• Avoid the crowds with these underrated spring break destinations

Posted: January 19, 2015

Avoid the crowds with these underrated spring break destinations
Avoid the crowds with these underrated spring break destinations

Destinations such as Cancun, Mexico, and Miami, Florida, are two hot spots for college students on spring break. These two locations are beautiful, no doubt, but the giant crowds can often take away the enjoyment of leisure travel altogether. Instead, consider booking a flight to any of these underrated destinations:

Hollywood, Florida

If you still want to experience Florida during spring break, avoid Palm Beach, Daytona Beach and Miami, and head to Hollywood instead. You can find this Florida city tucked between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. It has everything, including excellent shopping, one-of-a-kind restaurants, idyllic beaches and five-star hotels.

But what Hollywood is best known for is its boardwalks – more specifically, for its Hollywood Beach Boardwalk, which spans 2.5 miles along the Atlantic. In fact, this picturesque location has been named as one of America's Best Beach Boardwalks by Travel Leisure magazine. On this brick-paved destination, you can go for a stroll while admiring the ocean, jog, hop on your bike or stop in at any of the cozy cafes or eateries located along the boardwalk.

Of course, beaches aren't the only attractions that bring visitors to Hollywood. You can enjoy free outdoor concerts at the Hollywood Beach Theater or explore wildlife at the Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park. At this nature center, you can rent canoes and kayaks to get up close to marine life.

Santo Domingo

This Caribbean city is known as the capital of the Dominican Republic. Despite being located in the Caribbean, Santo Domingo isn't know for its beaches, but rather for its rich history. While you're in this city, you'll want to pay a visit to Alcazar de Colon, a 16th-century Viceregal palace. This historic location was once the home of Diego Colon, Christopher Columbus' son. This castle-turned museum features works of art from various periods of history, including Renaissance and Gothic.

History buffs will also want to head to Fortaleza Ozama – the oldest standing fort in the Americas. You can climb all the way to the top of this fort, where you'll have a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire city.

If you're looking for some exciting nightlife while you're visiting this Caribbean town, look no further than Zona Colonial, which nabbed the No. 1 spot on U.S. News and World Report's list of best things to do in Santo Domingo. The softly lit cobblestone streets are loaded with plenty of hotels, bars and restaurants from which you can choose. Plus, this neighborhood is known for its safety during both day and night.

Gateway, Colorado

While cities with white-sand beaches are certainly serene and breathtaking, you don't have to travel to a tropical location for your spring break. Colorado is an oft-overlooked spot, but it shouldn't be. Located in Western Colorado, this destination is perfect for those looking to relax and for travelers who are looking for adventure.

Many people visiting this town stay at Gateway Canyons, a resort built by John Hendricks, the founder of the Discovery Channel and Discovery Communications. There's really not much you can't do at this resort. Go on an air tour of the red rock canyons, relax by the pool, get a massage, go horseback riding, hike or try your hand at rock climbing.

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head is a popular spring break destination in South Carolina, but it's not the only place to relax and have some fun. Kiawah Island is known for its serenity and being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It's located just 15 miles south of Charleston and is filled with private beaches, pristine golf courses, picturesque bike paths, preserved marshes and more.

Visit the Kiawah Island Golf resort, where you can play 18-holes, hit the spa, go on a paddling tour, play tennis or dine at any of the restaurants, cafes and lounges at the resort that all serve local fare.

If you enjoy exercising while you're on vacation, you can participate in the Kiawah Island Marathon, which certainly beats running on your treadmill at home.

Families visiting Kiawah Island love to take bike tours along the 10 miles of beautiful coastline or through the 30 miles of paved trails. Simply rent a bike and breathe in the fresh South Carolina air as you take in the sights.

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