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Whether you have an official spring break or not, everyone should take some time to relax this season in whatever means you deem appropriate, whether sipping coconut water beachside in Mexico or hitting the slopes in Sun Valley, Idaho. We rounded up our favorite spring break destinations—divided into four categories—Mexico, Hawaii, the Southwest, and West Coast Snow—to ensure there's something for everyone. Check out our picks in the slideshow below.
Tulum, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is the adult spring breaker's antidote to touristy Cancun. Home to assorted yoga and wellness retreats, some of Mexico's most significant Mayan ruins, a ridiculously scenic biosphere reserve, seriously stylish digs, and some of the best food we've eaten yet, Tulum is a quiet paradise sure to make Bay Area bohemians feel right at home. // Learn more.
Mexico City, Mexico
If you are among the last of your friends to visit the new North American capitol of cool, let us give you a taste of what to expect: A bustling downtown filled with more museums than any other major city in the world (including a striking blue casita where the legendary artist Frida Kahlo lived with her husband, Mexico's greatest muralist, Diego Rivera); colorful wooden boats that will float you gently down the Xochimilco canal as mariachis serenade you from the nearest barge; a taqueria on every corner that puts anything you've have in the U.S. to shame; and young, vibrant neighborhoods where hipsters meet over mezcal cocktails and cochinita pibil. And don't forget to stock up on tequila before Trump's Mexican import tax gets implemented. // Learn more.
San Miguel de Allede, Mexico
In recent years, San Miguel de Allende has transformed from a sleepy and slightly down-at-the-heels Colonial hill town without a traffic signal into a fiesta-crazy magnet for international gastronomes. This small town, located about 150 miles north of Mexico City, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an up-and-coming destination for weekenders and expats. Visitors enjoy walking alongside the quaint cobblestone streets, browsing the shops for artisanal crafts and peeking inside the numerous organic restaurants where inventive chefs work in all types of cuisines. Other local attraction include hot springs, horse back riding, and even hot air balloon rides. // Read more.
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
This quiet Mexican escape is decidedly un-Cabo. That is, you'll find no drunken frat bros clutching red Solo cups, no spring breakers in tiny bikinis and metallic temporary tattoos, and no questionable seafood buffets. What you will find is sun (via Baja's perennially good weather), sand (prime oceanside real estate), and strong margaritas (brought to you poolside at any of the major hotels). Adventure beyond the resort boundaries to discover a nearby botanical garden, which showcases thousands of different succulent species, quaint local restaurants, and a monthly art walk. // Learn more.
Todos Santos, Mexico
The quiet coastal town of Todos Santos lies about an hour's drive northwest from Cabo San Lucas. Over the years, this state-designated "pueblo magico" has quietly gained a reputation as a hip tourist destination, surf spot, and yoga and meditation retreat for visiting sun-and-solace seekers. With its numerous art galleries housed in colorful colonial-era buildings, open-air cafes, farmers markets, fish taco eateries, and laid-back pace, Todos Santos retains the authentic rural charm and relaxed lifestyle of the old Baja Sur. Outside of town, you can follow bumpy dirt roads through lush palm groves and scrubby desert to vast, nearly empty beaches. // Learn more.
Punta Mita, Mexico
The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, an ocean-front resort located on a private peninsula surrounded by white sand beaches in the Mexican state of Nayarit, is as close to the perfect spring break destination as you can possibly get. Plus, the hotel just completed a multi-million dollar renovation, turning the secluded property into one of Mexico's most exclusive beach destinations. If you're looking to spend a week laying in a hammock while sipping fresh coconut water, this is the place. // Learn more.
A trip to Oahu calls for a more adrenaline-fueled vacation mode. Adventure-seekers should consider gaining a bird's eye view via a Magnum P.I. helicopter ride, learning to surf in the warm Pacific waters, booking the Jurassic World experience at Kualoa Ranch, or swimming with dolphins (accompanied by a trained marine biologist, of course). Sore muscles after all those activities? Refresh your mind and body with a fluffy towel and a good book on Oahu's famous Waikiki beach. // Learn more.
Maui may be best known for its fine sands and crystalline waters, but the food here is also worth writing home about. Whether you crave seared ahi, local kalua pork, or Spam musubi, your taste buds will thank you for making the trip to this romantic island. And whether you're heading to the summit of Mount Haleakala or want a pleasant venture away from Maui's resort life, the island's quiet upcountry near Makawao and Kula is also a compelling destination for libation lovers looking for a post-hike drink. // Learn more.
The Big Island, Hawaii
As the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands, Hawaii's adventuring potential is enormous, given its motley terrain: Kilauea has been actively erupting for at least 300,000 years; the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea usually see snow in winter; and enormous fields of black lava rock are a dramatic contrast to the verdant rain forests and deep blue ocean. Prepare for full-on amazement. // Learn more.
The island of Kauai feels blissfully untouristy. Diverse and compact, with no building taller than a coconut palm, it's an easy-to-explore paradise with an authentic local vibe. The oldest of the Hawaiian islands and also the most lush, the warm rain usually passes quickly, and you shouldn't let a precipitous forecast deter your intrepid endeavors (think paddling in Hanalei River or ziplining to hidden Hali'i Falls) in the verdant wilds of Kaua'i. // Learn more.
Park City, Utah
Once a rough-and-tumble silver-mining town, Utah's Park City has transformed itself into one of the best ski destinations in the West. The flight from SFO to Salt Lake City is quicker than driving to Tahoe, and once you get to this bustling Wasatch mountain community (elevation 7,000 feet), you can strap on your skis, catch a Sundance flick, or bundle up fireside at an authentic Wild West saloon and distillery. // Learn more.
Salt Lake City, Utah
With recently relaxed liquor laws, a burgeoning cocktail scene, farm-to-fork dining, and some of the best skiing in North America, Salt Lake City is a hidden gem for mixing adventure, relaxation, and surprisingly top-notch options for fun. Powderhounds will feel at home at one of SLC's 14 nearby ski resorts, which get steady snow as late as April, and off-the-slopes diversions abound both in the city center and its neighboring communities. // Learn more.
Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Don't forget about this backyard gem when you're thinking about spring break. Lake Tahoe is not only just a place to go skiing or boarding (even though that's pretty great), there are also hundreds of other indoor and outdoor things to do in this mountain area in the winter—from drinking at top-notch breweries to gorgeous snowshoe hikes. // Learn more.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley was once a snowy playground for the rich and famous, but now the region lures visitors with its superlative outdoor pursuits, jaw-dropping surroundings, impressive food scene and easygoing charm. The town of Ketchum and its Old West architecture provide the backbone for Sun Valley, a term that refers to the general region rather than being a town itself. Experienced skiers and snowboarders head to Baldy, an illusory mountain that's more massive than it appears. Half-pipe lovers and beginners play on Dollar Mountain, a couple miles up the road. And though skiing is definitely the norm here, the steepness and lack of catwalks make it a snowboarder's paradise. // Learn more.
Locals call Sedona a cathedral without walls. It's not just the landscape (red cliffs against a crisp and empty blue sky), three million tourists a year come to this town in the northern Verde valley in search of spiritual renewal. For a 20-minute uphill boulder scramble to Cathedral Rock, you'll be rewarded with immense views and the rare feeling of being at the edge of the world. Cathedral Rock is also a vortex site, so, if you set an intention here (or make a wish or say a prayer), supposedly a cyclone of energy will supercharge it. Worth a shot, right? // Learn more.
Palm Springs, California
With poolside glamour, midcentury modern architecture, vintage shops, tennis at dusk, seriously delicious eateries, an old timer here and there, hot desert days and cool desert nights, what's not to love about Palm Springs? Toss in a pinch of Old Hollywood glamour and new hipster cool, and Palm Springs is a spot-on destination for a chill long weekend, just an hour's flight from San Francisco. // Learn more.
Canyon Point, Utah
Amangiri in Canyon Pointis a secluded architectural marvel. The resort, which successfully merges nirvanic indulgence with pure minimalism, deftly blends into the landscape via its natural materials (the pool was built around an ancient rock formation) and exposed spaces (the spa's Water Pavilion, where color-enhanced flotation therapy takes place, is open to the sky). Within two hours' drive, national parks are ready for intrepid exploration, from the massive cliffs of Zion to the skinny rock spires of Bryce Canyon, which can be nicely surveyed on foot or horseback. // Learn more.
Red Mountain Resort, Utah
Massive Navajo sandstone cliffs and turtlebacks are the geological draw here, as well as lava fields created by a nearby volcano that erupted more than 20,000 years ago. As a health spa, Red Mountain takes full advantage of its rugged and beautiful surroundings, offering guided hikes each morning in a variety of difficulty levels, from "explorer" (a walk in the park) to "challenger" (a serious hike for experienced trail fiends), outdoor yoga, and meditation walks around a labyrinth. // Learn more.