It's probably around that time for you to be preparing for this year's spring break trip, and if you're anything like me, you're itching for adventure. You want to hit the coolest places, take the hippest Instagram photos, and show off to your friends all that you learned and experienced. So if you're looking for some non-beach spring break ideas, here are some underrated cities to visit for your Spring Break in 2017.
Now let me point out that some of these cities aren't located in warmer climates. Actually, most of them aren't! My reasoning behind that is to check out the city during an off-tourist season. I mean, you could be dipping your toes in the ocean while wearing your favorite new swimsuit, but why not try something different? Go where the people aren't going and experience a city free of crowds and stress (instead of trying to embrace all of that this upcoming summer).
Maybe you don't need much convincing to go somewhere new, and you and the squad are ready to just hop in the car and go anywhere. Or, maybe you just need some inspiration. Wherever you are at with your spring break plans, here are a few cities to consider before finalizing your flights and hotels.
Even though it may still be cold in Minneapolis, don't let that stop you from considering it as a spring break destination. Why? Well thanks to the Minneapolis skyway, you technically never have to go outside. That's right; this city has a skyway that spans a good majority of the city, and even has a food tour you can take within the map! It's basically the introvert's ultimate delight.
Although Boston is a go-to city for famous Revolutionary War history, there's a lot to be noticed in Philadelphia too — and of course, it's going to be warmer there in March. Check out the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Franklin Institute, and of course while doing it, pretend you're on the hunt for National Treasure with Nicholas Cage ... because, let's be honest, it will make the experience all the more exciting!
Probably one of the most up-and-coming cities right now, Cincinnati is filled with culture and awesome eat & drink locations throughout the city. It's home of the National Underground museum (that's right, a venue dedicated to the freedom of slaves), the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, and of course, home to the famous Graeter's Ice Cream.
Not only is Madison home to some historic landmarks and museums, but it also has the Memorial Union Terrace, a great outdoor hang out near the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It has dining and entertainment, along with spots overlooking Lake Mendota. Madison also has many parks surrounding the area - so if you're looking for some time out in the fresh air, Madison is a great option for a mix of city and nature.
Portland is famous for the Casco Bay (pictured above), their Old Port (perfect for a walk), and of course, lobster. If you're a huge fan of seafood but never get any good seafood at home, then Portland is the place to go for all of your seafood fixings.
Another great city with parks and museums (like the White River Gardens, which are a must-see), Indianapolis is a great place to be on foot. The city does have a lot happening in and outside of its borders, but if you're looking for a city to explore without a car necessary — Indianapolis is probably a great place to check out.
Louisville is famous for their horse racing — which, of course, means checking out the Kentucky Derby Museum and getting a good look at Churchill Downs (which is where a lot of racing happens these days). Although the racing doesn't start back up until late April, there's still lots to do in Louisville! Like zip-lining through the Louisville Mega Carven (that's right, a cave), and taking a nice long walk along the Louisville Waterfront.
Charleston, South Carolina
Surprisingly, Charleston is another historic city for you to check out this spring break — but this time, it's Civil War history. Stay at the Inn at Middleton Place, take a dreamy walk through the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, tour the iconic Fort Sumter National Monument, and feast at the Charleston City Market which spans an entire four blocks!
Although you may be tempted to hunt down the house of Bernie Sanders (who reportedly lives there), there's numerous other things to do in this beautiful city. The Burlington Bike Path and Waterfront Park (perfect for bike-lovers and exercise nerds), Church Street Marketplace, and even an aquarium and science center!
San Diego, California
Along with numerous beaches and the famous Sea World and San Diego Zoo, there's a Potato Chip Rock you have to check out, a ferry that takes you to Coronado Island outside of San Diego, Whale Watching, and Balboa Park — home to dozens of hiking trails across a 1,200 acre beautiful piece of land.
Alright music lovers, this is the place to go for spring break! You can check out the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Johnny Cash Museum, while also attending small shows with up-and-coming artists around the city. You can even take a showboat that will wine and dine you while hitting the river for an evening!
Charlotte, North Carolina
Let's put it this way — if you want to be a kid again, Charlotte is the city to visit this spring break. It has an incredible amusement park, a science museum that will have you singing Bill Nye The Science Guy, and a comedy tour bus that allows you to BYOB.
For a warmer escape, check out Tulsa! Home to numerous beautiful museums and performing arts centers, such as the Tulsa Air and Science Museum, the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Center of the Universe, and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. It also has some amazing architecture to see such as the Holy Family Cathedral, the Philtower, and the Boston Avenue Methodist Church.
Although Mystic is not particularly a city, it's a beautiful place to visit if you're looking for a very quiet escape. The Mystic Seaport is one of a kind, along with the Olde Mistick Village boutiques and shops. You can also check out the Mystic Aquarium and stay at the beautiful Inn At Mystic.
Park City, Utah
Another up-and-coming city, Detroit Michigan is a mix between complicated and yet beautiful. It is home to some incredible history, including the famous Hitsville U.S.A (the Motown Museum) where many artists were discovered, as well as Belle Isle Park and Fort Wayne.
Providence, Rhode Island
Although it's known for being a well-known college town on the East Coast, Providence is home to numerous fun activities. Along with the huge Providence Place mall, it also has the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Roger Williams Zoo, it's a fun town to walk around, grab great coffee, and shop in some locally own boutiques and shops!
Even though people can't seem to stop talking about Denver these days, Boulder is certainly an underrated yet thoroughly awesome city in Colorado. There is, of course, dozens of trails and mountains to hike if you're interested in that sort of things. However, there's also the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and the beautiful Pearl Street Mall!
OK, I have to admit, I know it's not underrated, but I think people overlook Chicago this time of year because of the cold weather. Chicago is an incredible hub when it comes to food, coffee, and entertainment — and going in March to avoid the tourist crowds will make you enjoy it all the more. Navy Pier is always a must, but for a more unconventional stay, be sure to check out the Signature Room & Lounge (located on the 95th floor of the John Hancock building), the incredible view overlooking the city outside the Adler Planetarium, grab coffee at Intelligentsia, and catch a show at the small (yet mighty) Schubas Tavern or Lincoln Hall.