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Where to go on spring break, whether you’re traveling with family, friends or your favorite plus one

After closing for renovations in 2016, Rosewood Little Dix Bay is back in business on the British Virgin Islands' third largest isle, Virgin Gorda. It's a good spot to snorkel, sail, soak up the sun and sip a Painkiller or two.
After closing for renovations in 2016, Rosewood Little Dix Bay is back in business on the British Virgin Islands' third largest isle, Virgin Gorda. It's a good spot to snorkel, sail, soak up the sun and sip a Painkiller or two.(Rosewood Hotels & Resorts)

The concept of spring break is a bright light on the horizon of the long, dark winter season. But what’s a break to young families — playing with the kids at the beach! — is entirely different to a couple seeking reconnection. And while distant destinations perennially beckon (hello, Bali), domestic ones can more conveniently scratch the travel itch.

When it comes to getting your recommended dose of vitamin D, the following new resorts, trips and attractions offer seasonal refreshment at home and abroad for travelers of all stripes.

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Families with young kids

If variety keeps your family engaged, consider a stateside spring break to San Antonio in March and April, when the Texas wildflowers are in bloom and temperatures hover in the mid-70s. The city, home to SeaWorld San Antonio and the accessible theme park Morgan’s Wonderland, with a Ferris wheel designed for wheelchairs, is especially family-friendly.

San Antonio's River Walk is especially scenic in spring, when wildflowers are blooming and temperatures are typically in the mid-70s.
San Antonio's River Walk is especially scenic in spring, when wildflowers are blooming and temperatures are typically in the mid-70s. (Visit San Antonio)

In spring, the new Sea Life Aquarium is expected to open at the Shops at Rivercenter, including an underwater tunnel and more than 5,000 marine creatures. Nearby, the San Antonio Zoo recently added the city’s 1925-vintage Kiddie Park, featuring rides for children ages 4 to 8.

Consider staying at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, home to walking and bike trails, a kids club and a 5-acre water park (rooms from about $250).

The recently opened Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic is roughly 50 miles north of the La Romana airport in the eastern El Seibo province.
The recently opened Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic is roughly 50 miles north of the La Romana airport in the eastern El Seibo province. (Club Med)

Abroad, round up your passports and head offshore to Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic. The just-opened resort, roughly 50 miles north of the La Romana airport in the eastern El Seibo province, is comprised of four “villages” — one themed around wellness, one for adventure, one that is kid-friendly and one for adults only.

For families, the Explorer Cove village resides near the kids club, offering programming for kids age 4 months to 17 years, including outdoor movie screenings, trapeze lessons and a “speakeasy” devoted to chocolate. While the children are at play, their minders can take advantage of the Zen Oasis, complete with a spa, pool and activities like yoga in a palm grove (from $245 per night, per adult, all-inclusive).

Families with teens

The upside of travel with teens is their physical stamina — no more carrying their gear — making active vacations appealing. Choosing a wilderness destination gives you a greater chance of separating them from their screens, too.

At home, combine service and adventure by heading to southern Utah to volunteer at the no-kill animal shelter Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab. The 3,700-acre spread in Angel Canyon lies between nearby Zion National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, both of which are far less crowded to hike during spring break season. It’s also next door to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, where you can go sand boarding.

At the sanctuary, families can volunteer to work with homeless dogs, cats, horses, rabbits and even pigs. In town, the new Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile hotel invites guests to bring an animal home for an overnight by providing dog and cat beds and toys (rooms from $109). Warning: You run the risk of returning home with a new pet.

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Rancho Cacachilas and Sea Kayak Adventures offer a trip that includes paddling around Espiritu Santo Island in the Sea of Cortez.
Rancho Cacachilas and Sea Kayak Adventures offer a trip that includes paddling around Espiritu Santo Island in the Sea of Cortez. (Sea Kayak Adventures)

Abroad, head to Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to explore the Sea of Cortez by land and water. Rancho Cacachilas, a nearly 35,000-acre solar-powered ranch with 37 miles of hiking and biking trails, has partnered with Sea Kayak Adventures to offer an eight-day trip. Half of it is spent kayaking from Isla Espiritu Santo, where guests will glamp — or camp in fully furnished tents — between excursions to view whales and sea lions (from $2,040 per person).

Couples

For couples seeking a spring-break warm up, the newly reopened Castle Hot Springs, about an hour’s drive north of Phoenix, Arizona, provides that on two fronts: in the sun-soaked desert and via the property’s thermal pools.

The newly reopened Castle Hot Springs in Arizona features mineral-rich pools, a spa and an organic farm, among other things.
The newly reopened Castle Hot Springs in Arizona features mineral-rich pools, a spa and an organic farm, among other things. (Castle Hot Springs)

The Sonoran Desert ranch was established in 1896 as a luxury destination catering to 20th century elite, including members of the Wrigley family. Closed since 1976, Castle Hot Springs opened once again last fall with 34 rooms on 1,100 acres. The property boasts mineral-rich pools for soaking after hikes in the Bradshaw Mountains, tai chi classes, pickleball matches or spa treatments. An onsite organic farm provisions the kitchen with more than 150 varieties of fruits and vegetables (rooms from $650, including meals and activities).

In the British Virgin Islands, Rosewood Little Dix Bay is back in business as of January. The iconic resort was founded by Laurance Rockefeller as a means to protect a swath of verdant Virgin Gorda. Little Dix was closed for renovation in 2017 when Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island, setting construction back. Now, the reopened 500-acre bay-front resort hosts 80 guest rooms and houses in view of an undeveloped stretch of beach. Come to snorkel, island hop, sail, practice yoga on a hilltop platform or sip a rum-based Painkiller (rooms from $1,500).

Friend groups

Gather your gal or guy pals for sun and sand and head off to explore Miami from your base at the upcoming Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach. Opening March 1, the stylish 96-room hotel lies just off buzzy, restaurant-and-bar-lined Lincoln Road and puts other attractions, including the beach, within a few blocks walk. A pool is part of the two-tier roof deck with lounge areas and panoramic views (rooms from $223).

Miami’s new Museum of Graffiti opened late last year in the mural-covered Wynwood district.
Miami’s new Museum of Graffiti opened late last year in the mural-covered Wynwood district. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

Take a cultural timeout at Miami’s two new museums: the Rubell Museum devoted to contemporary art in the emerging Allapattah area and the Museum of Graffiti in the mural-covered Wynwood district.

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For a more ambitious trip, sign up with On the Go Tours to sail the coast of Croatia. The new six-day trip embarks from Dubrovnik — aka King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones” — hitting a series of intriguing islands in the Adriatic on a small ship usually carrying no more than 32 passengers before disembarking in northern Split. En route, walk the medieval streets of Korcula, birthplace of Marco Polo, wine-bar hop on Hvar, sunbathe at famous Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach on Brac Island and swim in the turquoise Adriatic off the Pakleni Islands (from $695 per person).

To really get away this spring, head to Croatia and do some sunbathing at Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach on Brac Island.
To really get away this spring, head to Croatia and do some sunbathing at Zlatni Rat (Golden Horn) beach on Brac Island.(Getty Images)

Elaine Glusac is a freelance writer.

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