The novel coronavirus is sweeping through the country, canceling travel plans left and right. Theme parks are closing, events are postponed, and popular destinations with large crowds are a no-go. Many are wondering what to do for spring break, or if they should even travel at all. First and foremost, listen to your local authorities. But if you are planning to travel for spring break, where can you go to avoid large crowds? Here are some options for social distancing.
You may have to change things up, but you can still explore hidden gems and places less traveled. With oil prices plummeting and gas prices expected to follow soon, road trips are the new 2020 trend. Read on to learn about some Plan B options for spring break. Then, make sure to follow our blog for more useful travel tips!
Spring Break: Where Can You Go to Avoid Large Crowds
1. St. George Island, FL
This little slice of paradise is one of the most underrated beach destinations in the U.S.! Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Apalachicola Bay, St. George Island flies under the radar — but that’s exactly what we love about it. You won’t find hotels, high rises, or tourist traps here. Instead, you’ll discover white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water, and delicious seafood!
The island is located along Florida’s Forgotten Coast, which is the last remaining stretch of unspoiled shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. It’s never crowded, even during the busy season, so you’ll feel as if you have the entire beach to yourself.
By day, enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, parasailing, fishing, snorkeling, swimming, or sunbathing. Challenge your friends to a game of sand volleyball, watch the kids play in the waves, or simply relax by the shoreline. Are you feeling adventurous? Get out and explore miles of hiking trails at St. George Island State Park or climb to the top of the island’s historic lighthouse.
You can find many vacation homes right on the beach on St. George Island. Many of them include full kitchens, so you don’t even have to worry about dining out. Bring the whole family or split the cost with friends for a budget-friendly spring break.
2. The Great Smoky Mountains (NC – TN)
The mountains are calling and you must go! Seriously, though. If you’re looking for secluded spring break spots, The Smokies are a great option. Get away from other people, unplug for a bit, and relax in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to reconnect with nature here. Hike to a waterfall, drive to a misty mountaintop, and enjoy breathtaking views around every turn. Wander along The Appalachian Trail or climb to the top of Clingmans Dome. Go kayaking along Fontana Lake and see the mountains from a brand new perspective. One thing’s for sure: you won’t run out of ways to explore here.
Spring is also the best time to see the wildflowers, which will be bursting with color soon. Take a stroll along Chestnut Top Trail to see millions of vibrant spring beauties, lilies, violets, and more. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way!
When it comes to lodging in the Smoky Mountains, there are several options. Rent a cabin with friends, go “glamping” in an RV, or set up a tent and enjoy some good-old-fashioned camping. Bring a grill and cook your favorite meals. At the end of each day, gather around the campfire for s’mores, drinks, and spooky ghost stories.
3. Hunting Island State Park, SC
As an alternative to the crowds at Myrtle Beach or Folly, consider spending spring break at Hunting Island. This secluded barrier island is one of the best-kept secrets in South Carolina. Here, you’ll discover five miles of pristine beaches, lush maritime forests, expansive marshes, petrified trees, and a saltwater lagoon. It’s a good option for a spring break where you can go to avoid large crowds.
Spend your days relaxing by the shoreline, swimming out to sandbars, or combing the beach for shells and sharks teeth. Climb to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding island and the Atlantic Ocean. And outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking along 8 miles of scenic nature trails. Because the island is so remote, there are tons of great wildlife-viewing opportunities here. At the end of the day, visit the Marsh Boardwalk and watch a classic Lowcountry sunset.
You can visit Hunting Island for the day or go camping at the state park. Some camping sites can accommodate RV’s while others are available for tents. The campground is also convenient to showers and restroom facilities.
4. Cumberland Island, GA
Have you ever dreamed of seeing wild horses in their natural habitat? Would you like to spend spring break at the beach? Cumberland Island offers the best of both worlds. Located off Georgia’s southeast coast, this gorgeous barrier island is practically untouched by the outside world. Humans are in the minority here, as the island is mainly inhabited by rare animals, beautiful flora and fauna, and centuries-old live oak trees. One of the biggest draws is the wild horses. Legend has it, they were abandoned by Spanish settlers more than 500 years ago!
You may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time as you watch these majestic creatures. You can see them roaming freely along the beaches, marshlands, and the ruins of a former Carnegie mansion. You’ll find plenty of photographic opportunities, so make sure to bring your camera. Just don’t get too close! As beautiful as they are, it’s not safe to approach the wild horses of Cumberland Island.
Cumberland Island features 18 miles of isolated beachfront and 9,800 acres of wilderness. Bike along gorgeous oak-lined paths, explore miles of hiking trails, hit the beach, or kayak through peaceful Lowcountry marshes. It’s easy to just get lost for a while and disconnect from the world.
For lodging on Cumberland Island, we recommend camping right now to practice social distancing. Just be sure to make your reservation in advance.
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We hope this blog helped you decide on some better options for spring break. Have fun, travel responsibly, but most importantly – wash your hands!
Are you looking for more hidden gems to explore right now? Check out our blog about the best day trips from Charleston, SC. And for even more travel inspo, be sure to follow our blog!