6 ‘Hidden Gem’ Spring Break Destinations To Explore in 2017

We all deserve a spring break after a long winter indoors. While some of us like wild days at the beach, others prefer something more subdued. However you choose to spend this all-too-brief respite from work or school, spring break offers a great chance to explore a new destination.

On FlipKey, we have hundreds of thousands of rentals across the US bookable for spring break. Most revelers focus on a handful of popular areas, but we’re suggesting overlooked spots that should be on your radar in 2017.

From beachside retreats to urban locales, here are six spring break options to book this year.

Love Malibu? Try Monterey, CA.

Known for its natural beauty, Monterey is a true NorCal oceanside escape. Daytime activities abound from an afternoon shopping at Fisherman’s Wharf to playing a round of golf at famous Pebble Beach. Stroll through Cannery Row, a boutique entertainment area made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel. For breathtaking ocean views and impressive cliffside mansions, why not rent a speedy convertible for the famous 17-Mile Drive along the picturesque Monterey peninsula. Wildlife lovers won’t want to miss a whale watch, where you’ll see a variety of species.

Eat: Restaurant 1833

Play: Monterey Bay Whale Watch

See: Fisherman’s Wharf

See all Monterey rentals on FlipKey

Love Charlotte? Try Atlanta, GA.

Charlotte’s charm is well-known, but nearby Atlanta is a bustling city with just as much to see and do. For sports fans, cheer on the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA arena downtown. Visit midtown, known as “The Heart of the Arts”, for a theater show or musical. If you need a respite from the urban energy, enjoy a walk or picnic at Piedmont Park. Looking to tie one on? Party the night away in Buckhead, where the bars and clubs are endless.

Eat: Cooks and Soldiers

Play: Atlanta Movie Tours

See: Piedmont Park

See all Atlanta rentals on FlipKey

Love Lexington? Try Louisville, KY.

Louisville, Kentucky is most famous for the legendary Kentucky Derby. But its attractions don’t end there: every year visitors come from all over the country during spring break to explore Louisville museums and art galleries, relax in the city’s green parks, and wander through its charming historic neighborhoods. Louisville is only a short 90 minute drive from Lexington, a popular college town.

Eat: Against the Grain Brewery

Play: Copper and Kings American Brandy Company

See: Kentucky Derby Museum

See all Louisville rentals on FlipKey

Love Atlantic Beach? Try Asheville, NC.

The North Carolina coast is famous for its beachside spring break retreats, but consider heading inland this year. Asheville has earned a reputation as one of America’s most cultured cities, with the funky stores and art galleries of its River Arts District capturing the spirit of the city. If you love live music, you’re in luck—between the Altamont Theater, Moog Music Factory and Store, and the Symphony Orchestra, you’ll find world-class acts in settings ranging from intimate to grand.

Eat: Rhubarb

Play: No Taste Like Home Tours

See: New Belgium Brewing Company

See all Asheville rentals on FlipKey

Love Portland? Try Hood River, OR.

If you’re itching to get outdoors during spring break (who isn’t?), spend time in Hood River, Oregon—the less crowded alternative to Portland. Rent a car and take the scenic drive known as the “Fruit Loop”. This 35-mile trek will take you on a journey past beautiful vineyards, miles of fields of flowers, and spectacular views. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is tops for hiking, kayaking, and backpacking. Take a shot at kitesurfing on the Columbia River, where winds along the gorge create perfect conditions.

Eat: Celilo Restaurant and Bar

Play: Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom

See: Maryhill Museum of Art

See all Hood River rentals on FlipKey

Love Nashville? Try Chattanooga, TN.

Chattanooga, nicknamed the “Scenic City”, offers a worthy alternative to a spring break in Nashville. Nestled on the border of Georgia, Chattanooga has all the elements of a big city—such as a burgeoning theater and nightlife scene—yet still retains a welcoming, small town feel. Chattanooga lives up to its nickname with soaring mountains, mysterious caverns, and the beautiful Tennessee River to explore. Hike the 4,100-foot walking trail in Rock City Gardens, and you’ll find a 90-foot waterfall and the Lover’s Leap lookout where you can spot seven states.

Eat: Public House Chattanooga

Play: Ice on the Landing

See: International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame

See all Chattanooga rentals on FlipKey