Spring break often calls to mind a warmer climate and an atmosphere of festivity basking in the sun. A vacation to get students out of their books and studies and into some relaxation and fun, spring break is a tradition that is guaranteed to never go away. However, instead of spending all of your grocery money for plane tickets and hotels down south, consider road-tripping to an equally entertaining spot near Minnesota. Ditch your college buddies and enjoy some time with your family this year. Aside from saving money, you may even enjoy getting to know your family a little better when traveling to these hot spots.

La Crosse, Wisconsin
Holiday Inn- Downtown La Crosse
200 Pearl St.
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 784-4444
www.holidayinn.com

Road trip to the largest city in Western Wisconsin and enjoy a vacation along the Mississippi and among some of the most beautiful sites in the country. Kids will enjoy the Riverside Amusement Park where they can play mini-golf and ride go karts all day in a neat little pocket of the country. Other fun activities include outdoor adventures like hiking along the La Crosse Trail, fishing and biking through the miles of bike trails in the area. Take time to explore the quaint downtown area which is full of history and fun. 

Aberdeen, South Dakota
Best Western Ramkota
1400 8th Ave. NW
Aberdeen, SD 57401
(605) 229-4040
www.aberdeen.bwramkota.com

Every spring, families flock to the opening of Storybook Land and enjoy a retreat in the land of fairy tales and childhood stories. Inspired by the classics, Storybook Land is comprised of fictional friends and faraway lands. Travel down the yellow brick road into the land of Oz, enjoy a ride on a miniature train, or just enjoy the beautifully crafted carousal inside the park. Not bringing any kids along? Storybook Land is located in Wylie Park, the perfect outdoor retreat for lovers of camping, hiking, fishing and playing. Spend spring break outdoors without getting sunburned at the beach and spending a fortune to get there.

Hudson, Wisconsin
Hudson House Grand Hotel
1616 Crest View Dr.
Hudson, WI 54016
(715) 386-2394
www.hudsonhousegrandhotel.com

Head out across the boarder to Wisconsin, not too far away but far enough to experience something different for spring break this year. The Hudson House Grand Hotel is a locally-owned business near the St. Croix River that offers comfortable Jacuzzi rooms and an in-house dinner for guests and visitors. Check out historic downtown Hudson for a fun shopping experience, tour Lakefront Park or enjoy a great meal. If you’re going sans little kids, be sure to visit 45th Parallel Spirits where you can sample hand-crafted spirits and learn how to distill your own. 

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Grantsburg, Wisconsin
316 S Brad Street
Grantsburg, WI 54840
(715) 463-2405
www.grantsburgwi.com

Love the outdoors? Crave a vacation away from big attractions and crowded cities? Grantsburg may be just the village you are looking for for a family spring break destination. The largest wildlife area in Northwest Wisconsin invites relaxation, activity and an all-around great getaway. A bird watcher’s dream come true, Grantsburg boasts acres of untouched wildlife and a large variety of outdoor adventures including hiking, biking, fishing and climbing. Enjoy the Sandrock Cliffs Trail and get in touch with your inner explorer. For those that want to party a little more, stop by the Trade River Winery and consume a beverage or two. 

Madeline Island
Madeline Island Vacations
190 Colonel Woods Ave.
La Pointe, WI 54850
(715) 747-2388
www.madelineislandvacations.com

Wishing for an island vacation without the price of airfare? Head up to Madeline Island, the largest of the 22 Apostle Islands off the coast of Northern Wisconsin. Stay in a cottage, hotel or campground while you relax on a small beach and enjoy much less traffic than a crowded resort would bring. Madeline Island is accessed by ferry and is full of parks, activities and fine dining that caters to the community and visitors equally. Soak up some history in the local museum or play around in the casino. Kids will enjoy the boat rides offered around the island and the unique scenery the island offers. 

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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature. Examiner.com.