College spring break typically alludes to sandy booties, half-naked dudes glorifying their lobster-red muscle tank tans, and a whole lot of local Floridians annoyed by the influx of debauchery and littered Budweiser cans. While extroverts may be all over glow sticks and dance contests, what about alternative spring break vacations for introverts?
Good news: your spring break week doesn’t have to necessitate claustrophobic beaches with clamoring sun-seekers doing beer bongs (yikes) or waking up in bed at 3:00 PM naked next to Sally from Freshman Econ (double yikes).
Approximately 40 percent of the population would label themselves “introverted,” meaning they need alone time to recharge those batteries. Luckily, we’d consider spring break to be the optimal retreat from reality before the semester ensues. You may not need to hide from the entire world, but there’s nothing wrong with a mental break from the grind to refuel energy and bask in your introverted glory (and some much-needed sun).
And don’t just take our word for it: Dr. Dana Wang, a psychologist at RIVIA Mind, says, “If you get to have a choice on how you spend spring break, I will encourage you to honor this need for introspection and engage in self-care by going into nature or spend some time alone. Only after adequate recharging, an introvert can be ready for new experiences without feeling overwhelmed.”
Here we’ve done our due diligence and compiled a list of ten spring break vacations for introverts that will allow for maximum recharge and relaxation.
- Best vacations for introverts in the US
- Best beach vacations for introverts
- Best international spring break vacations for introverts
Best vacations for introverts in the US
1. Los Angeles, California
Okay, so Los Angeles, the second-largest city in the US, may not initially seem like the best vacation spot for introverts, but hear us out. LAX is one of the world’s largest international airports, so escaping here from your college town won’t be terribly tricky. There are more than six-lane highways and those creepy Elmo impersonators dotting Hollywood Boulevard in LaLa Land. There are plenty of solo hiking opportunities within the city limits, and the neighborhoods outside downtown are surprisingly subdued.
Plus, some fantastic deals on hotels lend themselves to the ultimate staycation — and what do introverts crave more than cozy sheets, a novel, and some solitude? For that dual alone time and eye candy, we recommend booking a balcony room at either the historic Beverly Hilton or (if mom and dad are helping out) the famed Beverly-Wilkshire Hotel perpendicular to Rodeo Drive. Both are incredibly walkable and close enough to the action without being overwhelming.
2. Door County, Wisconsin
Wisconsinites have such an affinity for the outdoors that they even have a hard-to-pronounce Scandinavian word to describe it: Friluftsliv. The term, first popularized in the 1850s by Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen, expresses the value of spending time in remote locations for spiritual, mental, and physical recharge and prosperity. And let’s face it: that sounds pretty refreshing for the introvert’s holiday, literally and figuratively.
With large open spaces, small populations, and this inherent engrained passion for the outdoors (thanks Scandi ancestors!) Door County, Wisconsin, is one of our top vacations for introverts because you be immersed in nature while avoiding humans for an entire seven days.
And the best thing? Door County’s temperatures fluctuate through the spring, allowing a diversity of activities in nature. If that Wisconsin winter chill is still lurking, adventurers can brave the chill to ice fish or even ski down a candlelit nature preserve at night. If the weather is warming up, introverted nature-aficionados can hike The Ridges Sanctuary, Wisconsin’s oldest non-profit nature reserve, or even take a fat tire e-bike to Whitefish Dunes State Park.
3. Winter Park, Florida
Winter Park maybe about ten minutes from the overstimulation of Orlando, but we promise it’s a different – albeit equally magical – world. Why? If your introverted self is looking to bypass copious Mickey Mouse hugs and crowds but still soak up that killer central Florida heat, then Winter Park is the obvious choice.
It’s this idyllic pinpoint of verdant paradise and nature; with tree-lined streets and an abundant array of food, shopping, and cultural activities, you’ll be able to develop a tan while solo-exploring. And The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, a relaxing narrated cruise through the lakes and canals of the town’s historic sector, is optimal for bird-spotting.
If you’re just really craving that break from other humans (aren’t we all?), the Alaska Wilderness a la Alexander Supertramp may be the solution. We’re not specifying where in the state to go because all of Alaska – yes, all 663,300 square miles – is quite the refuge from reality.
The Great Frontier is surprisingly accessible from the West Coast, with less than five-hour flights from California. And you’ll soon be immersed in the company of eagles, moose, bears, and the occasional humpback whale. For that pivotal solitary experience, take your camping gear up to the Salt Chuck lagoon nearby the abandoned former logging camp of Hobart Bay, 70 miles south of Juneau and with a town population of one. Not kidding.
If more keen on activities, we suggest a seven-night UnCruise. Like the name infers, this isn’t your stereotypical “floating hotel yadda yadda” cruise, but a company that crafts itineraries off chartered courses, with fewer faces and open spaces. Folks will enjoy a melange of introvert-friendly activities like hiking, kayaking, whale-watching, and the occasional Northern Lights viewing. And no WiFi onboard means you can genuinely unplug without worrying your roommate will drunk text you about her ex-boyfriend drama. Ah, paradise.
5. Mesa, Arizona
Mesa’s physical location alone makes it the pinnacle of introvert vacation spots. Shadowed by neighboring Pheonix, Arizona’s capital which often receives worldwide recognition for its plethora of cultural and arts offerings, Mesa is the more understated yet equally accomplished little sister.
But that’s not a bad thing: twenty miles east of the Pheonix metropolis, this smaller city is surrounded by expansive deserts, mountainous hiking trails, and even orange groves blossoming with sun-kissed fruits.
While nature does that talking here, your stomach may do the grumbling. Mesa serves as the culinary getaway to Greater Pheonix, and agrotourism is increasingly popular here. Introverts keen on sampling all the deliciousness should take a road trip down Mesa’s Fresh Foodie Trail, highlighting the area’s bountiful yearlong harvest on local family farms.
For introverts looking to use spring break as an excuse to forget the real world exists, The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms is the secluded spot to post up. Set amid a 300-acre organic peach farm, you’ll wake up in one of the nine refurbished airstream trailers each morn’ to views of the San Tan Mountain range. Even better, the farm owners have been known to prepare meals for guests with fresh fruits and veggies picked right from their organic garden. Sounds peachy!
Best beach vacations for introverts
While you might be getting a different type of l’eid this spring break (har har), Hawaii is the Holy Grail of beach vacations for introverts. Being 2,390 miles from California and 3,850 miles from Japan, it is legitimately the world’s most isolated landmass (so, uh, one of the world’s ideal vacation spots for introverts.) Still, for West-Coasters especially, Hawaii can be accessible in six hours by air.
Hawaii comprises 137 islands, but if you’ve only got a week, we suggest keeping your itinerary more compact. You’ll get as much of that quintessential book-in-beach-hammock time as you’d like, with over 100 beaches – many relatively isolated – dotting the state. And, of course, if you don’t at least feebly attempt to hang ten in Hawaii, you’re doing it wrong.
But it’s more than beaches and pina coladas. On the island of Maui, embark on a small ship to watch whales migrating, momentarily forgetting other species exist while marveling at their sheer size and grandeur. If you’re looking to play in the mud while helping Mama Earth, spend a day volunteering with Fairmont Kea Lani’s “Rooted in Aloha” reforestation initiative, which works with local conservation to bring back the native forests to the slopes of Haleakalā.
Kauai is also the introverted nature aficionados paradise, with the jagged emerald cliffs of Nā Pali Coast State Park hugging the island’s western coast. This wonder can be experienced as a hike, a kayak tour, or – if you’re feeling especially ballsy – in a helicopter. And don’t miss Keʻe Beach on the North Shore, which is known for being incredibly remote due to its inaccessibility to car traffic. So how does one say “introvert’s paradise” in Hawaiian?
7. San Diego, California
San Diego is one of the hottest party cities on the West Coast. But the laid-back surfer vibes and 17 miles of coastline make this California beach refuge one of our top spring break vacations for introverts. Notorious for its boardwalks and waves, a stay in Pacific Beach keeps you close to the action without being inundated with the party scene.
We recommend Tower23, legitimately across from the beach, for convenience, views, and privacy. After decent sun-soaking, explore some of the neighborhood’s local flavors on one of the hotel’s complimentary rental bikes: Miss B’s Coconut Club (not a club, we swear!) for low-key Caribbean vibes for brunch, Wayfarer Bread for homemade pastries, and the beachfront JRDN restaurant for American casual.
Don’t forget to lace the sneaks and explore all 1,400 acres of Balboa Park, once the site of the World Expo that today boasts over 40 museums and attractions, including the internationally-renowned San Diego Zoo, home to 12,000 animals alone.
If privacy is truly the priority, you can even stay in a luxury rental in an R.V. park overlooking a wilderness reserve and San Diego Bay. The city lights a distant reminder that you’re far from any other human contact. Phew.
8. Mexico’s Pacific Coast
You won’t go wrong choosing anywhere on Mexico’s Pacific coast to plop down for the week, introvert-style. Mexico’s Pacific coast is world-renowned for all of its tropical beach clichés – white-sand beaches melting into an aquamarine flurry of waves, sunshine year-round, and a propensity for tacos al pastor and cerveza.
While Mexico’s bigger resort cities like Cancun and Tulum are well-known for their parties and crowds, there are also many more intimate Mexican beach towns where you’ll be basking in subtle paradise.
For instance, while Puerto Vallerta’s thrilling nightlife scene may be a tad overwhelming for introverts, villages such as Yelapa, only thirty minutes by boat taxi from downtown, will enchant with local culture and natural wonders. This remote coastal village is nestled between the coastline and jungle-shrouded mountains, making it one of the safest beaches in Mexico and another optimal vacation for introverts.
Believe it or not, some cruise lines offer programs that will visit a couple of Mexico’s most pristine Pacific coast beaches, including the seven-night itineraries on both Princess and Carnival departing from Long Beach, California. The day-long stops in Mexican beach towns Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas provide ample opportunity to stretch sea-legs and traverse more unchartered beach towns brimming with nature, not frat boys.
While we know you’re thinking that a cruise ship would be an introvert’s nightmare, we counter you with this: an introvert has total control of their social interactions onboard said boat. You can retreat to your balcony rooms with a book if needing a recharge, but you can also socialize in a controlled setting should loneliness set in.
Best international spring break vacations for introverts
If you’re introverted and looking for an international spring break vacation, consider Iceland – less than five hours by flight from much of the US and inundated with Viking man buns. That’s right: the land of fire and ice marooned on basically the top of the globe may be best-experienced solo.
If you’re an introvert, consider skipping the corny bus tours departing from Reykjavik. Instead, rent a car, blast music ( Björk, obviously), and get blissfully lost on the island’s meandering coastal path and the Ring Road. You’ll not only be enchanted with expansive glaciers, natural hot springs, ice caves, and sprawling meadows but there’s a good chance that the Northern Lights will put on a private performance for you as well (considering they are witnessed in Iceland until May!)
Iceland’s crime rate is meager, which makes the prospect of a solo-adventure much more enticing. Plus, the Nordic countries already have a reputation for being more introverted, so we think you’ll fit right in.
10. Costa Rica
If Eliza Thornberry, a la The Wild Thornberrys, is your braces-clad, introverted soulmate, then a vacation to Costa Rica, possessing the highest density of biodiversity worldwide, would sound quite delightful. After all, the country’s catchphrase – Pura Vida – literally translates to “pure life” or “simple life,” which kinda sounds like the words most introverts want to live by.
This pinpoint of paradise in Central America is just a few hours’ direct flights from the continental US. San Jose, the capital, maybe a bit chaotic for your liking. But a few hours driving, and you’re smack dab in introverted paradise. We highly recommend booking a stay near the imposing Arenal Volcano National Park and working off your Costa Rican coconut flan pounds (because they will be there, promise) on a brisk high-altitude hike through lava-filled terrain.
If the sea is beckoning, post up in one of Costa Rica’s many surf towns and center your gravity on a yoga mat or a surfboard. While Tamarindo precedes its reputation as a party town, the sound of waves breaking is the only thing keeping you up at night in Santa Teresa or the equally quaint Nosara.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest – lush and verdant throughout thanks to some low-hanging clouds constantly misting – is as dreamy as it sounds and a necessity all the Eliza-wannabes too. Hiking through the rainforest, keep an eye out for rare birds, monkeys, or even the illusory jaguar playing hide n’ seek. You’ll undoubtedly have a wild spring break, but maybe not in the tits-out kind of way.