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Vancouver BC, located on the West Coast of Canada, has a mild climate with only a few snowfalls in the winter, and by the time Spring Break rolls around, spring has truly bloomed. Hiking or biking in Stanley Park is a favorite tourist activity, sailboats bob in the sea, and the golf courses are busy.
Although it’s springtime by the sea, there is still snow on the mountains that give Vancouver its dramatic backdrop, and visitors can easily head for the hills for a day of snowsports. Three local ski resorts are a half-hour from downtown, including: Cypress Mountain, an Olympic venue in 2010, and Grouse Mountain, whose scenic gondola is a popular tourist attraction year-round.
Washington DC is a top destination for spring break, and for many families the spring school break coincides with the two weeks of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Festival commemorates the gift of thousands of cherry trees given to Washington by the city of Tokyo starting in the spring of 1912. The Festival has grown into a city-wide celebration with hundreds of special events and cultural performances. Dates for 2012 are from March 20 to April 27.
Fun things to do include special bike ride tours and free walking tours with a Park Ranger. A highlight for families is the National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day which precedes the Opening Ceremony at the National Building Museum. This free event showcases Japanese arts and includes performances and hands-on activities such as creating origami. Another big event is the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. This is Washington’s biggest annual spectator event, and tickets for grandstand seats go on sale as early as November. Families might also le the Smithsonian Kite Festival, which is part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and which takes place on the National Mall.
Washington DC is generally an affordable destination, and many hotels offer packages during the Festival weeks. Sightseeing options are many and include the free Smithsonian Museums such as the National Museum of Natural History, National Air & Space Museum,