Americans are gearing up to hit the road and the air during the upcoming two months in search of the ultimate spring break destination—and record-breaking gas prices don’t seem to be holding them back. Despite the squeeze on family budgets, hotel and air bookings have increased significantly over 2011, according to American Express booking data.
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“Everyone seems to be ready to get away for spring break or visit family in another part of the country,” says Katie Bower, an American Express travel specialist, citing statistics that show air sales have increased by 13% and hotel sales are up by more than 8%.
Top domestic destinations this year include cityscapes such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and warm-weather hot spots such as Miami, Honolulu, and West Palm Beach.
The top spot for hotel bookings? Las Vegas aces it. Meanwhile, college students will rock out at Arizona's Lake Havasu and the Colorado River; South Padre Island on the Texas gulf; and assorted beaches along the Florida coast. If you want to avoid the girls-gone-wilder scene, shake off winter doldrums with one of our Top 10 Ultimate Spring Break Getaways.
San Diego, CA
For the young set
Sunshine, sandy beaches and gently swaying palm trees: San Diego is the prototypical Southern California destination. And it’s as kid-friendly as they come, with the world-class San Diego Zoo topping the list of standout attractions. Blessed with a mild climate, San Diego offers countless opportunities to get outside and play, whether at a beach or at a theme park such as SeaWorld, Legoland or San Diego Wild Animal Park.
And there’s a wide range of accommodations, from budget to luxury, which makes it the perfect place for a family spring fling.
Start the day at Mission Beach, where you can build a sand castle or play in gentle surf; then visit Balboa Park, the perfect place to go for a museum stroll. The park has 1,000-plus acres with 15 museums to choose from, among them the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Model Railroad Museum. Looking for a thrill? Surf’s up at the San Diego Surfing Academy, which has lessons year-round for students of all ages. Or hop a ferry to Coronado and bike miles of paths.