Spring Break 2012 Choice for Outdoorsy Families: Rancho de Los Caballeros, Arizona
Rancho de los Caballeros (creative commons/Ashlie Dove)
Live out your Wild West fantasy on an Arizona dude ranch before the summer heat kicks in. Envision horseback riding, home-cooked meals under the stars and even luxury spa treatment as you saddle up in the Old Southwest at Rancho de los Caballeros, a historic ranch resort with the soul of a bed and breakfast. The Ranch offers all your typical resort amenities and privacy, yet with the charm and intimacy of yesteryear. Families can ride the rugged trails, tee off at one of Golf Digest's Top 100 U.S. courses, or sit back, relax, and enjoy 20,000 acres of lush open range.
Spring Break 2012 Choice for Families on a Budget: Wisconsin Dells Resorts
Wisconsin Dells (creative commons/Chris Totsky)
Wisconsin Dells is the indoor waterpark capital of the world. Not only is there the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor waterparks on the planet, but these bastions of family fun lead the way with new technology and cutting edge attractions. With over two dozen indoor waterparks and hotel rates that aren't too far over $100 per night, you're sure to find a resort that's right for your family and your budget.
Spring Break 2012 Choice for All Ages: Club Med's Ixtapa Pacific Resort- Mexico
Kids on the beach in Ixtapa (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Head to Mexico for a world-class family vacation experience at Ixtapa Pacific. Starting from birth, this resort has each member of the family covered. The Baby Med program stocks your room with everything from a stylish crib to bottle warmers and diapers. The Circus Camp teaches older children to juggle and swing on a flying trapeze. Baby Club, Petit Club and Mini Club keep kids ages four months - 13 years busy with outdoor activities, shows and crafts. This resort really is a vacation for both the parents and the kids (or the parents from the kids). The resort also offers tennis, scuba, archery, kayaking, water polo, volleyball and picnics for older teens and adults.
Spring Break 2012 Choice for Families with Small Kids: The Winnetu Inn & Resort- Martha's Vineyard
Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse (REUTERS/Jason Reed)
Elegant food and sweeping views may be the initial draw, but parents will likely be more excited about Winnetu Inn's wide array of classes, camps and activities to keep kids busy and happy all day long. The kid's camp comes free with the room and offers a dizzying array of activities like combing the beach for seashells, testing out the agility ladder courses, and entering in a putting contest. There are plenty of young, energetic counselors to watch over the kids and tire them out before they return to your care. If you want to spend some time outside the resort, Martha's Vineyard boasts beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and photo-ready lighthouses for all to enjoy.
*** The Winnetu reopens April 19 for the 2012 season.
Spring Break 2012 Choice for Adventurous Families: Los Suenos Marriott in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Los Suenos Marriott Pool (creative commons/ philipshannon)
Canopy climbing, gliding through treetops, and exploring the under forest are all definite possibilities in Costa Rica. Kids can swing like monkeys from tree to tree - that is if they're brave enough to give it a try. Even if they're not up it, most places allow kids as young as four to go on slow-paced nature hikes or strap into a zip-line with a professional guide. Families can also ride horses on the beach, explore the natural habitats of the forest, and experience the local cuisine and culture - all within the modern comforts of the Los Suenos Marriott.
Spring Break 2012 Choice for Culture-Seeking Families: Monaco Washington, D.C.
Washington, DC Cherry Blossom (REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)
For many families, spring break coincides with the two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival, the most colorful time to explore the nation's capital. Stay at the Monaco Washington DC, halfway between the White House and Capitol Hill, for a true heart-of-the-city experience. There will be hundreds of free special events and cultural performances this year for the 100th anniversary event, many of which will pay homage to Japanese arts and culture. The main draws are the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade, Washington's biggest annual spectator event, and the Smithsonian Kite Festival. If it's still a bit cold out in DC, dip into one of over two dozen free museums around the National Mall.
Spring Break 2012 Choice for Fun in the Sun: Atlantis Resort- Paradise Island, Bahamas
Atlantis Resort (creative commons/MadelineFox)
This larger-than-life resort gets top marks for its family appeal with activities and attractions for every age group. A mecca of family fun, Atlantis has countless activities including 11 exhibit lagoons and over 50,000 animals like sharks, lionfish and stingrays. Eleven pool areas house seven different waterslides, including one featuring a 60-foot drop down to a clear tunnel inside the shark lagoon. A massive not-so-lazy river includes lifts and drops, white-water rapids, and an 80-foot underground tunnel with caves. There are also multiple kids-only play zones and adventures to be had while the parents take some time off. Atlantis frequently runs promotions so look out for bit savings.