Categories: College Life

12 Spring Break Road Trip Ideas

Whether your spring break has come and gone or you’re gearing up for it now, it’s always a good time for a road trip. Pack your suitcase, plan your route, and fuel your car (or RV!): we’re hitting the road! As a lifelong New England resident, these 12 destinations are more central to those in that area of the country. Still, anyone can drive down to these spots. It’s like they say, getting there is half the journey.

1. Bar Harbor, ME

Craving blueberries and lobster rolls? You’ve come to the right place. Bar Harbor is totally worth visiting on a spring break road trip, especially for outdoorsy travelers. Not only are there stunning coastal scenes, but the town also offers an abundance of nature-based activities. When I visited a few years ago, I—despite being an indoors person—went camping. To my surprise, I loved it! There are so many parks and hiking trails to test out, too, like the famous Acadia National Park. From what I can remember, the walk around Acadia National Park was mostly manageable. Be careful, though: you’ll be trekking along a rocky, uneven path, so wear the right shoes. The views of the ocean are worth it.

2. New York City, NY

Though it might be more convenient to take the bus or train, I typically drive to New York. It takes me somewhere around four hours to go from Boston to NYC. I, like most everyone else in the country, am in love with New York City. There’s no shortage of things to do, from shopping around SoHo to having picnics in Central Park. As a former theatre kid, I also love seeing whatever’s on Broadway. The most recent musical I saw was Hadestown, and I 100% recommend it. It was such an incredible show, and if you look on the right website, tickets can be reasonably priced. Be sure to visit the Chelsea High Line for gorgeous views of the city (and for some fresh air after all those subway rides).

3. Marblehead, MA

This is such an underrated spot in Massachusetts. Marblehead is an easy drive for me, but far enough that I can consider it a road trip. It’s a small town, but it’s filled with beaches, shops, and restaurants on the water. My favorite way to kill time here is getting sandwiches and lemonade at Crosby’s Market, then eating them al fresco at Chandler Hovey Park. This park is a great place for people-watching, as well as watching the sailboats stroll along the water. You can even go down to the docks (and catch a glimpse of how many jellyfish are in the water!).

4. Burlington, VT

Forget Disneyland—Burlington has to be one of the happiest places on earth. Everyone here is so friendly, radiating good vibes all around. Burlington has the perfect balance of both indoor and outdoor activities. Personally, I love to shop around the town and test how much Ben and Jerry’s I can eat in a single day. There are a lot of independent stores here, so I can justify dropping half of my bank account. If you’re looking for a place to eat, I have only good things to say about The Skinny Pancake. The Skinny Pancake sells an assortment of crepes, located right by the water. After stuffing your face with crepes, you might want to think about renting a bike for a leisurely ride around town.

5. Charlestown, SC

See? I’m not just sticking to New England. Charlestown holds very fond memories for me, as I would visit every year in high school. Surprise, surprise, but I would mostly spend my time there shopping. Like Burlington, Charlestown has a number of mom-and-pop shop that you should definitely support. My favorite small business there is an ice cream place called Peace Pies. Get ready for your mouth to water: Peace Pies specialize in cookie sandwiches, all of them $7. I vividly remember having the s’mores one, and I would sell my soul to eat it again. Charlestown is a must-visit on a spring break road trip in the South!

6. Montréal, Canada

Brush up on your French! Montréal is incroyable for a spring break road trip. I drove from Stowe, VT to Montréal in under two and a half hours, with dazzling views to entertain me on the way. What’s even more dazzling is the architecture there. Each building looks like it hopped straight out of the French countryside. I can confidently say that St. Patrick’s Basilica is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. And, of course, the poutine doesn’t look so bad either.

7. Orlando, FL

What spring break road trip list doesn’t include Orlando? I feel extra inclined to add it since my sister lives there. Orlando has it all for a fun-filled, action-packed spring break. Call me a Disney Adult, but I’m a huge fan of their theme parks. It’s the mix of nostalgia, rides, and mouth-watering food that makes me want to go back every year. I especially love Epcot, mainly because you’re encouraged to drink around the world with zero judgment passed. The rides there are also tame, so you won’t feel that nauseous five margaritas in. If you’re looking for bigger thrills, I recommend Universal Studios. The rollercoasters there are far more intense, but so are the lines! You can also take a 3-4 hour road trip to Miami for some by-the-beach fun.

8. Newport, RI

Can I move here? Please? Newport is the perfect spring break road trip destination for those who like to shop. If you love to admire stunning mansions, this might also be the place for you. The houses here are so breathtaking that one of them (named Rosecliff) was used as a filming location for The Great Gatsby (1974). Take a cliffside walk and marvel at the town’s beauty.

9. Cape Cod, MA

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Anywhere in Cape Cod is a safe bet. Cape Cod is very nostalgic for me, as I would visit every year with my family. Like Marblehead and Newport, every town is preppy, quaint, and packed with places to shop and eat. A family favorite is Sundae School, an ice cream and candy shop. Their black raspberry Oreo is a must-have. You can spend the day relaxing at one of their many stunning beaches, or biking through the woods (personally, I would choose the beach).

10. Portland, ME

Are you looking for a mix of city and shore? Portland has both. I don’t think it’s physically possible to be bored in Portland; they have lighthouses, parks, museums, and even a cheese shop that hands out free samples. It’s also easy to take a ferry from there to Great Diamond Island, home of the famous Sea Glass Beach.

11. Portsmouth, NH

Located just a few miles away from the University of New Hampshire, Portsmouth is a charming town to take a spring break road trip to. I have only been a handful of times and I still love it. Portsmouth offers a variety of unique eating places, like the Portsmouth Book & Bar (a bookshop combined with—you guessed it—a bar).

12. Salem, MA

Feeling spooky? Stop by Salem for a spell. Though best visited in the fall, I love Salem any time of the year. The local shops are usually filled with witchy memorabilia, but two non-magical stores I love are Wicked Good Books and Oak + Moss. The Peabody Essex Museum also features a lot of unique, limited-time exhibitions. If you’re hungry, pop into Jaho by the wharf. I swear, they have the BEST iced coffee and bubble tea. Plus, each drink comes in a fun, baby-bottle-like cup!

Now even I’m feeling inspired to take a spring break road trip. Make sure you have your favorite playlist, friends, and snacks to keep you entertained. And remember, the ride is half the fun.

Share these road trip destinations with your travel partners-in-crime. Happy driving!

Feature image source:

Jill Schuck

Hi everyone! My name is Jill, and I'm a senior at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. There, I'm studying creative writing and sociology, with plans to work in publishing. Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy traveling and practicing self-care. If you want to connect, follow my Instagram @jillschuck!

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