Choosing the best spring break destinations for families

So, you're wondering where to go for spring break with family? Look no further. This guide lists some of the hottest spots going. It's got the usual sun-drenched paradises and happy-go-lucky beach resorts, but there are also tree-topped mountain ranges and snow-doused ski slopes thrown in for good measure.

Yosemite National Park – it'll take the breath away

Of all the places to take kids for spring break, Yosemite is the one that offers no-holes-barred adventure in the mountains. Whether you're swinging from a harness, learning the tricks of the climbing trade beneath El Cap, or hiking to the soaring summit of the Half Dome, this one is tailor-made for families who want to push the boundaries. Coming in March, when there's still likely to be a light covering of snow, also means you can cut the cost on luxurious highland cabins and glamping pods on the fringes of the reserve.

Oahu, HI – a spring break soaked in sun

With average temperature highs in the late 70s and just four days of rain in the whole month, March is a doozy down in the Aloha State. Of the lot, it's big, bustling Oahu that regularly comes up trumps for families. There's less of the honeymoon vibe here, especially if you hit the condo rentals along Waikiki's protected beach lagoons, where there's safe swimming, beginner surf lessons, and plenty of other water sports to keep you going.

Theme park living in Orlando

While most people will make for the sparkling beaches of Florida during spring break, there's a lot to be said for seizing the opportunity to ride the rocking rollercoasters of Disney World and Universal. You might even find that it's possible to snag a wallet-friendly bargain on spring break park passes, not to mention good deals on local Florida villas down Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee way.

Hilton Head is the East Coast gem

Move over Myrtle Beach, this is the family-fun hotspot of the east. While the college-going parties erupt along the Grand Strand, the coast here is all about sandcastle-building competitions, days of whizzing up promenades on the bike, mini golf showdowns at the Adventure Cove – the list goes on.

Hit the slopes around Lake Tahoe

Ask any avid powder hound and they'll tell you that some of the very best ski conditions sweep over Tahoe in March. The temperatures crank up just a little and there's oodles of sun, which means young learners looking for their snow feet can spend longer on the slopes getting the hang of it. Resorts like Northstar California and Homewood Mountain are both chilled, low-key options that have acclaimed ski schools, not to mention family-friendly lodges that have ski-in access and steaming hot tubs.

St Augustine for history and beaches in one

Some say the very best spring break destinations for families will combine adventure, relaxation, and learning. Cue St Augustine, where you can settle in old colonial cottages in the historic district, see mighty Spanish forts, and tread where pirates once trod. Then, hop over to Anastasia Island for pier-topped beaches, or board a canoe for an eco-tour of the Matanzas River – keep the eyes peeled for manatee calves and stalking wetland birds there.

What about the Riviera Maya?

One of the more out-there spring break ideas for kids and adults is a jaunt down south to the sun-splashed Riviera Maya. Fringing the coast of the Mexican Yucatan, this is far from the hedonism of Cancun. Slick resorts and Caribbean-style villas front the white-sand beaches that run the whole length of the shoreline, offering swimming pools, on-site spas for when the little ones are busy, and water sports programs – think scuba days and snorkeling tours in the nearby reefs.