March and April in Colorado are, you know, fine. They can be wintry or springlike, and bike season is just a bright dot on the horizon. The skiing is OK, if you’re willing to dodge Texans like pinballs and wait in the season’s most atrocious lines. The kids have a week off school, which means you’re fielding work emails while keeping the minions entertained (One more episode won’t hurt them, you tell yourself for the fifth time). On second thought, maybe it’s best to get outta Dodge.

Unsure where to go? We can help. Read on to find eight destinations for skiers, bikers, families, and couples—all a nonstop flight away from Denver International Airport.

Jump Ahead

St. Petersburg, Fla.

Direct flight to Tampa International Airport (TPA)


Best for: The traveler who doesn’t want the night to end

Because: Denver isn’t the only city with sunny days and a vibrant nightlife scene. St. Petersburg, known also as “the Sunshine City,” rays-es the bar with a Guinness World Record title for the most consecutive days of sunshine (768, in case you were curious). But it also offers a bevy of opportunities for imbibing well after dark.

Start sipping as the city’s namesake descends, perhaps with a glass of the orange-forward Sunset Gin from St. Petersburg Distillery. Then mosey a mile down the road to Urban Stillhouse, a wonderland for whiskey enthusiasts. You can pop in for a sample of their Horse Soldier Bourbon or make a reservation to get the full fine-dining experience. Prefer a pint? Sign up for a Gulp Coast Craft Brewery Passport (it’s free) to record how many of the region’s more than 40 locally owned breweries you tap into. Be sure to hit Green Bench Brewing Co.’s tasting room, Webb’s City Cellar, to experience why this specialist in mixed culture, sour, and wild ales was the only bar in Florida to be named a James Beard Award semifinalist in the Outstanding Bar category. Since spring evening temps still hover around 70 degrees, spend at least one evening tippling en plein air while lounging in a cabana at Canopy, the Birchwood Hotel’s top tier (literally) lounge or playing with adorable pups at the Dog Bar. End with a nightcap and a cabaret show at the Floridian Social, a storied Art Deco theater turned craft cocktail venue that’ll transport you back to the ’20s.

Where to stay: Live like royalty at the Don Cesar, a nearly 100-year-old beachfront icon that’s hosted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Cher. Located 15 minutes from downtown St. Petersburg on St. Pete Beach (Yep, plan to Uber or Lyft home), the Pink Palace offers 277 airy rooms and suites, along with live jazz and lounge music in the Lobby Bar.

What to eat: For panoramic views of the city and standout short rib, book dinner reservations at Teak. This upscale eatery is perched at the tip of the St. Pete Pier, making it a stellar spot to watch the sunset and nosh on fresh seafood. For a more lowkey lunch, swing by one of Casita Taqueria’s three locations (all in St. Petersburg) for cheap eats and camarones tacos. Before you leave, try the smoked lions mane & royal trumpet mushrooms at Lingr Restaurant to see if they’re as to die for as the king trumpet mushroom skewers at Denver’s own Linger.

Cancun, Mexico

Direct flight to Cancun International Airport (CUN)

Best for: The traveler looking for a beach (but not just a beach)

Because: We love a slice of sand and a steamy beach read as much as the next person, but contrary to the saying, life’s more than a beach.

Three airlines offer nonstops from Denver to Cancun (including Frontier, which could get you there for around the price of a burger if you have the GoWild! Pass). Upon arrival, no question you should spend time admiring the turquoise waters and lounging beneath an umbrella at your all-inclusive hotel’s private beach. But then, get off your towel and explore. Go snorkeling along the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest in the world, to swim with sea turtles and explore a shipwreck. (Check out Total Snorkel for guided tours.) Visit archeological site El Rey, which experts believe was the heart of an old maritime and fishing settlement, and dip into the Mayan Museum of Cancun. Get a seagull’s eye view of the beach on Sky Wheel Cancun, a massive ferris wheel that towers over the Caribbean, and take home a locally made souvenir from Flea Market Coral Negro.

Where to stay: In Cancun, it’s hard to resist the ease of an all-inclusive—just be sure to pick one with more than a plot of sand. At Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort, guests can enjoy two pools (including a family-friendly splash pool with waterslides), 12 on-site dining experiences, Mayan art and jewelry-making classes, sand volleyball and soccer games, and nightly entertainment with its fiesta show. And of course, plan to get off-property to mingle with the locals.

What to eat: When you’re at Hilton Cancun, try a wood-fired pizza at La Luce. Keep an eye on the kids when they enter La Churrería, an all-you-can-eat ice cream and churro joint. Venture beyond the hotel walls to try the tuna saku tartar and Caribbean ceviche at Fred’s Seafood & Raw Bar or something fresh off the grill from La Vicenta.

Phoenix, Ariz.

Direct flight to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Best for: The traveler who wants to watch (and wager on) games of all kinds

Because: The nation’s fifth largest city hosts more than the Super Bowl (though it’s done that four times). Phoenix offers every major North American sport in a professional setting between February and May, which means, no matter what shape of ball (or puck) strikes your fancy, the newly dubbed “Championship Valley” has it.

Rockies loyalists keen to get their first look at Kyle Freeland’s fastball will have plenty of opportunities during the Cactus League season, which runs through March 26. Basketball-lovers can catch one of the Phoenix Suns’ home games for pro-level dunking or wait until early April to see the aftermath of March Madness upsets in the NCAA Men’s Final Four. The best of the best from historically black colleges and universities tip off on April 7 at the 2024 HBCU All-Star Game. Although it’s not the right season to catch a Cardinals home game, football fans can still get their fix with the Arizona Rattlers, the region’s indoor football team. Soccer fans can score super cheap tickets (as low as $15) to watch the Phoenix Rising on the pitch. The Waste Management Phoenix Open and 2024 Arizona Tennis Classic will keep white and green (yellow?) ball-sports buffs happy, while hockey enthusiasts will have plenty of fun watching four-time NHL All-Star Clayton Keller do his thing with the Arizona Coyotes.

Those who like to put a little skin in the game have sportsbook options aplenty, including the 17,000-square-foot BetMGM Sportsbook at State Farm Stadium.

Where to stay: If you’re looking for luxury (and a little gambling), book a room at Talking Stick Resort, conveniently located right across the street from the Rockies’ spring training stomping grounds at Salt River Fields. If you’d rather position yourself minutes from Chase Field and the Footprint Center, post up at the newly renovated Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

What to eat: Owned by former Suns standout Dan Majerle, Majerle’s Sports Grill has earned a spot on numerous “best sports bars in America” lists, including a 2005 roundup by Sports Illustrated. The reasons: A friendly environment and on-point entrées like the Sir Charles chicken sandwich. Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar, which sits adjacent to Chase Field and atop the 1,500-square-foot Caesars Sportsbook, is another home run. Don’t miss the legendary trash can nachos.

Mt. Bachelor, Ore.

Direct flight to Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM)

Best for: The traveler who hasn’t yet gotten their ski fix

Because: Anyone looking to ski over spring break comes to Colorado—which is exactly why you shouldn’t. Book a non-stop flight to Redmond, Ore., and just 60 minutes after touch-down, you’ll be whizzing down the slopes of Mt. Bachelor. The sixth-largest ski resort in the U.S., this Ikon Pass–affiliated destination boasts more than 100 runs, 4,323 acres of terrain, and 360-degree descents from a volcanic peak. Yet because there aren’t any main highways to link Oregon’s metropolitan areas to Mt. Bachelor, the resort remains relatively crowd-free. For the most part, you’ll be sharing the mountain’s bevy of blue runs (don’t worry, there’s expert and extreme terrain to be had as well) with the friendly locals. Expect them to offer up restaurant recommendations as soon as they notice you’re skiing on rental gear.

Make sure to jump aboard the Summit lift when you can—windy conditions may close her down—to snag a selfie from Mt. Bachelor’s 9,065-foot apex and the bragging rights that go with skiing off the top of something that once blew up. While you’re up there, look out to the north to see a cluster of fellow volcanoes, the Three Sisters. Legend has it, those sisters fought over their neighbor, the “bachelor,” giving the volcano its name.

Traveling with some non-skiers? They can spend the day exploring a lava tube or enjoying a Shoes, Brews, and Views Snowshoe Tour with Wanderlust Tours. The group naturalist will dig the mix of wildlife, local history, and art on display at the High Desert Museum.

Where to stay: Unless you’re renting a rig and sleeping overnight in Mt. Bachelor’s parking lot (which, yes, is allowed—and 20 spots in the West Village lot have electrical hook-up capability), you’ll want to book a few nights in nearby Bend. Our pick: The Oxford Hotel, which positions guests right in the heart of this bustling, mini-Boulder. This eco-chic, four-diamond hotel offers rooms with plush bathrobes, a comfy seating area, and fresh-ground local coffee. Organic mattresses and a complimentary pillow menu (choose from foam, feather, and other neck support options) ensure you’re well-rested for your next day on the hill.

What to eat: Boasting around 20 breweries within city limits (and lots more nearby), Bend is rightfully known for its beer culture. And while yes, you should après at least once at a watering hole like Deschutes Brewery, don’t miss out on Bend’s foodie scene. For a casual ambiance with high-class eats, opt for the Drake. We recommend sharing a slew of starters (Dukkah butter bean dip with rustic sourdough, anyone?) and saving room for the to-die-for ricotta donuts. Plan another night around cocktails at the Lady Bird Cultural Society. The sexy, French-inspired ambiance (think: black, tasseled light fixtures and gilded mirrors) pairs well with a gin-forward Pink Lady Sour and wood-roasted aged duck.

Healdsburg, Calif.

Direct flight to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Three cyclists cruise through Healdsburg on a group ride with Mill District Velo.
Cruising through Healdsburg with Mill District Velo. Photo by Daylen Yang

Best for: The traveler eager to get their bike season started

Because: We’re jonesing to get our two-wheelers out of storage too, but mountain bike trails will be sloppy for a few more months and the roads are still covered in winter grit. Healdsburg, here we come.

Roughly 90 minutes north of San Francisco, Healdsburg is a small town with a big cycling reputation: The roads nearby ranked among Bicycling Magazine’s seven greatest rides on Earth in 2011. The town is located in the heart of wine-rich Sonoma County, which means rides offer a mix of gentle, rolling terrain and challenging climbs along roads flanked by vineyards and, in the spring, lupine, California poppies, and other wild blooms. (Yes, it also means A+ après.)

If you want to go it alone, swing by Spoke Folk Cyclery to pick up your road bike and chat with the friendly staff. They’ll be happy to recommend rides, one of which will likely be the classic 52-mile Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley route where vineyard views abound. If you’d rather leave the navigation up to the professionals, check out the Sip ’n Cycle tour from Wine Country Bikes, where you’ll pedal 10–12 miles, stop at two or three wineries, and fuel up with a picnic lunch.

Where to stay: Get a taste for downtown Healdsburg with a few nights at the H2 Hotel. The locally owned, LEED-certified Gold lodging option offers a simple-yet-refined aesthetic with bamboo floors, a solar-heated pool, and complimentary continental breakfast. H2 Hotel also partners with pro cyclist Peter Stetina, who will take guests on curated rides; check with the hotel concierge for details.

What to eat: Make a reservation for SingleThread Farms (spots are released on the first of each month), a Michelin-starred restaurant that ranked among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2022. Their 10-course tasting menu highlights homegrown bounty prepared with Japanese cooking methods. Ready for some wine tasting? Visit Flowers Vineyards and Winery (again, book in advance) for an unforgettable pinot noir paired with a stroll through their lush gardens.


Direct flight to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)

Best for: The traveler planning a fun-filled family vacay

Because: When you hear “family-friendly spring break,” no doubt a Magic Kingdom, gaggle of princesses, and jolly mouse spring to mind. But trust us, there are plenty of other kid-focused trip ideas that don’t involve standing in line for an hour for a three-minute Dumbo ride and shelling out $15 for a balloon (which apparently is one of the least expensive souvenir options). Head to Toronto instead.

Any trip to the city known as 6ix (a reference to the six municipalities that formerly comprised Metro Toronto) should begin with a glass elevator ride 1,465 feet (or 447 metres, if you will) up to the SkyPod, the highest level of the CN Tower. Look out over Toronto’s full cityscape, catch a glimpse of Niagara Falls nearly 100 miles away (if it’s clear), and pay no mind to the swaying you feel. It’s just the tower moving with the wind.

If heights aren’t your family’s thing, then get your bearings on Toronto with a visit to the Legoland Discovery Center. Among its numerous attractions is Miniland, a map of Toronto built with more than 500,000 Lego bricks. From there, snap a pic with the Stanley Cup at the Hockey Hall of Fame, check out the more than 800 model specimens in the Bat Cave at the Royal Ontario Museum, and visit the nearly 200,000-square-foot castle built in 1914, Casa Loma.

Where to stay: Book the Family Fun Package at Hotel X Toronto (located on the Lake Ontario Waterfront) and get a Signature Guestroom with two queens, child-size plush robes and slippers, and one keepsake item per child. Through March 24, the deal also includes tickets to Immersive Disney Animation (so you can get your Mouse fix after all).

What to eat: In a city the size of Toronto, there are plenty of options to appease even the pickiest of eaters without succumbing to the convenience of fast food. Try Pizzeria Libretto for Neapolitan-style pies, Barque Smokehouse for laid-back barbecue, and Ed’s Real Scoop for small-batch gelato.

Sioux Falls, S.D.

Direct flight to Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD)

Best for: The traveler determined to give their kids an educational experience

Because: Cram some experiential learning into your kids’ week “off” with a trip to Sioux Falls, S.D. Up first: Math class at Falls Park, the town’s namesake geologic feature. Here, around 7,400 gallons of water plummet over the 100-foot terraces each second. So kids, how many gallons gush down in a minute? Walk among more than 800 free-flying butterflies and gently touch a sea anemone at the Butterfly House and Aquarium for a hands-on biology tutorial. Yoga at the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History will make for a memorable phys ed session, especially if you follow it with a tour of the Asian Cat exhibit (yep, there’s a snow leopard!). Finally, art class involves a stroll past more than 65 bronze, marble, and stainless-steel displays on the SculptureWalk, including the signature Arc of Dreams.

Where to stay: If all you need is a reasonable rate, comfy bed, pool, and free breakfast, book a stay at Hyatt Place Sioux Falls or the Sioux Falls Clubhouse Suites. Or, opt for the Historic Victorian Inn (built in 1888) to sneak a history lesson into your lodging experience.

What to eat: What’s a trip to South Dakota without experiencing chislic, the official state nosh? You’ll find these tasty cubes of fried meat on many local menus, but try Urban Chislic for a chance to choose your meat and sauce or rub. Try Rack XXX, which has “enough heat to ruin your day,” if you dare.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Direct flight to Sangster International Airport (MBJ)

Best for: The traveler who wants to relax sans small people

Because: Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. And sometimes, “it all” includes your kids. So, call in the reinforcements (also known as grandparents), and book two tickets for Montego Bay, Jamaica. Hop on a nonstop United Airlines flight, and you’ll land within 40 minutes of your final destination: the all-inclusive resort Excellence Oyster Bay.

Situated on a private peninsula with the Caribbean Sea to the north and blue-green waters of Bush Cay to the south and west, the adults-only resort offers privacy where you want it and top-notch service when you need it. Two miles of white sand beaches surround the resort, providing ample opportunity for splashing in the surf, but if you get sick of the sand, opt to post up on a lounge chair along one of the resort’s five pools instead.

While there are stand-up paddleboard yoga classes, treatments at Miilé Spa, cooking lessons, and more to keep you entertained on-site (and many of those activities are included in the overall price), set aside an evening for a tour of the nearby Luminous Lagoon, where millions of dinoflagellates emit an otherworldly neon-blue glow when disturbed—including when you hop in to swim with them. Guests can also book deep-sea fishing excursions or guided scuba diving trips through Excellence Oyster Bay’s concierge service (both require an extra fee).

Where to stay: Excellence Oyster Bay offers a range of lodging options from 950-square-foot suites with a private plunge pool to 1,510-square-foot beach villas that come with a private stretch of beach. All options include unlimited meals, snacks, beverages, non-motorized water sports, a Bob Marley Tribute and other nightly shows, and more.

Where to eat: With nine different restaurants and 11 different bars all on hotel property, the question isn’t where to eat, it’s where to eat more than once. Globally inspired cuisine ranges from hand-rolled sushi at Spice to French favorites like the seven-hour confit pork belly at Chez Isabelle. Don’t miss the Jamaican Jerk Chicken at Caribbean Grove. For casual bevvies, swim up to the bar at Blue, located in one of the main oceanfront pools. The rooftop X-Lounge, on the other hand, pairs a sophisticated atmosphere with seemingly endless views out over the Caribbean Sea.