Spring is the perfect time for a short vacation. The weather’s ideal, the natural scenery’s at its finest and everyone’s enjoying the long, sunny days. This year, take advantage of the spring season; plan a refreshing, rejuvenating get-away to one of the following beautiful stateside destinations.
A Short Vacation Equals United States Destinations
1. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard is a small but sophisticated Massachusetts island that has long been a summer vacation destination due to its mild climate and striking scenery. Martha’s Vineyard consists of six separate towns, all of which have their own attractions. The island’s oldest town, Edgartown, boasts Greek Revival architecture from the early 19th century. Vineyard Haven offers a beautiful beach with a view of the harbor. Oak Bluffs, once a religious campsite, is now home to the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country. In West Tisbury, you can see the town’s original graveyard and the Congregational Church. A largely residential area, Chilmark features stunning uninterrupted coastlines. Aquinnah is home to many descendants of the Wampanoag Indians, who originally inhabited the island; geographically, Aquinnah is distinguished by its beautiful, bright red cliffs.
As you tour Martha’s Vineyard’s towns, you can shop in local stores, peruse art galleries, bike, hike trails, relax on the beach, visit the island’s museum, learn about Wampanoag culture in the Aquinnah Cultural Center, play golf or even spend a day at the spa. Martha’s Vineyard is a small island with a unique culture and a variety of entertainment options.
2. Key West, Florida
As the country’s southernmost point, Key West is a warm oasis, even in the early spring. If you’re longing for a relaxing getaway, this tiny, relaxed island is the place for you. Take it all in by sailing on a glass-bottomed boat and then spend the rest of the day lounging on the beach. If you love food, sample the area’s famous key lime pie or dine at one of many fresh seafood restaurants.
If you’re of a more literary bent, visit the Hemingway House and Museum. Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway wrote the majority of his novels in this house, which is also the island’s largest private estate. Animal lovers will enjoy seeing some of the famous six-toed cats—descendents of Hemingway’s own pet, Snowball—that inhabit the museum grounds.
For a truly unique experience in the Keys, head to Dry Tortugas National Park. As one of the most remote parks in the National Park System, Dry Tortugas is accessible only by traveling 70 miles west of Key West via ferry or seaplane. However, the opportunity to visit historic Fort Jefferson, the unparalleled views and the extensive snorkeling opportunities make this park worth the journey. Key West offers you a salty, sunny reprieve from chilly spring temperatures in other parts of the country.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
The Crescent City is famous for its Mardi Gras motto: “Laissez les bon temps rouler.” However, New Orleans is about more than cocktails and parties. This friendly and diverse city is home to lauded cafés, famous jazz halls, historic architecture and unique stores.
If you enjoy dining out, grab some light-as-air beignets at the famous Café du Monde on Decatur Street. If you love music, you can hear traditional New Orleans jazz at the tiny performance space called Preservation Hall, just as people have been doing since 1961. If you’re interested in design, take advantage of the city’s comfortably warm spring weather by going on an architectural walking tour of the French Quarter, which features the brightly painted facades and elaborate ironwork galleries that have come to symbolize the city. If boutique shopping’s more your thing, be sure to stop in Fleurty Girl, a purveyor of New Orleans-themed goods often handmade by locals. There’s never a dull moment in New Orleans.
Explore a Location Outside of the Sunshine State
This spring, celebrate the return of warmer weather and longer days. Escape to a charming New England island, journey to the nation’s southernmost point or jet off to the Big Easy. No matter which destination you choose, you’re sure to leave all your cares—and your winter doldrums—far behind you