5 Sunny Spring Break Destinations To Visit in 2021

If you haven’t traveled in a while and you’re hoping for a sunny, spring getaway, you’re in luck. While many European countries and other destinations are still closed to U.S. passport holders, a number of nearby countries in the Caribbean and Central America are open to visitors. And don’t forget that there are a few U.S. states with warm enough weather for a beachy getaway. Here are some of our favorite spots for beaches, relaxation, and fun in the sun.

It’s worth noting at the time of writing, U.S. residents will have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test when returning to the U.S. from a foreign country. Before booking your trip, make sure to investigate your options for PCR testing at your destination. This way, you can ensure you’ll be able to get a test easily and efficiently in time for your return. You can browse flight deals and get notified as they arise here, and take a look at hotel options for any of the destinations below.


RELATED: Traveling in 2021? Here’s What You Need To Know


Best Spring Travel Destinations

Costa Rica

Why go: Costa Rica’s gorgeous beaches, lush jungle, exotic wildlife, and commitment to sustainability make it a perfect getaway for nature lovers, beach bums, families, or generally anyone looking to enjoy the great outdoors. 

Areas like Quepos are more geared to tourists wanting to explore the Manuel Antonio State Park (spot the sloths!), while Guanacaste has many larger, luxury brand hotels featuring all the comforts. The Arenal volcano isn’t too far from capital San Jose, but those really wanting to get off-the-beaten-path should consider heading south to Uvita, or road tripping the Atlantic coast, a lesser-trodden region of the country.

Good to know: U.S. passport holders will have to fill out a health form and purchase mandatory health insurance in order to enter Costa Rica. More information on health insurance plans and entry requirements are available on the Visit Costa Rica website.


RELATED: 1 Week in Costa Rica Suggested Travel Itinerary


Places to travel in the Spring - Barbados

Barbados

Why go: This Caribbean island nation is less than 200 square miles large, but you can still discover hidden beaches, delicious seafood, a plethora of wildlife, and beyond. The island offers 70 miles of beaches for those wanting to kick back and relax, rum cocktail in hand. Active tourists can visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve to spot monkeys and flamingos, or admire the island’s tropical flora at the Andromeda Gardens.

Whether it’s private beachfront villas, luxury hotels, or affordable inns, there’s lodging for every type of traveler in Barbados. Regardless of where you stay, make sure to eat to your heart’s content at a traditional fish fry at one of the island’s many coastal seafood restaurants.

Good to know: In order to enter the island, U.S. citizens will have to fill out a health form and show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Then, you’ll have to quarantine for five days at your hotel and take another Covid test. This second test is free if done at a government facility. If it comes back negative, you can move freely around the island. For this reason, Barbados may be best for travelers that are able to take longer trips.

Tropical places to travel in the Spring - The Bahamas

Bahamas

Why go: Located off the coast of eastern Florida, the Bahamas is a destination relatively close to the U.S. In fact, you can easily arrive from several U.S. hubs via airlines like American, JetBlue, Delta, and United. Plus, resorts like the SLS Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar are reopening in March, just in time for spring travel.

Many resorts are offering ‘resort bubbles,’ programs that allow visitors all-inclusive rate options (including free Covid tests) that may entice them to remain mainly on the resort for the duration of their stay. If you’re looking for a family-friendly stay at a luxury hotel full of activities, spots like the Baha Mar Resort in Nassau are for you. Travelers looking to explore may prefer islands like Andros Island or Great Abaco.

Good to know: U.S. citizens have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test completed five days prior to arrival or less. Once you have your results, you’ll need to apply for the Bahamas Health Visa, which includes taking a rapid antigen test once there as well as purchasing mandatory health insurance (price is based on length of stay). Travelers should know that 16 islands are presently open for tourism, and each has its own Covid protocols in place. Nevertheless, prepare to wear your masks in many public locations.


RELATED: Escape To These 5 Sunny Destinations This Winter


Where to travel in Florida during the Spring

Florida

Why go: If you aren’t up for the additional testing and hassle of international travel, Florida is the perfect plan B. Part of the good ol’ United States, you may even be able to drive here depending on your location. Take the family to Disney or the Everglades, or for a relaxed gulf coast getaway to Pensacola. Foodies and wine lovers should head to Miami, where, despite the presence of coronavirus, you’ll still find a bustling dining and drinking scene. For peace and quiet, consider hitting the Florida Keys or Sanibel Island.


RELATED: Suggested Florida Gulf Coast Road Trip Itinerary


Florida activities go beyond just the beach and Disney. There’s a fishing scene, a boating scene, and lots of incredible snorkeling and diving, too. And for those wanting to stay on dry land, consider museums. The Ernest Hemingway Home or Salvador Dali museum are both excellent cultural options.

Good to know: Florida suggests social distancing for anyone visiting the state. Most theme parks are open, and some, such as Disney, have mandatory mask-wearing requirements for anyone 2+ years old.

Spring travel in the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Why go: Santo Domingo is best for cultural buffs, while beach-goers will prefer resort areas like Punta Cana or Puerto Plata. But it’s not all beach lounging. Some of the top water sports in the country are kitesurfing and windsurfing. The best area for this is Cabarete, not too far from Puerto Plata. 

Nature fans will enjoy horseback riding to the Limon waterfall, one of the largest in the country. Hikers can climb the Isabel de Torres mountain for epic views. And don’t worry — there’s a cable car if you’re less inclined to trek. Those visiting before late March should take a whale watching trip to spot humpbacks migrating.

Good to know: Those not planning on doing much in the evening should plan to visit the Dominican Republic. Currently, there’s a strict evening curfew in place (exact time depends on day of the week). However, travelers coming from the U.S. won’t have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Instead, airport staff will randomly select people for rapid breath tests upon arrival. Travelers must also fill out a health declaration upon arrival.

Book or Plan a Trip to Any of these Tropical Destinations

Interested in booking or mapping out a trip similar to the one we described above? We’ve got the template ready for you. Create a free Winetraveler account and Request Beta Access to design a trip to destinations like these or request to book a trip through one of our certified agents.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Zaino is a travel expert that's lived in Madrid, Spain for over a decade. A self-taught oenophile and culinary connoisseur, she's just as comfortable backpacking through Latin America's wine country as she is demurely sipping Champagne in French castles.

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