Spring Break is a great time to travel, but if you want to avoid the crowds and chaos, you have to go off the beaten path. Instead of Punta Cana or Cancun, why not try Barbados? There are plenty of great, affordable all inclusive. Or Guadeloupe, which feels like you’re in the Mediterranean. Instead of Los Cabos, check out Maui. Both are full of adventure. There are plenty of great places to travel during Spring that don’t involve a foam pool or shots. Here are just a few.
Spring Break in Barbados’ All Inclusives
Barbados has a lot going on in late March and April. It’s prime time to spot migrating humpback whales. And, the Oistins Fish Festival takes place around Easter, offering a rare up close taste of Barbadian culture.
Where to Stay
The West Coast, nicknamed the Platinum Coast, is full of luxury resorts like Sandy Lane and quieter beaches such as Paynes Bay. The South Coast mixes affordable all-inclusive resorts with lively beaches like Rockley, ideal for water sports. The rugged East Coast is more wild and attracts surfers and those seeking solitude. The North is also more off the beaten path. But, a trip up there gives you dramatic cliffs and caves, with boutique accommodations.
During March and April, Barbados offers a blend of cultural and natural experiences. At the forefront? The Oistins Fish Festival. It celebrates the fishing industry of the island with arts, crafts, and lots of, well, seafood!
While there aren’t many organized whale watching tours on Barbados, in the early morning hours you can see them frolicing just off the coast. The best places to see them? Animal Flower cave, one of the only accessible sea caves on the island. There’s a full service restaurant above.
Other natural wonders? The subterranean world of Harrison’s Cave or the blossoming flowers Barbados Orchid World. Plus, iconic beaches. Especially Crane Beach, are perfect for relaxation, snorkeling, and other water activities.
To get your culture on, visit UNESCO-listed Bridgetown, a fascinating journey into the history of Barbados. And, last but not least, take the tour of the Mount Gay Rum Factory where you can learn about why this island makes some of the best rum on Earth.
The one meal you must have is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish, the national dish made from cornmeal and okra. But the Macaroni Pie, a spicy take on mac and cheese, will also leave you wanting more. If you want a taste of adventure, go for the Pudding and Souse. It’s a combination of pickled pork, sweet potato pudding, and Indian-influenced Roti, filled with curried meat or vegetables.
Guadeloupe in Spring beats Paris in Summer
Each Spring, Guadeloupe comes aliv with Easter celebrations and boating events, But the best part of Guadelopue? Its distinct French flair. French is the daily language. The Euro is the official currency. And, the culinary scene blends Creole traditions with treats and pastries that could rival those in Paris.
Where to Stay
Guadeloupe is an archipelago split mainly between Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre. Basse-Terre is rugged with eco-lodges and boutique hotels, especially around Deshaies and the Guadeloupe National Park. Its beaches, like Plage de Malendure, are great for snorkeling.
In contrast, Grande-Terre, home to the city of Pointe-à-Pitre is where tourists often gravitate. Most head to Le Gosier and Sainte-Anne for their resorts, nightlife, and beautiful beaches like Plage de la Caravelle. Beyond these, the smaller islands like Les Saintes and Marie-Galante offer more customized escapes.
There’s a lot going on Guadeloupe in Spring. Check out the Les Saintes Regatta in the village of Terra de Haut, one of the oldest and most beautiful boat races in the Caribbean. Or come Easter weekend to experience traditional festivities all over the island. The vibes are electric. But then, make time for nature. Hit the calm waters of the Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve for some world-class snorkeling. On land, the adventure can be found by hiking up La Soufriere Volacno, the tallest peak in the lower Antilles, and an active volcano which last erupted in 2021. Don’t miss a trip to Marie-Galante, with its crystal clear beaches and historic distilleries, like the Distillerie Bielle and
Guadeloupean cuisine is a unique blend of French, African, and Indian influences, using local Caribbean ingredients. You can’t miss the smoky flavors of Poulet Boucané, grilled chicken over allspice wood. Or the island’s take on curry with Colombo de Porc, a rich pork stew. Crispy Accras de Cod, codfish fritters, are a great snack. For a street food experience, bite into a Bokit, a deep-fried sandwich filled with fish, shredded chicken, egg, ham and cheese, and salad. And don’t miss the baked delicacy, Crab Farci, where crab is stuffed with its meat and spices.
Get Really Far Away on Nevis
Spring Break is an upscale event in Nevis, located in the West Indies. It is separated from its sister island, St. Kitts, by a narrow channel, called The Narrows. The annual Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim draws swimmers from around the world. Even though Leatherback turtles nest on the beaches here later in the season, you might spot a few early birds. If you’ve come for the adventure, head to Nevis Peak Forest Reserve offers with rainforest hiking among the orchids.
Where to Stay
Some people stay in Charlestown, the island’s capital. It blends history with modern amenities, making it a convenient base to explore culture and local cuisine. But, whe west coast, stretching from Pinney’s Beach to Oualie Beach, is the heart of the island’s tourism. Here is where you can find a majority of its resorts and hotels. Pinney’s Beach, is where you’ll find the lively beach bars, while Oualie Beach is where you go for snorkeling. The north coast provides a more far-flung escape with remote boutique resorts.
One of the highlights is the Nevis to St. Kitts Cross Channel Swim. The best spot to stay for this event is on Oualie Beach. The Botanical Gardens are also in bloom, making it a must-visit. Horseback riding takes you from beaches to rainforest, to sugar plantations. Hiking Nevis Peak is a rewarding challenge. It is possible to hike on your own, but if you hire a local guide you will learn the history and science.
The must-try dish here is Goat Water Stew. It’s a savory concoction of goat meat and spices that epitomizes the island’s cooking. Seafood lovers will relish the creamy Conch Chowder and freshly grilled Spiny Lobster. But sometimes the most simple morsels are the best like the local staple, Johnny Cakes, deep-fried dough balls. They go great with a cold Carib Lager.
Maui’s Rainy Season Keeps the Crowds at Bay
Spring Break in Maui falls at the tail end of the rainy season, so you might get a little wet. But the trade-off is a noticeable lack of tourists. Perfect for taste of the local Maui.
Where to Stay
Head to Wailea, on the southwestern coast, which is the driest part of the island at this time of year. You’ll find high-end resorts, golf courses, and beautiful beaches like Wailea and Ulua Beach. Just north, Kihei has more budget options, with a mix of hotels and vacation rentals.
The North Shore, with towns like Paia, Haiku, and Kuau is known for its surf culture, boutique lodgings, and access to stunning north shore beaches. Paia is the gateway to the famous Road to Hana and is filled with boutique inns, unique restaurants, and lots of hippies. Meanwhile, Upcountry Maui, with towns like Makawao and Kula, has a cooler climate and lush landscapes. Quaint bed-and-breakfasts and vacation rentals can be found here.
Central Maui’s Waikapu and Wailuku offer a more local experience with budget hotel options. And the remote Hana, located on the eastern side, features a few small inns and cottages, perfect for those looking for peace and quiet.
The notoriously busy Road to Hana, tracing the coastal highway through rainforests, beaches, and waterfalls, has much less traffic (Just check the weather before heading out). Explore underwater wonders in Molokini Crater and Honolua Bay’s coral reefs. Hiking enthusiasts can conquer the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakalā National Park or explore the ‘Lao Valley State Park. And, don’t miss the Maui Whale Festival, which celebrates the return of the humpback whales.
Fresh tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, and papaya are at their peak in spring. For a unique experience, explore the Upcountry Maui area’s lavender farms. There you can delight in lavender-infused treats like scones and lemonade.
Bermuda Springs to Life
A spring break in Bermuda is marked by cultural highlights, like the Bermuda International Film Festival. And even if its not quite beach seather, nature enthusiasts will especially love Bermuda’s gardens and nature reserves, which burst into bloom.
Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital, offers a mix of artisan shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Check out iconic accommodations like the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club and the nearby Elbow Beach. A short distance away is the historic town of St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There you can wander charming cobbled streets, stay in a bed and breakfast, and laze on idyllic beaches like the small but stunning Tobacco Bay. For those seeking pink-sand beaches and luxury resorts, Southampton Parish is ideal. Landmark hotels include The Fairmont Southampton overlooking the renowned Horseshoe Bay Beach.
Exploring the mesmerizing Crystal Caves is a must. As is a catamaran cruise where you have a chance to spot migrating humpback whales. If visiting around Good Friday, the Bermuda Kite Festival offers a colorful cultural experience. The Bermuda Aquarium offers a close-up view of vibrant marine life, from parrot fish to barracudas. If you love the beach, it might be a little cool. But, just grab a hoodie and head to the pink sands of the iconic Horseshoe Bay Beach.
Bermuda’s food is a mix of British, Portuguese, and Caribbean influences, each adding its unique flavors and traditions. The hearty Bermuda Fish Chowder stands out, a rich and spicy stew made with rock fish, seasoned with sherry pepper sauce and black rum. The Codfish Breakfast is a traditional weekend treat, featuring salted cod paired with boiled potatoes, onions, and the tomato sauce. It is often accompanied by avocado slices and hard-boiled eggs. As for bevvies, the island is home to a few iconic drinks. The Rum Swizzle is a fruity concoction blending rum with various fruit juices, and of course, a locally made Dark ‘n’ Stormy of ginger beer and rum.
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