When we feel trapped under the florescent lights of the daily grind, spring break and its sweet promises of freedom, fresh air, and adventure can help us make it through the dead of winter.
Adventure is closer and more affordable than you might think, especially when you take lodging into your own hands and rent an RV or campervan. Fun fact: Adventurers are less stressed when they take their suite ride (get it?) with them everywhere they go.
With Spring Break on the brain, we’ve drafted a quick guide to a few less-taken road trips that offer a variety of experiences for urban explorers and outdoorsy folks alike.
Portland is a foodie paradise surrounded by a fairy tale landscape of temperate rainforests and mountains. You can spend the morning hiking to the Columbia River Gorge’s stunning waterfalls, and return in time for some shopping and dinner downtown. Springtime colors will have you gasping at every neighborhood garden. Don’t forget the epic skiing adventures you can have at Timberline Lodge on the top of Mount Hood. Cannon Beach on the coast and Bend in the desert are must-see additions to your journey! March and April are in Oregon’s rainy season, so pack some rain gear and plan on getting mud on your boots and tires!
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The state’s nickname is “The Land of Enchantment” and when you head to Santa Fe you’ll see why! Northern New Mexico is full of history, culture, art, shopping, and great food. Stroll through the plaza for art and jewelry made and sold by indigenous people from local pueblos. After shopping, head to the missions and pueblos for a rich historical experience.
It’s not surprising that many people haven’t heard of Page, but I bet you’ve seen pictures of the sculpted sandstone in Antelope Canyon or the Colorado River snaking through red rock at Horseshoe Bend. Both of these bucket list and Instagram-worthy sites are located within minutes of Page. The town also sits at the entrance to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Additionally, Page is home to Lake Powell where you can enjoy bass fishing, boating, and kayaking.
Finger Lakes, New York
If you’re down for an adventure with more snow, check out the Finger Lakes region in New York. You can try your hand at ice fishing to catch trout, perch, and more. Grab some snowshoes or skis and hit nearby trails and Bristol Mountain. In the mood for some pampering and need to warm up after a day or two of hitting the trails? Kick back with a glass of wine. (There are well over 100 wineries in the region to choose from.)
Asheville, North Carolina
Venture into the Blue Ridge Mountains to discover what inspired John Denver to sing about their beauty. Spend your break exploring the Great Smoky Mountains from North Carolina to Tennessee. Hiking might be one of the best ways to kick cabin fever, and these mountains are a hiker’s paradise. Stretch your legs after your drive and discover historic structures, vistas, waterfalls, and gorgeous foggy forests. Cruise over to Asheville for a break from the trails. You can also plan to pick up your rental here and explore the city first.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
March is a great time to visit this breathtaking little island! You’ll miss the humidity, heat, and summer crowds. Beaches, historic buildings and ruins and great bike routes await. If your break is in early March, you can catch the Turtle Crawl and help raise money to help sea turtles. You’ll want to pick up your RV or campervan in nearby Brunswick, Georgia or Jacksonville, Florida before making the trek to the island.
Oak Harbor, Washington
Whidbey Island is stunningly beautiful, and you can rent your RV or campervan right on the island! The historic downtown offers access to the beach, plenty of shops, restaurants, and a few art galleries. Nearby Ebey’s Landing offers hiking and gorgeous views of Puget Sound. Be sure to pack some rain gear though—March and April have sunny days, but the island stays lush from its winter and spring rainfall!
Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California
If you love trees, the outdoors, or religious experiences, you’ll be enamored with the Sequoia sempervirens, or coast redwoods. The tallest of these ancient creatures stands 378 feet tall and they will rock your world. Drive through the Avenue of the Giants and have a picnic beneath the canopy before visiting nearby towns for museums, a gondola ride, and restaurants.
Florida Keys, Florida
Head down south for beach time while avoiding many of the spring break crowds. This venture might require some planning (RV sites are limited and high in demand) and some extra adventure money, as the RV sites here are a bit pricier than most. Cook up some waffles and have breakfast in bed with an ocean view. After you’ve fueled yourself for a day of outdoor activities, grab your fishing gear, kayak, or snorkeling gear. No gear? Consider renting some from the many outfitters nearby.