No matter if you’re Team Ina or Team Martha, here’s one thing we can all agree on: There’s no better way to celebrate our thawing winter toes than by booking a spring-break trip. Here are seven exciting places you may not have thought to visit this spring that will satisfy your scenic (read: sunny) vacation cravings.
To sum it up, Paros is everything you love about Santorini (whitewashed stone and infinite Instagram ops) but with tranquil sandy beaches. This sophisticated island is an ideal spring-break destination for anyone looking to relax and soak up the views—and do a bit of kitesurfing here and there. Rent a private boat to explore the island’s secret coves, then rest your head at the stunning Hotel Senia.
Home to Japan’s famous cherry blossoms (which conveniently bloom in April), this city is ideal for anyone looking for a seriously cultural and scenic getaway outside of Tokyo. You’ll find countless temples, shrines and gardens in the ancient city, as well as opportunities to bike through bamboo forests and drink all the matcha tea your heart desires. Make your home base the Hotel She Kyoto, which is less than a mile from Tofuku-ji, a Zen temple famous for its beautiful autumn-colored foliage.
Jura is France’s smallest wine region, but its wines are consistently on the sommelier lists at Michelin-starred restaurants such as The French Laundry and Eleven Madison Park. The secret of this hidden gem may be out, but the area has yet to be overtaken by the masses that visit its neighboring region, Burgundy. Jura also has an impressive food scene that makes sitting down for dinner after a sunny day of wine tasting, waterfall exploring and vineyard biking even more satisfying. Stay at the historic Hôtel Des Messageries for the full experience.
If your ideal vacation involves miles of peaceful beaches and endless artisanal cheese, head to Mexico. But skip the busy Cancun crowds and go straight to the Emerald Coast of Veracruz,where you can enjoy incredible seafood and pan de agua—a bread baked in wood-burning ovens by a French community nestled in the banana plantations of San Rafael (we know, we know, but trust us). While you’re there, stop in Papantla to visit the pre-Columbian architectural ruins and a centuries-old vanilla farm. Reserve a room at Hotel Indigo Veracruz, a modern hotel in short walking distance from the beach.
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING
If you hear the call of nature now and again, this one’s for you. While Jackson Hole is typically known as a ski town, springtime is one of its best-kept secrets. You can soak up the incredible scenery that is revealed once all the snow melts away and hike the backcountry of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Go fly-fishing or wildlife watching and take in big breaths of clean air (it’ll do more for you than all of your essential oils combined). Since proximity to the slopes isn’t a priority in the off-season, stay in town at the beautifully western Wyoming Inn.
LAKE LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
This breathtaking part of the world is a mix of medieval charm and modern relaxation. Get your history fix in town and then go on an Alpine trek, sail the lake or settle in at one of the many spas offering Swiss chocolate treatments and four-hand massages. Stay right on the shore at the elegant Palace Luzern for incredible panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
A trip to Cape Town should be a bucket-list item for any adventure lover. Between the kitesurfing, mountain scaling and shark swimming, you won’t want to spend a moment indoors. This gorgeous city is full of colorful houses and picturesque views, not to mention a booming wine region and top-notch cuisine. Wildlife lovers won’t be able to get enough of the little African penguins that live on Boulders Beach. Spend your nights (and some of your days) lounging at the Alphen Boutique Hotel, known for its outstanding service.