Cruising across the Delaware Bay aboard the Cape May-Lewes Ferry

Spring Break Spots Just A Day Away From NJ

Spring (Break) It On

Spring break can mean a time for families to take a much-needed break from the daily grind of school, sports practices, chores, and errands and spend time relaxing in a family-friendly and slightly warmer destination before closing out the school year. Depending on whether spring break falls in March or April, families may head farther south or stay closer to home when spring weather is already in full bloom. Regardless of the month, plenty of East Coast spring break destinations lie within driving distance from New Jersey that meet the warmer weather requirement or just provide a more relaxed state of mind. 

Planning The Spring Break Trip

Many families find excitement in preparing for spring break because it often means a road trip is on the horizon. Beyond stocking up on snacks and games, be sure to consider an alternative route that avoids busy highways and traffic jams. For example, heading across the Delaware Bay via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry will give you a chance to stretch your legs and unwind while you cruise past scenic views nowhere near busy roads. And, it’s not every day you can say you spotted a dolphin or an exotic bird during your road trip! 

Here are some spring break-worthy southbound destinations within driving distance from our Terminals:

Maryland / D.C.

Ocean City, Maryland is one of the top beach destinations on the East Coast. With free beach access and a three-mile-long boardwalk, the area offers affordable and family-friendly activities ranging from waterside amusement parks and arcades to dozens of sweet and salty treat shops. If four-legged family members are traveling with you, the boardwalk is dog-friendly until April 30.

Capital Wheel, National Harbor, MD

Credit: Johnny Silvercloud, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Spring weather can still be a bit cool, especially by the ocean. Consider heading inland and experiencing Washington D.C. There are plenty of monuments and museums to experience. A popular family-friendly museum is the International Spy Museum that features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display. And be sure to experience new areas like nearby National Harbor, a new waterfront district that features the Capital Wheel (an iconic Ferris wheel), MGM National Harbor, waterfront dining, cruises on the Potomac River and over 160 shops.


Head south through the Eastern Shore of Virginia and cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to arrive at Williamsburg, one of the oldest and most historical towns in the country. Home to Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum, you’ll experience what a town was like in the 18th Century. The kids will not want to miss out on Busch Gardens, a theme park well-known for its heart-pumping roller coasters, animal encounters, special events, and performances.

Scene from Colonial Williamsburg

Credit: Mobilus in Mobili, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

An hour southeast of Williamsburg lies  Virginia Beach with a sprawling 28 miles of beaches to explore, some of which are home to playgrounds like Grommet Island, which is also handicap accessible. There are tons of accommodations and campgrounds for those traveling in an RV or who prefer outdoor camping.

Travelers can experience amusements at the Atlantic Fun Park, aquatic life at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and an array of animals at the Virginia Zoo in nearby Norfolk. Looking for a water activity? The ocean can still be a bit cold, so instead, go for a guided kayak tour or dolphin trip.

North Carolina

The Northern Outer Banks experiences warmer temperatures in early spring. Book a roomy beach house in Nags Head and experience the towering sand dunes in Jockey Ridge State Park. Check out the wild horses in nearby Corolla, and rent an off-road vehicle to drive right on the beach. Take a hang gliding or parasailing lesson in Kitty Hawk, and explore aviation history at nearby Kill Devil Hills, home to the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

No matter your spring break travel destination plans, the East Coast has plenty of great options that are just a car (and Ferry) ride away.