Woo-hoo—it’s spring break! It’s not too late to book a weeklong vacay, either near or far. We’ve got 8 Covid-safer—and still bookable—options from which to choose. Or tell us about your own!
Words by Maria De La O / Feature photo by Bicho Raro
Carmel-by-the-Sea, a high-end resort town on Monterey Bay is a great jumping off point to hit the majestic coast of Big Sur or the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium or Cannery Row. Hit the beach—California’s central coast is usually beautiful in the spring, after winter rains are gone and summer fog is yet to return. The ocean here is freezing—plan accordingly—but this is how the otters like it, so don’t forget your binoculars. The town of Carmel is home to ultra-expensive boho boutiques, browsable art galleries and fresh seafood bistros. Carmel Point is a beautiful spot and home to a Frank Lloyd house. Read more about Carmel and Big Sur here. And see our pandemic photo essay of a foggy Carmel here.
Take another look at Costa Rica. With an excellent healthcare system, it’s one of the most Covid-safe spots in the Americas, and open to U.S. tourists with proof of international health insurance and a completed Pase de Salud (Health Pass). Keep in mind, however, that you will need to produce a negative Covid test with 72 hours of your flight in order to board the plane back to the United States. Even if you’ve been to C.R. before, there are always more wildlife, beaches and mountains to see! Our favorite spot is the Osa Peninsula. Read more about Costa Rica here. And more about the Osa Peninsula here.
Ever wonder where those ramshackle California beach towns have gone? You know the ones where neighbors say hello, children run free and surfers change into wetsuits on the street outside the parking lot (to save the parking fee)? Somehow, that life still survives in far northern Marin County, near the Sonoma line. It’s a village (yes, the locals really call it a village) that has only a general store, a post office, a restaurant (Quite a good one at that, after all this is still Marin.) and a few tiny cottages overlooking the cliffs, known generously as the “Dillon Beach Resort.” The town is so small, in fact, that you can walk the periphery in less than 10 minutes. Book a VRBO and take it all in. But bring a wetsuit—the water is NorCal cold. Read more about Dillon here.
Joshua trees are one of the oldest and most endangered beings on the planet, so go see them in the high desert east of Los Angeles while you can! In spring, the weather is already warm enough to sleep outside, so you can see stars from here to the ends of the galaxy. (OK, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole on our part, but really, the star-gazing out here is amazeballs!)
Less touristy, less developed and less crowded than the other islands, Kauai is all about relaxing and enjoying nature. It’s also cooler than the other Hawai’ian islands, which is a big plus. With a full-time population of 72,000, the Garden Isle boasts clean air, no traffic noise (unless you have the misfortune of staying next to the island’s little airport!), no skyscrapers, and only one main road, which circumnavigates the whole island, which has a maximum speed limit of 50. Last October, it became the only major island to shut down to tourists, requiring a two-week quarantine for all arrivals. It’s recently opened up, but because it doesn’t have a party destination like Oahu’s Waikiki, Kauai’s kept the unmasked throngs away. Read more about Kauai here.
Same coast, fewer crowds. It’s no secret that California’s famed beaches are at the top of many families’ travel bucket list. Though SoCal may be the most raved about, with the millions flocking to Huntington, Venice, and Santa Monica beaches, Northern California has some of the most beautiful scenery and great surf, all without the crowds! Read more about our favorite NorCal beaches here.
After a torturous spring at the outset of the Covid pandemic, the world’s greatest city is already on the upswing. (Those who predicted the end of New York City will be gravely disappointed by the current state of affairs, bolstered by testing and vaccination.) New Yorkers are moving back after their time upstate and companies are opening offices again. Museums, restaurants, the High Line and Central Park are now popular destinations—although as of this writing, they still operate with limited capacity. Read more about NYC here.
Perfect weather and 70 miles of useable coastline … what’s not to like? “America’s finest city” (as they like to refer to themselves)it is truly an awesome wonderful place for a vacation for people of all agesfor your whole tribe. You can do a fair amount activities all in a well-planned 7- to -10- day visit. Note that rentals on the beach boardwalk rent for a premium this time of year, and San Diego spring break is no secret: Be prepared for college students and Zonies (Arizona residents already fleeing the desert heat.) at the most-popular beaches—Mission and Pacific. And while there is a trolley system in the downtown and central parts of the city, proper, and public buses most everywhereto most areas, it really is best to have a car and be prepared for lots of freeway driving, unless you’re staying at the beach and don’t plan on visiting anywhere else (LegoLand or the Zoo, kids?) when it’s time to take a break from the salt and sand. Read more about San Diego here.
Got more ideas for Spring Break this year? Share them with the ROAM community by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And send your pics too! We may feature them on future Instagram and Facebook posts.
Maria De La O
Magazine editor. Documentary filmmaker. Copy expert. Mother. Traveler. Maria brings it all to the pages of ROAM.
© ROAM Family Travel 2021 – All rights reserved
Images and stories to celebrate the best of travel's worst year
It's not just for billionaires anymore.
The French dad behind stunning photos & videos
There's still time to book a much-needed break
Saddle up for a trail ride near San Francisco
Images from a gray and gloriously simple getaway
A winter extravaganza starring millions of geese, cranes and more!
Getaway to a vintage California beach village in "Far West" Marin
10 days of action, with grizzlies, ATVs, salmon, and whales
From N’Orleans to Memphis and from Atlanta to Birmingham, a must-do journey
Overdue for a Napa or Sonoma escape?
Crane’s Beach House is the perfect antidote the winter blahs
Reminders of why we explore—and what that means for future travel
Climb up, stroll down or just enjoy the views
Developing next-generation leaders through study of African heritage
Ski, board, or just play in the powder? We've got your mountain.
All the masterpieces, views and deliciousness - none of the crowds
Oh the places you'll go... from home!
Grab your sweetheart for a getaway - or plan one!
No Pier 39, Union Square or Crooked Street from this local mom.