The quintessential spring break trip usually involves a week of relaxing, swimming and partying by the beach. But what if you need something shorter? Whether you have studying to catch up on, are spending part of your spring break visiting family or friends or are just trying to plan a spring break on a budget, there’s no shortage of awesome mini-spring break trips you can take in just 3-4 days.
With a mix of big cities, small towns and outdoor adventures, these spring break spots will give you plenty to do for a few days without totally overwhelming you. We’ve got ideas for short spring break trips coming right up.
1. Savannah, GA.
Savannah has amazing weather in March (mid-70s most days!), so head here for some sunshine, if nothing else. It’s just a quick flight from Chicago, Boston, New York, and Dallas. Savannah’s your ideal spot for sunshine, good food and Southern charm. While you’re there:
- Explore Savannah’s southern culture: take a trolley tour, walk through the Historic District or along the Waterfront. Need somewhere to shop or eat? City Market has plenty of both!
- If you’re hoping to get the iconic Savannah pic for your Insta or just need a little nature during your trip, head to Wormsloe, Bonaventure Cemetery, or Forsyth Park. You might be surprised by how beautiful Savannah is!
- Before you leave, make sure you stop in for an old-fashioned ice cream at Leopold’s and a classic Southern meal at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. They’re local favorites and you basically haven’t even been to Savannah if you haven’t eaten here.
2. San Luis Obispo, CA.
Speaking of sunshine, San Luis Obispo (nicknamed SLO by the locals) is an underrated California hang-out. It’s perfect for a quick adventure, especially if you’re studying in California. SLO has a reputation for being on the most chill and relaxed cities on the West Coast, so it’s also the perfect place to unwind for a quick spring break trip. While you’re there:
- Hit up Pismo Beach or Morro Bay for a day on the sand or at least for a classic California sunset. Animal lover? Stop by Elephant Seal Beach—you can’t go down to the surf, but you can watch literally hundreds of elephant seals sunbathing and chilling in the ocean from the vista point.
- Get moving! Take surfing lessons ot enjoy the ocean bluff hiking trails around the SLO beaches.
- Eat up at a local farmer’s market—there’s dozens and CA has great fresh produce all year—or check out Granada Bistro (especially for brunch) or the Big Sky Cafe. If you’re not from CA, be sure to indulge in some In-N-Out Burger—it’s a Cali favorite.
3. Chicago, IL.
It’s still quite chilly in Chicago in March, but don’t let the wind scare you away! It’s not called The Windy City for nothing, after all. With cheap flights from cities like New York, Denver, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Houston, a quick trip to Chicago doesn’t have to break the bank. And while you could stay in Chicago for weeks (or years!) and still not see it all, a few days is the perfect amount of time to hit all the must-sees. Check out:
- Millennium Park. Take a picture with the famous bean and then go ice skating (through early March) or wander through the park’s gardens and art.
- Eat up! The classic Chicago-style pizza and a Chicago hot dog are two good places to start.
- Take in the views of Chicago at the Skydeck Ledge at the Willis Tower. Explore the Art Institute of Chicago. Pop over to the Navy Pier for shopping and eating, then take a ride on the Centennial Wheel (snag a sunset ride for epic views).
4. Zion National Park, UT.
National Parks make great quick spring break trips—the easy option for a quick road trip, cheap camping options and less crowds make them a great option. Zion offers mid- to high-50s weather in March and April, which is perfect for adventuring and hiking around the park. It’s also within a day’s drive from several West Coast cities—4 hours from Salt Lake City and about 6.5 hours from Los Angeles and Phoenix. Stay outside the park in one of the campsites or book a cheap hotel room in nearby Springdale. While you’re there:
- Drive the Zion Mount Carmel Highway. It’s a 12-mile highway that winds through the park, and it’s absolutely stunning. Make sure to plan time for pulling off and snapping a pic or two! More time? Continue onto the Kolab Canyons Scenic Drive.
- Take a hike. Check out the Emerald Pools Trail and the Canyon Overlook Trail, or go for Angel’s Landing if you’re feeling adventurous!
- Go stargazing. There’s very little light pollution in Zion, so if you have a clear night, expect to see amazing stars! Camping in the park will bring the best views.
5. Portland, ME.
At just under 2 hours from Boston and 5.5 hours from New York, Portland, Maine makes a great quick spring break trip, especially if your break falls later in the spring. Enjoy the cozy downtown district with shopping, cafes and a hip art scene. While you’re there, be sure to check out:
- The lobster. Did you even go to Maine if you don’t try at least a little lobster? Check out Eventide Oyster Co. or J’s Oyster for all the seafood. And if seafood really isn’t your thing, no worries: pop into one of dozens of local bakeries for Maine’s state dessert: blueberry pie.
- Head to Old Port for shopping and boutiques, tons of food and a happening nightlife in the evenings. If you’re 21+, check out Bar of Chocolate, a chill local spot with amazing desserts paired perfectly with wines and cocktails.
6. Charleston, SC.
Spring is a great time to visit South Carolina because the weather is cool and mild, but with relatively little rain. Charleston is also quickly becoming a standout foodie city in the US, so even if you only have time to pop into town for brunch, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Some ideas about what to eat:
- First up, brunch. It’s basically a lifestyle in Charleston. We recommend The Park Cafe or Palmetto Flats for a knockout classic brunch. If you want to take it up a notch, the Bay Street Biergarten hosts themed brunches complete with a live DJ as well as puppy brunches. Puppies and pancakes = literally can’t go wrong.
- Charleston is big on the farm-to-fork life, which basically translates into really good food no matter where you go. For classic Southern food, hit up Poogan’s Porch or Magnolias, or try the award-winning Husk. There’s more to eat than just Southern food though: Balao features local seafood and Stella’s has greek. Anything else you need, just head to the French Quarter: there’s no shortage of amazing foods to try!
- Finally, if you’re over 21, there’s a huge local craft beer scene in Charleston: we’re talking dozens of rooftop beer gardens, local brewery tours and even beer yoga. (No, seriously.)
7. Denver, CO.
Ready to spend a few days shredding it on the slopes? Denver’s a solid go-to for skiing, snowboarding and all things snow. There’s several ski resorts with tons of slopes located within an hour or two of the Denver airport, so it’s worth a weekend trip even if you’re from out of state. You don’t even have to rent a car—the Winter Park resort has a special Amtrak express train that runs from Union Station in Downtown Denver straight to the slopes. While you’re here:
- Obviously, get lost in the snow! Ski, snowboard, snowshoe, go tubing, take a gondola up the mountain and just enjoy the view: whatever activities say “snow day” to you, you can definitely find them in CO.
- Explore downtown Denver. Try some of Denver’s beloved green chili (El Taco de Mexico is THE place to go), enjoy the local art scene in the Santa Fe Art District or try a microbrew tour.
- Catch a concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It’s a must-do: there’s concerts and events year-round, but things start to really pick up in April.
8. Seattle, WA.
If you’re anywhere in the Northwest, Seattle is basically the perfect place for a quick spring break trip. The famous coffee culture plus a never-ending itinerary of things to do means you can easily enjoy Seattle whether you’ve got one day or seven.
- Just one day? Meander through Pike Place Market and snack on all the street food, add a piece of chewing gum to the world-famous gum wall, order coffee at the flagship Starbucks location and enjoy a picnic by the Centennial Park (if it’s sunny) or walk through the Seattle Art Museum (if it’s rainy).
- A few days? If you’re coffee-lover, check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery—a one-stop shop for Starbucks’ rare and specialty handcrafted coffees. With tons of tastings and experiences to choose from, it’s a must for any coffee connoisseur. With good weather, you could also easily take a day trip to one of Seattle’s National Parks for a day of R&R in nature.
So where are you off to next? Whether you’ve only got a weekend or are heading away for a week or more, one of these spring break destinations will make for an epic trip.