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posted on March 25th, 2016

After the three-month long vacation that is summer in a college student’s world (did we really used to have that?), there is perhaps no part of quintessential coed life greater missed than spring break. Whether you spent yours with Jell-O shots or at an all-inclusive resort — or both — in your younger years, we’re willing to bet you’re itching for another sojourn that’s not quite so hangover-inducing but equally relaxing (we sure are). So, here are our picks for making the most of your grown-up spring break.

Pismo Beach, CA

Near enough to the college town of San Luis Obispo to make you fondly recall your own college years, Pismo is still removed enough to offer the perfect oasis. Stroll down the pier, enjoy the famous clam chowder at Splash Café, and head to nearby Avila Beach to cap it off with an evening bonfire. If you want to really class up your vacation, venture out for a wine tasting (or five) at any of the nearby world-class wineries.

Pismo Bonfire 1

Seattle, WA

City sophistication and picturesque landscapes make Seattle the perfect place for an adult spring break. To start, it’s a foodie heaven, whether you explore the International District, sample seafood by the waterfront, or cruise through Capitol Hill or Ballard for some of the buzziest restaurants. After dinner, you’ll find live music everywhere, and the local brewery scene is a beer-lover’s dream. Wake up the next day to take in the stunning scenery of the area and enjoy a different beach scene in West Seattle, or take a short drive to Mt. Teneriffe or Franklin Falls to escape the crowds and enjoy a serene piece of natural beauty.

Seattle 2

Amelia Island, FL

Fort Lauderdale might be fun, but for a more relaxing Florida vacation, try Amelia Island. This quaint island is just 13 miles long, but chock full of Southern charm. The perfect mix of small-town feel with 5-star restaurants and golf resorts, spend your days at one of the lush beach clubs or lounging in the Ritz-Carlton pool and your nights with fine dining — or a quick drive out to Jacksonville if you’re in the mood to relive those college parties.

Shenandoah National Park, VA

Just 75 miles from DC, you’ll feel worlds away in one of the nation’s most breathtaking national parks. Whether you want to camp under the stars or cozy up in a rustic cabin, it’s tough to beat the natural beauty. Besides hiking among the cascading waterfalls, spring wildflowers are starting to come out in full force which makes for a show better than anything you’d find on your PCB spring breaks of yore.

Hilton Head, SC

Get those beachy relaxation vibes sans Technicolor drinks and pounding Rihanna tunes in the Lowcountry. Besides splashing in the waves and perfecting your bronze on the beach, there’s plenty to keep you active if you’re so inclined. Kayak and sail in some of the warmest waters on the Eastern Seaboard, play on one of the 350 tennis courts or 24 golf courses, bike along the countless tree-lined trails, and, to really mix it up, visit the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge for a shot at spotting some gators (you can even take a sunset wine and cheese lake tour to see them—there’s nothing like Pinot and brie to accompany your alligator sighting!).

South Carolina Kayak 4

Virginia is equally enamored with words and globetrotting. Whenever possible, she likes to combine the two through travel writing to help other wanderers discover and fall in love with the world.