Countdown to Spring Break

This winter has been especially brutal for residents living in the Midwest and along the East Coast of the United States. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures have been the norm this season as storm after storm has raced across the country making travel a nightmare from coast-to-coast. You bet we are ready for a break… a hot, sunny, snow-free spring break.

When I was in college typically the rule for vacations was: “Go home for winter break. Go wild for spring break.” Basically, it meant you would spend winter recess with family in your respective home state and party with your friends at a tropical location during spring recess. It made sense to me, especially since I attended school in Wisconsin—who wouldn’t want to escape the sub-zero temperatures for a week in Cancun? Oh wait, I know… my college boyfriend.

For some inexplicable reason, while the other 44,999 students at our school were buying tickets to Florida, California and Mexico, my then-boyfriend was looking for the best travel deals to Colorado and Wyoming. I’ll never forget the first time he discussed spending a spring break together. He asked: “Wouldn’t it be cool to go to Breckenridge?” Cool? Try down right frigid. Why on earth would I want to spend my one-week break from school shivering underneath seven layers of clothes on a snow covered mountain when I could be wearing practically nothing in the land of swaying palm trees and crystal blue waters? His answer: “Because I want to ski.”

Just to prove that I have nothing against Colorado or the idea of spending spring break in a winter wonderland I offer the following travel reviews of Breckenridge and my ex-boyfriend’s other favorite spring break destination, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO

Most skiers wouldn’t consider Breckenridge the ideal location to “rage” down a mountain, but it does offer a decent base for skiing and snowboarding. The town of Breckenridge is located at an elevation of 9,600 feet making it one of the higher ski resorts in Colorado. The village at Breckenridge is Victorian styled with gas lampposts, and historic Main Street is dotted with charming local shops and pubs. Stroll around downtown and the word “quaint” comes to mind. The locals make you feel at home and the accommodations range from affordable to opulent. If you have kids I would recommend hooking up with a tour company that offers sightseeing adventures with sleigh and carriage rides. This time of year you can find some wonder travel deals to the 150-year-old mountain town.

JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

If you are a nature lover then you will love the feel of this remote mountain village. Jackson Hole is considered “the last and best of the old West” (People wear cowboy hats at the ski resort). Take a trip to the local historical museum and you’ll see that the town square has changed little since the town was founded in the 1800s.

If you travel to Jackson Hole for winter recreation you will not be disappointed. The area receives more than 600 inches of snow a year and offers a variety of winter activities, including down-hill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sled tours, ice skating and snowshoeing. One of our favorite activities is snow tubing (it’s like extreme sledding). You simply load yourself into an inflatable tube, hook on to the rope tow, ride to the top of the hill and slide down (and hang on for dear life).

The area boasts three major ski areas: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort and Snow King Resort. Each resort offers spring break specials, but it’s a good idea to make reservations early as March and April draws some of the biggest crowds. Not only are you dealing with college co-eds and families with school-aged children on break, but a number of visitors flock to nearby Grand Teton National Park during the spring months as well.

Related Articles:

A Family Ski Vacation–Already?

Tips For Your Family Ski Vacation

Canada—Not Just A Winter Destination

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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