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Escape from the soggy winter experience with these six getaways that read more “beachside cocktails” than “upside-down body shots.” These sophisticated spots are relaxing, culturally interesting and topical. 

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Israel

1. Explore a Coral Reef in Israel

Nonstop international flights into the new Ramon Airport make the unspoiled coral reef by the Red Sea resort area at Israel’s southern tip newly accessible. Stay at the soon-to-open Six Senses resort for some spa time, and be sure to visit the James Bond–evoking Underwater Observatory Marine Park.

spring break for grownups marfa
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

2. Take a Drive in Marfa

This spot in the middle of the Texas plains was mainly known as the filming location of James Deans 1956 movie Giant until it became an art-world mecca when minimalist sculptor Donald Judd and his Chinati Foundation took up residence there. Tour the 100 freestanding concrete and aluminum pieces located indoors and out, then eat at the Beyoncé-approved Mediterranean lunch truck Food Shark. Stay at the Hotel Paisano (where Dean stayed during filming!) and get a selfie outside Prada Marfa, the permanent, non-retail art piece on a quiet stretch of road thats become a magnet for Instagrammers.

spring break for grownups las vegas
Facebook/The Neon Museum

3. Hit the Lights of Las Vegas

Along with the big-name acts headlining at casinos, Las Vegas has idiosyncratic pleasures like The Neon Museum, where a special show of Tim Burton’s artwork has been extended through April 12 (and there’s a “neon boneyard” of decommissioned signs you can walk among). Stay at the Park MGM and eat at Best Friend, chef Roy Choi’s Korean barbecue joint. And make time for a stop at Velveteen Rabbit, the craft cocktail bar in the revitalized downtown district, where your drink might have mezcal and a chocolate bar, or a daisy frozen in ice.

Panama

4. Chill Beachfront in Panama

Two new eco-conscious resorts on the Pacific coast of Panama are making this Central American spot a hot new destination for Angelenos who want to be the first on their block to drink from a papaya shoot instead of a straw (at the Isla Palenque casitas) or go sport fishing (at the Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge).

spring break for grownups menorca1
Facebook/Turismo de Menorca

5. Art Hop in Menorca

Starting in April, this small and traditional outpost in Spain’s Balearic Islands will have a new international fine arts center when Hauser & Wirth gallery opens a 16,145-square-foot space on the tiny Isla del Rey. The modern art center—exhibition space, artist residency program and gardens designed by bigwig Piet Oudolf—will operate out of a former hospital dating to the 18th century. Hit the beaches and prehistoric ruins the island is known for, and enjoy cocktail hour at a cantina-style restaurant with a glass of lemonade mixed with Menorca’s famous local gin (made with wine grapes instead of grain alcohol). 

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

6. Relax in Small-Cove Serenity in Costalegre, Mexico

One way to ensure crowds won’t cramp your chill style while vacationing? Make it a trek to get there. This stretch of coast is, for now, a two-hour drive from the nearest airport. Stay in luxury at one of the 16 brightly painted casitas of Las Alamandas or at one of the smaller beachside resorts along the 43 little beaches between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.

7. Explore Provence from Marseille

This sexy seaside city is the second largest in France, and while it’s long been a home base for exploring the surrounding Provençal countryside, lately it’s gotten a modern edge that’s making it a destination in its own right. A gorgeous new Jean Nouvel skyscraper, market-driven French food by a Brit chef and the chic waterfront boutique hotel Les Bords de Mer are some of the must-visit stops.

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