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Research Reveals New US Spring Break Locations In Cooler Climes

Anchorage, Alaska becoming a popular new spring break destination
Cooler sites like Anchorage, Alaska become popular spring break locations in the US [Image by Achim Scholty from Pixabay]
When thinking of Spring Break, most people picture sun, sand and sea adventures, but things are changing. According to research by Vacasa, there is a significant increase in bookings for cold-weather locations like Colorado and Alaska.

People choosing cooler spring break locations according to data

Spring break normally brings to mind crowds of youngsters heading to warm weather destinations, with sun-drenched beaches and waving palm trees. However, Vacasa, the vacation rental management platform, and Alaskan cities like Anchorage and Girdwood are experiencing a 17 percent spike in spring break bookings. Moreover, choices in Colorado are seeing an 11 – 14 percent increase.

Northern Lights in Alaska, USA
Northern Lights in Alaska, USA [Image by Noel Bauza from Pixabay]
Speaking to Travel + Leisure, Kristen Taylor, VP of Operations for Vacasa said:

Alaskan cities like Anchorage and Girdwood have seen a 17 percent spike in spring break interest over 2023, and Colorado locations Steamboat Springs and Vail and Beaver Creek have seen a 14 percent increase and 11 percent, respectively.

Wildlife in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on spring break
Visit wildlife in Steamboat Springs on spring break [Image by Gary Shipley from Pixabay]
Most spring breakers are keen on locations where they can enjoy outdoor activities, albeit mostly on the beach or in watersports. However, Anchorage and Girdwood are both renowned for their many outdoor activities. Moreover, the fun includes exciting adventures such as hiking, skiing, glacier tours and Northern Lights sightings.

For those loving the outdoor life, Anchorage is a perfect base to explore four of the state’s most beautiful national parks, namely, Denali National Park, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark and Wrangell-Saint Elias.

“While we know plenty of travelers are content to sit on a beach towel for some R&R, spring break can also be an adventure-filled time to seek out destinations you might not normally consider,” Taylor added.

Which other locations are gaining popularity with spring breakers?

According to the data, other locations attracting larger spring break crowds include Marana, Oro Valley and Tucson in Arizona, where Vacasa reports a 17 percent increase in reservations. Meanwhile, spring breakers are showing a 14 percent increase in interest in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville in Tennessee.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee for a family vacation
Spring break in Gatlinburg, Tennessee [Image by Fernando González from Pixabay]
Of interest to note, while many are choosing cooler locations, even those traditional spring break spots in Hawaii and Florida are seeing changes. According to Taylor, they are looking at alternative destinations in those states “where there’s more to do than soak up the sun.”

She pointed out that in Florida, bookings for Destin and Miramar Beach have increased by four percent as compared to 2023. Moreover, bookings are up three percent in Key West.

Meanwhile, beautiful Hawaii is seeing a four percent increase in bookings for the Big Island communities of Kailua-Kona, Kea-au and Waikōloa for spring break. Also, Kona is an especially popular location for scuba diving, snorkeling, and whale-watching activities during spring.

Readers,  do you agree with Vacasa’s data? Are you considering alternative destinations for spring break of 2024? Let us know by dropping a comment below.


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