Underrated Spring Break Destinations in the U.S. for Solo Travelers or Small Groups

by Gabby Beckford
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Miami, PCB, and Cancun called… they want you to leave them in the 2010's. If you're a young solo traveler or college student looking to get off-the-beaten-path Spring Break and you're on a strict budget—this is for you!

Budgets are centered around USD $2,000 to spend for 7 days (not including transport), tune into the hidden gems I'm dropping below.

This post may have affiliate links. Meaning if you buy something using them, I get a small % for recommending it. It doesn't change the price for you at all and it's a super easy and nice way to say thanks for the work I did writing this 🙂 Cool? Cool!

Girls-Trip Spring Break Destination: Savannah, GA

If you want to party in style and leave Spring Break with an arsenal of Insta-worthy photos, whether you’re traveling solo, intimate girl squad, or big group, the aesthetics in Savannah, GA are unmatched. 

This charming southern city is home to draping Spanish Moss, a historic downtown, and the Moon River District, featuring the world’s longest road of live oaks—a perfect Instagram spot.

Savannah, Georgia

💡 Pro-tip: Make sure your girls group all wears the same color palette for the best group photos.

With the Savannah College of Art and Design located downtown, the city’s nightlife already caters to the 20-something audience. Visit City Market for an eclectic collection of shops, bars, and restaurants if you don’t know where to start, or check out some of the pubs, lounges, and clubs nearby.

When you’re ready for brunch at 2 PM the day after your night out, The Ordinary Pub has you covered. They’re the only place in the city that serves brunch all day long, and they’re famous for pork doughnut sliders: pork belly cooked in bourbon and Dr. Pepper served with bacon onion jam on doughnuts. You may not want to miss their seafood gumbo and grits, mac n’ cheese, or shepherd’s pie either, though. 

Or save money by DIY-ing it and BYOB-ing a picnic in the park.

Yep, you heard us correctly. The city of Savannah has an open-container policy, so you can pack a lunch basket, some drinks, and a big blanket and picnic next to the famous Forsyth Park fountain, modeled after one in Paris. The 30-acre park has a Fragrant Garden, tennis court, and endless shady benches waiting under old oaks as well.

You can have a bad n’ boujee afternoon with the girls while saving your coin!

Ready to hit the beach? You’ll drive 20 mins to Tybee Island, where things are a little calmer and you can bask in the sun. You can expect daytime weather to be comfortably in the mid-70s, perfectly spring-like, and comfortable for Island adventures.

You can easily spend a week exploring everything these beaches have to offer. Little Tybee Island is pristine and uninhabited, with subtropical forests that can only be reached by kayak.

Tybee Island Lighthouse
Tybee Light House

Looking for a little more action? Check out North Island Surf & Kayak to rent a surfboard or stand-up paddleboard, or join Captain Derek for a deep-sea fishing excursion. Or you can book a dolphin tour if you’d rather just watch the wildlife and not catch it. 

But back in the city, gorgeous gorgeous girls book riverboat cruises. The Georgia Queen sails for brunch (which we highly recommend), lunch, dinner, and sunset, and you’ll achieve the ultimate luxury spring break aesthetic with a brunch girls photo onboard the gorgeous red and white riverboat. 

If your Spring Break falls over St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th), and you want to attend the third-largest parade in the world, Savannah is definitely your destination. The annual St. Patrick’s Day parade is a huge deal, and festivities honoring Irish culture fill the streets all week.

💡 Don’t miss the rich, Black history that Savannah has to offer—from walking tours to the best budget eats in town, all Black-owned. Our guide on How to Spend a Black-Owned Weekend in Savannah, GA will get you started.

Where to Stay in Savannah

We recommend Hotel Tybee if you want to be just 100 feet from the beach and 20 mins from downtown. 

Or, check out the Olde Harbour Inn if you want an aesthetic stay in historic downtown Savannah, and you’re okay with being 20 minutes from the beach. 

Spring Break Weather in Savannah

March in Savannah, GA is perfect springtime weather, with temperatures in the 70s during the day and slightly chilly breezes at night. Bring a jacket for your nightlife adventures!

Budget: $1850

Our approximate budget includes 5 nights at Hotel Tybee, $90/day food and drinks, a riverboat cruise, sunset dolphin tour, and paddleboard rental. 

Hidden Gem Spring Break Destination: San Padre Island, TX

Never thought we’d recommend a beach party in Texas, huh? But San Padre Island is a true hidden gem for the girls who want to party properly with a sunny beach, lots of clubs and nightlife, plenty to drink, and nowhere in particular to be.

Called the “two-nation vacation” thanks to its proximity to Mexico (only 20 miles from the border!), San Padre proves that everything is bigger and better in Texas—well, at least as far as Spring Break parties go. To get a real taste of Mexico without leaving the United States, visit Senor Donkey for their World’s Best Shrimp Enchiladas or some homemade flautas. 

For a proper daytime beach experience, San Padre provides water sports like windsurfing, sailing, and jet skis.

When the sun sets the party doesn’t stop because San Padre boasts plenty of popular clubs!

Louie’s Backyard, for instance, keeps things lively with fireworks, bungee jumping, and island music! Clayton's Beach Bar and Grill, the biggest beach bar in Texas, is selling tickets for concerts by Big Boogie, Polo G, and Afroman over Spring Break.

Where to Stay in San Padre Island

La Copa Inn is one of the nicest beachfront hotels in San Padre. 

Spring Break Weather in San Padre Island

March in San Padre is ideal for beachgoers, typically staying above 60º F degrees and getting into the 80º Fs during the day.

Budget: $2,100

Our approximate budget includes 5 nights at La Copa and $100/day food and drinks.

💸 Split accommodation costs with a friend or go for a vacation rental and cook “at home” to save even more money.

Solo Travel Spring Break Destination: Ventura, CA

Here’s your destination if you’re looking for a nautical adventure: Ventura, CA. The west-coast seaside charm on this one is strong. You’ve got the quintessential Spring Break beach, for swimming, surfing, or lounging, but you can’t forget harbor village, a labyrinth of sea caves, fresh seafood, and a botanical garden tour complete with all the cacti and succulents you could ever wish for.

It’s not just a trip to the beach, it’s a full-on nautical adventure by the seaside!

Ventura CA Tourist Map
All the vibes, of Ventura!

If you make this trip, the first thing you’ll want to do is take an ocean kayaking trip to the Channel Island Sea Caves.

…Seriously? You’re not going to get in a kayak and paddle through a barely-lit puzzle of algae-painted caves, with sleeping sea lions on either side of you, and dark, rocking water underneath you? If you’re boring, just say that. But honestly, the sea caves are one of the main attractions in Ventura County, and it’s not something you should pass on.

Another must-see is the local whale that migrates through the area! Every year throughout the month of April, gray whale watching trips run 3-3.5 hours. You’ll also likely see dolphins, more sea lions, seals, and possibly orcas. Later on, you can join a harbor tour or dinner cruise or stay on the water with a paddleboard rental.

For an adventure on dry land, try taking yourself on a scavenger hunt around Ventura for the most exciting version of a walking tour!

To unwind after an earth-shattering day of adventure, there are escape rooms and arcades, and of course the botanical gardens.

For the best experience, stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel right on Ventura beach. It’s within walking distance from downtown, the Ventura Pier, and the Promenade. You’ll have easy access to the Bombay Bar and Grill, with two live music stages, two dance floors, a gourmet burger bar, hand-crafted cocktails, ice-cold beers, and lots of new friends (who you may or may not remember the next morning) to keep you company during your solo travel.

Or, since it would be a shame to miss out on the fresh seafood, you could visit Lure Fish House for oysters, lobster, mussels, or clam chowder. 

Where to Stay in Ventura

Crown Plaza Hotel for a beachfront stay minute from downtown. 

Spring Break Weather in Ventura

March in Ventura, CA is going to be just slightly chilly. Temperatures most likely won’t always reach the 70s, so you’ll want to bring some warm clothes.

But, the best part of visiting here in the off-season is the cheaper prices and missing the crowds. What keeps you warmer than the money you save?

Budget: $1,850

Our approximate budget includes 5 nights at the Crown Plaza Hotel, $90/day food and drinks, and an ocean kayaking trip.

Winter Adventure Spring Break Destination: Bend, Oregon

Not looking to get a sunburn this Spring Break? Make Bend, OR your Spring Break trip, and experience all of the activities that the Northwest United States has to offer. 

This trip is perfect for the active and outdoorsy girl, who would rather summit a peak than sip a Mai Tai. You can easily pack your schedule with a week’s worth of adventures and still not try everything the city has to offer. 

First off, the obvious: there are multiple ski resorts in Bend, OR. Mt. Bachelor, for instance, is ideal for both the experienced skier and the newbie who needs an instructor. They offer a Progression Park with jumps and hips of all sizes, and a Volcano Adventure Zone that flows, twists, and turns.  

You can absolutely take this trip without skiing at all, though. How about a sled dog ride?

The Oregon Trail of Dreams runs through April, and you even get to pamper, feed, and water the dogs after your ride. Wanderlust Tours runs Starlight and Moonlight Snowshoe Tours – Starlight Tours run all through March, and there’s one chance for Moonlight Tours during the March Full Moon. 

What about strapping on your snow shoes and going for a hike? You can enjoy a half-day hiking tour of Bend complete with a trip to the local brewery for a rewarding drink that comes with stunning views! Or explore Cascade Mountain Range with a professional explorer to trek an expertly carved out trail for the most brilliant lookout points.

If you’re not quite that adventurous, how about a beautiful kayaking session on pristine mountain lakes in the Cascades?

Wanderlust Tours also operates these group tours, where they bring the kayaks and expert guide, and you bring your camera and awe as you float on top of crystal-clear lake waters, navigating caves, bays, and spotting otters in plain view of the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Paulina Peak—Bend’s Holy Trinity of mountain tops.

Bend, Oregon Three Sisters
Photo by Derek Sears on Unsplash

You’ll be hungry after all that action: there is hearty German food like the Pork Schnitzel Sando or Chicken and Liege Waffles at Monkless Belgian Ales. For you plant-based foodies, Active Culture Cafe and Yogurt is a must-stop spot. Their menu is full of organic grain bowls, house-made plant-based burgers, vegan tacos, kombucha drinks, and almond milk smoothies.

And no matter how outdoorsy and granola your Spring Break might be, you’re likely still going to want to hit the bars! Most of the nightlife in Bend has a rustic feel, with taverns and breweries being the most common stop.

One of the most popular spots is the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin, famous for its Cabin decor and dirty popcorn. If you’re a recent grad or you’re taking a solo trip, and you want Spring Break to feel a little more grown-up than it used to, Bend, Oregon is the destination for you. 

Where to Stay in Bend

LOGE Bend for a pet-friendly location where you can reserve snowshoes and sleds on site. 

Spring Break Weather in Bend

Weather in Bend, Oregon over Spring Break refuses to be predictable. You could have sunny, nice days or snowfall. Most likely, temperatures will be in the 50s during the day… Bring a warm coat if you’re going out at night!

Budget – $1,500

5 nights at LOGE Bend, $100/day food and drink budget, moonlight snowshoe trip, a day at the whitewater park, and a sled dog ride. 

As a full-time digital nomad who’s been to over 40+ countries, I just can’t resist the chance to recommend a little hop, skip, and passport stamp for Spring Break! Enter, Puerto Escondido.

BONUS: International Escape Spring Break Destination: Puerto Escondido, Mexico

As a full-time digital nomad who’s been to over 40+ countries, I just can’t resist the chance to recommend a little hop, skip, and passport stamp for Spring Break! Enter, Puerto Escondido.

If you have dreams of lounging on the beach all day after going on a sunrise dolphin-watching tour, this is the destination for you.

There’s no need to plan activities, schedule tours, or show up for parades and concerts here. This is the kind of place where you can just chill, eat, mingle, party, and swim all day, every day (read: forever).

It’s not going to be flooded with Spring Breakers as heavily as Cancun or Tulum, but it won’t be quiet, either. Beachside bars will be packed and at night beaches will erupt into revelrous after-hours parties. 

If you want to organize your vacation a bit, definitely look into a boating tour around Puerto Escondido for a look at the local wildlife and to spot which beaches you want to visit! If your trip lines up properly, you can even participate in a turtle release experience to help local conservation efforts and work with the wildlife up close.

Playa Principal is the main beach in Escondido. It parallels the Adoquin, a popular cobblestone walking street.

The water is ideal for swimming, and the main pull of this beach is the friendly atmosphere among beachgoers. It’s not a stunning white sand beach, but it’s a good place to make friends—Spring Break solo travel doesn’t have to be lonely!

Playa Zicatela is home to events like the World Surfing League’s Puerto Escondido Challenge, due to the huge waves that break on its shores.

It is not safe for swimming but is perfect for a  surfing excursion. You can also see it by booking a boat cruise with new friends, for just USD $43pp.

Playa Carrazalillo, about three miles north of Zicatela, is a hidden gem.

You’ll have to walk down 167 steps cut into a cliff in order to reach it. Once you’re there, you’re in the perfect spot for a sunset margarita overlooking a beautiful little inlet with soft waves lapping at your feet.

You should order the grilled octopus for dinner at Espadin Restaurant. 

Getting into Puerto Escondido requires either a nauseating 6-8 mile drive over curvy roads for $12 or a scenic flight on a small plane. We, of course, recommend the flight. Don't forget to book a roundtrip airport transfer for even easier travel logistics.

You’ll get a full view of the rolling mountains of Oaxaca state, and the continental divide causing rivers to flow in opposite directions. Seats on these flights tend to be limited, so you may want to call a couple of weeks ahead to book your spot. 

Where to Stay in Puerto Escondido

Bungalow Zicatela, which allegedly has an adorable pup for a mascot named Pancho.

Spring Break Weather in Puerto Escondido

March in Puerto Escondido is beautifully warm—you can expect temperatures between 70-90 and should bring all the summer clothes. 

Budget: $1,000

Our approximate budget includes 6 nights at Bungalow Zicatela, and a $100/day food and drink budget.

What are some safety tips for Spring Break?

As a solo female traveler on Spring Break, there are a few things you should make sure to do: try to stay in a group whenever possible, whether it's with your friends from home, new friends, or a group tour. Ask safety tips from the concierge. Never tell anyone you're staying alone—you're always “waiting on a friend” or boyfriend. For more tips, read The Ultimate Safety Guide for a Solo Female Traveler.

Should I do Spring Break in the U.S. or internationally?

If you're on a strict budget or this is one of your first solo trips (or trips in general)start domestically. It'll make the trip less stressful for you and your parents. If you're a veteran traveler with money saved up—go internationally! I did my Spring Break trips in London, Phuket, and Puerto Rico and loved every minute of it.

Gabby Beckford

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