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Spring Break Destinations: The Greatest Outdoor Adventures

If you want to get out in nature now that the weather is warming up, explore your wild side with an outdoor adventure for spring break!

Whistler Blackcomb

Just outside Vancouver, Whistler is a skiing and snowboarding paradise where you can play outside all day then party all night!

With two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, you have plenty of options for spring skiing. You can spend every day on the slopes, as the mountains feature over 200 marked trails, 16 alpine bowls, 3 glaciers, and several terrain parks.

For the most jaw-dropping views of the mountain and surrounding area, take a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which runs between the tops of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. On one of the glass-bottomed gondolas, you’ll get a view like no other along the “highest and longest unsupported span in the world.”

Whistler Village is your basecamp for all things aprés ski. Whether you join an organized club crawl or bar hop to get to know the town, or wander around this pedestrian-friendly village on your own whims, you’ll find lots of fun every night as everyone lets loose after hitting the slopes all day.

How to get there: Book a ticket to Whistler from Seattle and Portland, or you can book a ticket to Vancouver from across North America and then take the shuttle bus to Whistler.

Yosemite National Park

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Yosemite! Even though some hiking and camping options might still be limited by snow, you can still see plenty of amazing natural wonders.

The Yosemite Valley is open year-round and is definitely the most popular place to explore. The waterfalls are the highlights of any visit to Yosemite, and the both the Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls are flowing freely in early spring. You also don’t want to miss the spectacular rock formations of Half Dome and El Capitan.

The valley of Hetchy Hetchy also features waterfalls, Wapama and Tueeulala, and the area is usually snow-free in the spring, so you can do some hiking. The Yosemite Falls trail is generally free of snow as well, and you can visit Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall on the John Muir Trail.

How to get there: Book a ticket to Yosemite Valley, CA from San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and lots of other locations across the country!

The Gunks

For rock climbers, The Gunks is a dream spring break destination. Located near New Paltz, NY, the Shawangunk Ridge, better known as The Gunks, is one of the most-visited climbing destinations in North America. About 50,000 climbers challenge themselves on the white cliffs of The Gunks each year, enticed by the world-class climbing amid the gorgeous scenery.

The Gunks are a climber’s paradise thanks to over 5 linear miles of cliff face, which includes over 1,000 routes to try out. Climbers of various skill levels can attempt to make it up the vertical cliffs and overhangs. You can also go bouldering in The Gunks, but the lead and top-roping routes are the big draw. There is a daily fee of $17 to climb The Gunks, or you can get a yearly membership for $55.

If you’re starving after climbing, Bacchus and The Brauhaus are two popular post-climb hangouts, and Mexicali Blue is the spot if your craving can’t be satisfied by anything but a burrito.

How to get there: Book a ticket to New Paltz, NY from New York City, Buffalo and many other places around the Northeast!

Kentucky Bourbon Trail

For those of you who prefer to see nature on two wheels – accompanied by a snifter of bourbon – biking the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is your spring break dream trip.

Winding through the hilly roads of central Kentucky provides a scenic view of the landscape as you cycle your way from one distillery to another. If you follow the whole loop, you’ll get a chance to sample fine Bourbon at the renowned distilleries of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, and Wild Turkey.

If you are also into climbing, you can add a trip to Red River Gorge to the end of your journey.

How to get there: Book a ticket to Lexington from Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis and lots of other locations around the country!

Book a ticket to adventure on or by downloading the Wanderu app, and get outside!

And if you’re not the outdoorsy type, check out our other spring break destination guides to city escapes and beach getaways!

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About the author
Kate Sedrowski

Kate Sedrowski

Kate Sedrowski is on a mission to spread delight while inspiring and encouraging people to travel. Her favorite travel companion is her teddy bear, and her favorite souvenir is the scar from the broken nose she got in a snowball fight in Québec City.

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