When you have a family, spring break is a little less MTV and a little more Sesame Street. In other words: You get to relax, but with your kids in tow.
Luckily, we’ve uncovered these five fun destinations for family-friendly spring break trips in locales all across the country (and even one in Bermuda!). Some are all-inclusive, and some are just regular hotel stays with extra deals and freebies for families, in honor of spring break.
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You'll know which is which, depending on whether we've cited the price per night or the price for a set number of nights.
Special inclusive deals can be great if you don't want the pressure of planning every last detail of an incredible vacation all by yourself—they come complete with unique kids' activities and discounts on high-end meals, which might be predictable spending for your family, anyway. If that's the case, then it might make sense to spare yourself the hassle and reap the potential savings compared to paying for every last add-on yourself.
We've also provided some options to book a hotel room à la carte and cherry-pick activities within your budget, so you only do what you enjoy and have total control over your family’s itinerary. We've talked about whether all-inclusive packages are actually worth it to help you through the math of what makes sense for you and your brood.
Either way, it’s time to get packing.
Where: Irvington, VA (Chesapeake Bay)
The Place: Guests literally sit on a dock of the bay at this waterfront resort on a private peninsula that overlooks a brand new marina. Activities abound for history buffs, sailors, spa-goers and rambunctious kids.
The Deal: The "Family Vacation” package includes accommodations at a 20% discount and daily breakfast for families of up to four, who may dine at the restaurant or en suite (yes, that means pancakes in bed!).
As for nearby activities, take a one-hour cruise down Carter’s Creek, sign up for sailing lessons, or rent kayaks and paddle away. Prefer to stay dry? Visit the nearby Steamboat Museum, wine taste on the Virginia Wine Trail or take a day trip to Williamsburg, just over an hour away, where you can visit Busch Gardens amusement park or Colonial Williamsburg. Children under 12 years old may also join the Crab Net Kids Program with superhero-and-pirate-themed local activities from crabbing to croquet, while parents relax at the onsite Chesapeake Bay Spa, which has signature treatments like Wild Jasmine Mist and Ginger Essence Massages.
From $379 per night for two adults and two children; www.tidesinn.com or 800-843-3746.
The Place: If turquoise water and pink sand sound like a tantalizing combination, then run (well, fly, since it's less than two hours from the East Coast) to this heavenly retreat, where you’ll loll beneath coconut palms and visit the Willow Stream Spa for some dreamy rubdowns.
The Deal: The "Family Getaway Package" (available through March 31, 2013) includes “two rooms with a view” for the price of one. The resort offers all types of activities, from jet skiing to exploring historic forts. With this package, all children get complimentary access to Explorer’s Camp with treasure hunts, kiddie pool time, beach Olympics, eco/nature lessons, a "Survivor"-themed night with s’mores around a bonfire (inspired by the TV show ... loosely), pajama night with cupcake decorating, “Karaoke Idol” and more.
From $269 per night (second room is complimentary); www.fairmont.com/southampton-bermuda or 866-540-4497.
Kings Courtyard Inn
Where: Charleston, SC
The Place: In the midst of a city that draws almost daily accolades for its charm and southern hospitality, this restored and cheerfully bright inn dating back to 1853 is set in the historic district, near endless shops, delicious eateries (think grits, pickled eggs, she-crab soup and low country boil) and historic sites to behold.
The Deal: The "Enjoy Family Fun" package (good through April 24th) includes three days/two nights' accommodations for families of four, tickets to either the South Carolina Aquarium or Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, a carriage tour through Charleston and a Ghost & Dungeon Walking Tour through cemeteries, back alleys and churches, while listening to local ghost stories, myths and superstitions. The surrounding area offers endless activities from antiquing to romping on the beach in nearby resort area Isle of Palms.
From $610 for family of four, for 3 days/2 nights; http://www.kingscourtyardinn.com or 800-845-6119.
Buttermilk Falls Inn + Spa
Where: Milton, NY (The Hudson Valley)
The Place: This cozy getaway is less than two hours from New York City, but it feels like a bucolic world away. There's an actual farm on the property, as well as a truly farm-to-table restaurant that serves eggs from the on-site heritage hens.
The Deal: The "Spring Break Family Getaway” includes five nights' accommodation at one of the on-site houses (with views of the Hudson River or the 70-acre grounds), a fireside living room picnic with keepsake tote and blanket, wine (plus non-alcoholic drinks for the kids), daily country breakfast, pizza night at Henry’s restaurant with house-made pies and endless soda and beer/wine, afternoon tea, bonfire with s’mores, $25 spa credit for the grown-ups, one three-course dinner, movie night with popcorn, a hands-on animal experience for kids (including grooming or feeding Holly, the baby miniature donkey) and harvesting honest-to-goodness eggs.
From $2,250 for a family of four for 5 nights (Sunday-Thursday); www.buttermilkfallsinn.com or 845-795-1310.
Resort at Pelican Hill
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="190"] ©Pelican Hill Resort and Spa[/caption]
Where: Newport Beach, CA
The Place: Welcome to the O.C. (that’s Orange County). This beachside Northern Italian-style resort set on rolling green hills is known for its golf courses, restaurants, luxurious award-winning spa and proximity to the art gallery-packed quaint towns of Newport and Laguna Beach.
The Deal: The "Spring Break Kids Inclusive Offer” (available through March and April) includes two complimentary half-day visits (either one for each of two children or used as all-day for one child) and lunches at Camp Pelican—an on-site indoor/outdoor kids' retreat with beanbag chairs and games, plus activities from arts and crafts to karaoke to nature walks. For children under 12 years old, the inclusive deal includes complimentary daily breakfast and a pizza, pasta and gelato dinner menu at Coliseum Pool & Grill.
From $895 per night; http://www.pelicanhill.com or 949-467-6800.
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the people interviewed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies. Please note prices mentioned are as of the date this article was published Feb 21, 2013.