Best “spring break” destinations for retirees


Mia Taylor

Mia Taylor

Blog author Mia Taylor

Mia Taylor is an award-winning journalist with two decades of reporting experience. News organizations she has worked for as a staff member or contributor include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Westways Magazine, Vacation Agent Magazine, the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Boston Globe. She has an M.A. in Journalism and Media Studies and was a member of a team of reporters who received a Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2011.

Published March 15, 2019|3 min read

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While spring break getaways are typically associated with the college crowd and perhaps families with school age children, retired travelers also look forward to a memorable spring vacation.

In fact, according to Expedia, one of the top destinations retirees like to visit is Washington D.C., which comes alive with cherry blossoms each spring. This year the blooms are expected to reach their peak between April 2 and April 6.

With its free museums (like these) and plethora of national monuments, the nation’s capital is just one of the many choices for retirees to keep in mind. Here are some of the other destinations the experts at Expedia and Travelzoo recommend.

Santa Barbara, California

Retirees can combine a city and country vacation in Santa Barbara, says Travelzoo’s Senior Editor Gabe Saglie, all while stretching their travel dollar.

“Downtown Santa Barbara, nestled between the mountains and the sea, offers plenty of beautiful visuals," Saglie said. "Dining is world class and varied, from the Michelin-aiming Silver Bough to affordable spots specializing in Mexican, Italian and California-inspired wine country cuisine, along with plenty of local seafood,” said Saglie.

An added bonus, just 45-minutes to the north, visitors will find California wine country with its sweeping vineyards and estates, also allowing for easy vacation extension in historic towns like Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang.

Want to visit a winery outside of California? Check out this list of wineries worth traveling to.

New York City

The influx of both domestic and international visitors always makes New York City an attractive and eclectic travel option. What’s more, retirees will find plenty of ways to budget their visit here thanks to the range of hotel, restaurant and attraction options, said Saglie.

“Weekend visits will be cheaper, generally, since that's when the business travel that sends prices soaring during the week slows down,” said Saglie. “This city is perfect for walking, with something new to be discovered at every corner. Ideal for retirees who like a bit more a fast-paced visit, New York City never disappoints.”

If you plan to visit the Big Apple, these are six helpful tools to help you survive the NYC subway.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

With its wide-open spaces and burnt orange mountains serving as the backdrop, Albuquerque offers attractions like the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, said Expedia’s Alexis Tiacoh.

Additional popular activities include a hot air balloon ride, taking in the Sandia Mountains from an entirely new angle. Once back on solid ground, Expedia recommends spending your evening at the Casa Rondena Winery or the Foul Play Cafe for some mystery dinner theatre.

Las Vegas

Fiscally prudent retirees may want to steer clear of the casino tables, but that doesn't mean they can't get the full Sin City experience.

“World class shows and concerts? Check. World class dining? Check. The arrival and early success of the Golden Knights, plus a new downtown stadium close to coming online make Vegas a sports town now, too,” said Saglie.

Hotel rates are always competitive in Las Vegas as well, often well under $100 a night, he added. Just watch out for those nightly resort fees (and these other travel fees you should never pay).

Wailea, Hawaii

This sunshine-swept, seaside enclave on the southwestern shores of Maui delivers all the aspects of a luxury tropical vacation, making it the type of island escape many retirees would love to treat themselves to.

“Resort options include luxe properties like The Fairmont Kea Lani, the only-all-suite property on Maui, and the Four Seasons Resort Maui, one of only two AAA five-diamond resorts on Maui and a celeb fave,” said Saglie.

There’s also plenty of affordable condo-style options here, too, Saglie added.

“Dining here is also top-notch, often inspired by the fish and produce that thrive on Maui,” said Saglie. And for the golf fans, there are three ocean-view courses to choose from.

If you want more ideas, check out this list of the best tourist destinations for travelers over 50.

Image: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen