When it’s time to choose a spring break location, my first thought is Florida.  It’s warm, fairly inexpensive, and there’s plenty of sun and sand – but I wouldn’t call it the optimal spring break trip. Florida during spring is crowded with [sometimes rowdy] groups of college students. Plus, for many, being a beach bum for a week doesn’t sound appealing. If you want to avoid this popular destination, where should you go?

It seems like more people than ever are going on trips to the Caribbean islands or Mexico, but that’s a big jump in budget from Panama City.  Luckily, there are plenty of spring break destinations in the United States that are unique and affordable. Here are four favorites:

New Orleans:

Immerse yourself in the culture (and Creole cooking) of southern Louisiana.  The food and the music are my favorite parts of New Orleans.  If your trip aligns with the week before or the week after Mardi Gras, then you’re in luck! There’s never a dull moment during this festive time, but remember to book further in advance if you’re up against the Mardi Gras crowds.


The gorgeous South Padre Island comes to mind, but if you’re looking to stay on the mainland, there are many other Texan cities that offer the scenery and the sun that you desire on a spring break trip.  San Antonio’s Spanish flair is one-of-a-kind and the river running straight through the city is very unique.  If spring break to you means heading to the beach and eating absurd amounts of seafood, then Galveston is a great option for you.


There’s nothing but sun to be found at this location. If you look for a hotel with a great pool, you’ll find that you won’t miss the beach for a minute. You’ll have an awesome time taking in the sights of the mountains and deserts. And if Phoenix nightlife isn’t enough for you, the city is a five-hour drive from Las Vegas, if you want to take a weekend trip within your vacation.


Denver may not be the ideal destination for getting a tan. However, if outdoor adventure is what you seek, visit Colorado for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. You could rent a condo right at the slopes and ski out your backdoor. Be sure your condo has an outdoor hot tub to relax your muscles at the end of the day! Denver also has a bustling nightlife – but luckily, it won’t be as crazy as the Miami party scene.


Author Bio: Ashley is a writer for Affordable Style and a senior at Indiana University.  Her ideal Spring Break location would be following the Hoosiers to Portland for the NCAA Basketball Tournament.