Think outside the beach.

With spring break rapidly approaching, we’re dreaming of all those destinations perfect for a post-winter recharge. And while there’s nothing wrong with a sun-soaked vacation spent lounging by oceans and infinity pools, we wanted to highlight a few cities that engage the whole family outside of your sand-and-surf old faithfuls—places where you can explore the local markets, go zip-lining through tropical treetops, hit the powdery slopes, or try a street food tour off the resort. So go ahead, pack a few vacay books in your carry-on, but we doubt you’ll find time to read them…

Dublin

If historic castles are your jam, you should be jetting off to Dublin ASAP. Stunning historic architecture, sprawling green spaces, and yes, a pint of Guinness, are all part of the full Dublin experience, not to mention the friendly locals you’re sure to encounter. Even if you don’t have a ton of time to spend in this fascinating Irish city, check out our 24-hour guide to see just how much exploration can be packed into a short stay.

Tokyo

The magic of exploring Tokyo is the ideal spring break escape for urbanites at heart. Fitting for families (hello,Tokyo Disneyland)the fashion-forward, history and culture buffs (traditional temples, gardens and the Imperial Palace should keep your clan busy), and adventurous foodies—Japan’s dynamic capital has it all.

Costa Rica

Can’t decide between a remote escape and a trip to the city? Nature lovers and city slickers alike will find what they’re looking for in the diverse landscapes of Costa Rica. Yes, there are beaches, (Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo, we’re looking at you), but these are great places for active pursuits like surfing and sea kayaking. And the jungle trails along the Pacific Coast that snake up to San José‘s bustling barrios are just a taste of what adventures lie more inland at places like Monteverde and Arenal (where you’ll find zip-lining, bungee swings, whitewater rafting, canyoneering, and to relax: a coffee farm).

Whistler

Not quite ready to pack away the skis and snowboard for the season? Here’s a little secret: the month of March is filled with longer days, plenty of sunshine, and endless fresh powder being dumped on the mountains surrounding Whistler. Check out our guide to 48 hours in Whistler for our favourite places to fuel up for a day on the slopes, as well as our top picks for après-ski.

Austin

If eating your way through a city and hitting the late-night hot spots is your idea of a good time, Austin is waiting. An entire itinerary could be planned around finding Austin’s best barbecue and burning it all off dancing in one of the city’s many live music venues and dance halls. Austin is also brimming with trendy boutiques, vintage shops and record stores. Check out our local’s guide to Austin for the best places to dance it off.