known as America’s Paradise) is the perfect solution. St. John is an oasis of white-sand beaches, lush green mountains, and tropical forests—the perfect tropical escape for weary travelers looking for some serenity on vacation. And April is an ideal time to visit, as the temperatures have yet to rise (though trade winds keep the islands cool year-round), and the crowds have begun to thin. Additionally, April marks the start of Carnival in nearby St. Thomas, so visitors have the option of partaking in the festivities during their visit. The Virgin Islands are best explored via sailboat, and we recommend taking to the high seas for some leisurely island-hopping (and plentiful rum imbibing—you’re in the Caribbean, after all).
3. Maui, Hawaii
Maui coastline (Adobe Stock)
From one American paradise to another: Maui has long held the popular imagination captive with its promise of swaying palm trees and aquamarine waves. (Not to mention the surfers atop said waves—America’s 50th state is the birthplace of surfing, and is a wonderful place for beginners learning the sport, as well.) If you’ve only got time to visit one of the Hawaiian islands, then Maui is the perfect place to experience the best of the Aloha state: The island is the perfect mix of the natural beauty that defines Kauai and the Big Island, the luxury and romance of Lanai, and the bustling nightlife of Oahu. And this spring is the perfect time to visit Maui, as the island continues to lessen travel restrictions for visitors from the mainland by eliminating mandatory testing and lifting vaccine requirements. There’s never been a better time to hang ten (or at least try).
The Blue Lagoon (Adobe Stock)
As of March 17th, Iceland will officially reopen to vaccinated international travelers, and visitors should take advantage of the travel deals available for savvy trip planners. (Courtesy of this publication, of course). Exorbitantly popular Icelandic attractions such as the Blue Lagoon have been closed since March, and early travelers can capitalize on experiencing the geothermal spa without the crowds that would have swarmed the picture-perfect Reykjanes landmark pre-pandemic. Book a stay at The Retreat Hotel for the idyllically Icelandic Five Star experience, but try your hardest not to spend the entire vacation in your lagoon suite (difficult, we know). The moss-covered lava fields coating this otherworldly southwest Iceland landscape of the Reykjanes Peninsula is well-worth exploring—we recommend experiencing the terrain via helicopter and ATV, so your vacation is the perfect mix of invigorating and relaxing. Cap it off with an aperitif in the hotel’s famous Wine Cellar. Skol!
Cabo San Lucas (Adobe Stock)
This wouldn’t be an adequate guide to spring break without the inclusion of Cabo San Lucas, though we do recommend exploring beyond the strip to see the wondrous mountains and deserted beaches that define the windswept charm of Los Cabos. This spring, you can travel to Mexico without any restrictions (a near miracle in 2022), and, considering the journey is always part of the destination, the ease of travel should not be dismissed. Additionally, March and April are the tail-end of the season for adventurous travelers to swim with whale sharks in La Paz. If you’re looking to raise your adrenaline on land rather than by sea, then check into the ME Cabo. The waterfront resort recently unveiled a major renovation this past October and also happens to be a major hotspot for Cabo San Lucas nightlife. Expect live music (including unexpected violinists mid-meal) and all-day pool parties. It’s spring break, you may as well act like it and order mas margaritas. Happy travels!