After a long and dreary winter, a change of the seasons is upon us. Snow is beginning to melt on the mountains and flowers are starting to bloom. Spring is on the horizon, which can only mean one thing: spring break.

Every year people spend their spring breaks in the most extravagant places. Whether it be the beaches in the Bahamas or the Eifel tower in Paris, it seems like spring break has developed into this stereotype where people must search high and low for the best spring break destination. This often leads to spending spring break in a crowded, overpriced destination. Next time you are planning your spring bring, break the stereotype. Instead of following the crowds, choose a destination that might be considered a little more unique. Here are a few crowd-free spring break suggestions.

Austin, Texas

Located in central Texas, Austin is filled with fun, artistic vibes that can’t be found elsewhere. Come prepared to try the best barbeque at Franklin’s Barbeque. Walk up and down South Congress and look at all the fun murals. Don’t forget to strike a pose in front of the infamous Austin postcard mural! If you are itching to get in the water, spend an afternoon at Lake Austin paddle boarding, kayaking, or just relaxing. From the exquisite food to the lively culture, Austin is sure to make your next spring break memorable.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Perhaps you’re a history buff and love to spend time in Washington, D.C. Instead of going to the US capital for spring break, take a visit to Philadelphia. Here you can skip out on the crowds found in DC, but still be immersed in American history. See sites such as the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Wander through the Reading Terminal Market and eat delicious, homemade treats. Make sure to not leave Philadelphia without trying the famous Philly cheesesteak. Go to Pat’s or Geno’s for the best cheesesteak in Philly.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Choose to spend your next spring break in the sky in Albuquerque, the Hot Air Ballooning Capital of the World. Schedule your hot air balloon tour at sunrise so you can see the city wake up as the sun rises over the mountains. Once back on the ground, sample New Mexican cuisine found throughout the city. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Town and shop at the colored adobe huts. If shopping isn’t your thing, spend a day at the many culture centers and museums to enrich your New Mexican experience.

For your next spring break, travel to a unique destination. By escaping the crowds and breaking the spring break stereotype, your spring break will become the most memorable yet!

– Maci Hiatt