With spring break just around the corner, exploring a new place is the perfect way to spend time together as a family. Choosing the destination can be the hardest part, but that’s when it pays to ask: What type of family are we? Do we love taking a hike together along a beautiful trail, or do we bond best when trying out new types of foods? No matter your family’s preference, these spring break destinations are sure to delight your unique brood.
FOR THE FAMILY OF SPORTS FANS
The Red Sox have one of the strongest fan cultures in baseball, and attending a game at Fenway Park is truly a memorable experience. If the team happens to be on the road during your visit, tours are offered on non-game days as well. For a family friendly sports bar, Coolidge Corner Clubhouse serves delicious wings and lobster rolls, along with an abundance of Red Sox fever.
For general sports fans, The Sports Museum has daily tours that take place every hour and are included with the $15 entrance fee. The museum is located inside TD Garden — home to the Boston Celtics and Bruins, if your family prefers basketball or hockey.
Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown is practically synonymous with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, where you can explore a massive collection of memorabilia. The Cooperstown Bat Company is your best bet for souvenirs and if you’re lucky, you can see a bat-turning demonstration at their factory, located just 10 minutes outside the downtown area.
FOR THE FOODIE FAMILY
New York City
There’s nowhere like New York City for sampling international cuisine, and at any given time you can find a revolving door of new culinary delights. For a modern take on Korean food, try Kāwi in the Hudson Yards neighborhood (try to get tickets to see public landmark the Vessel while you’re there). Ramen hotspot Ippudo has three locations throughout the city, including a cozy space in the East Village — they don’t take reservations, so go at slightly off-hours to minimize the unavoidable lines. Pizza options abound, but try the retro-feeling Scarr’s Pizza on the Lower East Side for a yummy slice in a hip neighborhood.
If you’re looking to venture outside Manhattan, visit Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood to dine at al di la Trattoria, which specializes in northern Italian food. In Queens’ Jackson Heights neighborhood (home to some of the city’s best ethnic food), Nepali Bhanchha Ghar serves up delicious momos, or stuffed dumplings.
While you’ll still need a coat if you visit over spring break, Chicago offers plenty of food options to make it worth the cooler temperatures. For sophisticated Korean fare, Jeong has an elegant but not stuffy vibe. For more casual meals, try Smoque, a Texas-style barbecue joint with a great kids’ menu, or Pequod’s Pizza to try the city’s famous deep-dish. For brunch, try Lula Cafe and sample “The Royale” sandwich, then head to family-run George’s Ice Cream for dessert.
FOR THE SUN-SEEKING FAMILY
Sanibel Island, Florida
Florida is the perfect spot for a sunny vacation, and Sanibel Island is no exception. To get there, drive over the Sanibel Causeway, which connects the island with mainland Florida. The famed Sanibel Lighthouse is worth a quick stop before visiting Bowman’s Beach, which has seashells galore. Blind Pass Beach is another great option for shell collecting, and is on the way to Captiva Island. There, enjoy a plate of Oysters Rockefeller at The Mucky Duck while you take in a sunset. If you need a break from the beach, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge has hiking, birdwatching and free educational programs.
Edisto Beach, South Carolina
Edisto Beach offers a respite from the hustle and bustle — so much that there are no lifeguards. Explore nearby Edisto Beach State Park for a picturesque hike (Spanish Moss Trail is a favorite) and the Environmental Learning Center for activities for younger kids. For fishing, check out Ravenel Fishing Charters, or bring your own pole to Scott Creek inlet. Stay in one of the state park’s rustic cabins and villas, which you can do at various price points.
FOR THE ADVENTURE-SEEKING FAMILY
Death Valley, California and Nevada
As the hottest and driest national park, Death Valley is a desert of extremes. Hike along the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes — the Badwater Basin salt flats are a must-see. The park also has biking, but most of it is not for the faint of heart. While camping is an incredible way to take in Death Valley, be sure to get there early, as the campgrounds operate on a first come, first serve basis. It’s worth it for the top-notch stargazing.
The Rocky Mountains are a playground for adventurous types, and Denver is a gateway to all they have to offer. Try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at Snow Mountain Ranch. For skiing, take the Winter Park Express Ski Train (which runs only on weekends through March) to Winter Park Resort. For a less hectic, less expensive option, visit Eldora Mountain. Just 10 miles from downtown Denver is Red Rocks Park, which has hiking and biking options for all skill levels.
FOR THE FAMILY OF CULTURE BUFFS
Los Angeles is home to a number of world-class museums, including LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). The Japanese American National Museum, which is smaller and more accessible, has both permanent collections and temporary exhibits. The docent-led tours at the Los Angeles Public Library Central Branch are free and last less than one hour. To truly experience southern California, consider people-watching at Venice Beach, which boasts two miles of food vendors, skate parks, playgrounds and biking. For movie buffs, a showing at the historic El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard is a must.
New Orleans has cultural offerings way beyond Bourbon Street, including the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, which houses the largest collection devoted to Southern art in the country. In the Treme neighborhood, the Backstreet Cultural Museum has the largest collection of Mardi Gras Indian costumes. Have a meal at nearby Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, which specializes in Creole cuisine, and visit the historic St. Augustine Catholic Church. For a spooky ghost tour, look into French Quarter Phantoms. Round out your trip by learning to cook some of the local cuisine at the New Orleans School of Cooking, which has a variety of classes that take place over part of a day.