Remember the days when you got a full week off of school for your spring break vacay? Yeah, we miss that too. So let’s relive the glory days by booking some (much-needed) time away from our #adulting day-to-day. Since spring break timing is just around the corner, we spoke with KAYAK on where the trendiest (based on increased searches relative to last year) US spots are going to be in 2018. (Good news: They don’t involve any MTV college-esque getaways.) Scroll down to see which ones are on the list, then gather your BFFs to starting booking your trip.
1. Colorado Springs, Colorado: If you’re looking for an outdoor spot that doesn’t include beach time, head to this city just over an hour away from Denver. Colorado Springs is up 21 percent in travel popularity this year alone for its plethora of nature activities. Bring out your inner adventurer by exploring natural wonders like Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, or, if putting on the hiking boots isn’t really your thing, keep the Olympic mentality in full swing by touring the Hall of Fame at the US Olympic Training Center. Any way you play it, you’re sure to walk away with a winning mentality.
2. Kahului, Hawaii: You don’t have to convince us twice to go to Hawaii. So it’s no surprise that this tropical hot spot, located on the island of Maui, is up 19 percent with its visitors this year. Options here range from scenic helicopter rides to driving the gorgeous Road to Hana. Whatever activity you choose, there’s one thing we’re certain of: You’re bound to walk away with some pretty epic photos to take home. (Sunsets for days? We’re in love with it!)
3. Flagstaff, Arizona: Stray from the typical Scottsdale or Phoenix scene to visit this mountainous desert city that’s up 14 percent in popularity. While the area offers a refreshing taste of humid air (bye, winter!), we’ll be honest — we’re primarily here to see the Grand Canyon. You simply can’t beat the hiking or views among gorgeous red rock canyon layers for miles on end. Just be sure to keep that water bottle handy!
4. Destin, Florida: Calling all beach babes! Squeeze in some sun in this area boasting white beaches everywhere. Up 12 percent in searches in 2018, this southern spot amply encourages relaxation with a wide range of state parks, golf courses, shopping spots, and, of course, an entire Gulf Coast to enjoy.
5. San Jose, California: California dreaming? Consider San Jose, which rose in popularity 11 percent this year. This destination is surrounded by the biggest US tech scene — Silicon Valley — and offers ample opportunities to learn about its primary industry, like The Tech Museum of Innovation. If getting some fresh west coast air is more your thing, make your way through the Municipal Rose Garden, or check out some new Cali fashion by shopping on Santana Row.
6. Asheville, North Carolina: Maybe you’ve already heard the word about this lively, artistic city that’s surging in popularity by 11 percent this year. Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, it was once a place trodden by economic hardships, but it’s since rebounded to become a progressive, spirited, historical city hosting visitors from across the US. Whether you’re embarking on a ghost tour (it’s a thing) or taking advantage of one of the area’s many breweries, you’re bound to walk away with a whole new perspective on North Carolinan culture.
7. Punta Gorda, Florida: If spending 70-degree days by the waterside sounds like a dream, Punta Gorda (up nine percent in searches since 2017) should be on your radar. The area offers opportunities to explore “Old Florida” with shops, walkways, museums, and authentic tin-roof homes paying homage to past decades. Since it’s just a short drive from Fort Myers, it makes for a refreshing — and quick — escape from your usual beach-y trip.
8. Saint Petersburg, Florida: With a title like “Sunshine City,” this is a spot after our own hearts. Factor in some top-of-the-line cuisine and award-winning beaches, and we’re sold for a stay in this area that’s increased in popularity by nine percent since last year alone.
Which places are you eyeing for spring travel? Let us know @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)