Spring Break Destinations That Are Wheelchair Accessible

A young girl kisses the head of her sister who is in a wheelchair on a boardwalk

Accessible Travel for Spring Break

From wheelchair-friendly vans to trains to buses, no matter how you're traveling to your vacation destination, the amount of enjoyment you have is likely tied to how accessible your destination is.  Here is our round-up of best sunny, warm and accessible destinations to ensure an enjoyable, relaxing Spring Break for you and your family. 

Accessible Vacation Destinations in Arizona

Arizona is one of the most wheelchair-friendly destinations in the U.S. and is full of museums, parks, and family-friendly outposts that allow you to experience the incredible views the desert climate has to offer while also learning about their rich Native American heritage and local wildlife.

One such destination is the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ. TripAdvisor ranks it as one of the Top 10 Museums in the country, and unlike a traditional museum experience, over 80% of the museum is experienced outdoors!

The museum provides ASL interpreters and visual tour accommodations to those who need it and can be requested through the museum’s guest services manager at info@desertmuseum.org. The museum asks that you request accommodations at least three weeks in advance to ensure they can arrange for your needs.

Service animals are also welcome, although because much of the museum is outdoors, it’s recommended that dogs have shoes to protect the pads of their feet as walkway surfaces often are warm enough to potentially harm a dog’s feet.

To learn more about the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum accessible accommodations, click here.

After a day taking in the natural beauty of the Sonora Desert, head to Phoenix to try an activity at Daring Adventures. Formerly known as River of Dreams, Daring Adventures offers programs like adaptive hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, kayaking, sled hockey, and white-water rafting.

Daring Adventures is all about helping people reach their “own Everest” and their core programs of hiking, cycling, and kayaking are suited for every from beginners to experienced participants.

Check out the Daring Adventures calendar to ensure you visit on a day when your desired activity is being offered. 

When you’re done with all the excitement, you might be ready for a few days of recharging with nature. Stay at the Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch in Yucca, Arizona. The founder’s oldest daughter uses a wheelchair, so the ranch has firsthand knowledge of guests with accessible needs. Because of this, the ranch was designed to be fully handicap accessible with roll-in showers or ADA tubs and plenty of space in the lodge and dining room for wheelchairs to move about freely.

Stagecoach Trails Ranch also provides accessible riding equipment to try your hand at horseback riding either in the desert or in their arena. Learn more about their accommodations here.

If you need help with wheelchair van rentals during your travel, you can visit Ability Center or United Access dealerships across Arizona. 

Accessible Vacation Destinations in California

There are literally thousands of accessible services and businesses in California, and with year-round sun, it’s a premier vacation destination, especially for hoards of spring breakers. One such business is Reach 4 The Stars, a hot air-ballooning company that specializes in flights for people in wheelchairs. The owner, Pat Murphy, has been volunteering his time and expertise for years but was frustrated that people in wheelchairs couldn’t experience the thrill of flying.

After seven years of development, the Federal Aviation Administration approved Pat’s design for a custom wheelchair basket that allows visitors to roll in and secure while getting to take in the scenery of nearby mountains and valleys.

Balloons are reservable for one chair user and one or two additional guests, depending on total basket weight and the outside temperature. This is a private experience that lasts for an hour, and both the launch and landing is dictated by the needs of the passenger and their transport vehicle to ensure an accessible trip to and from your vehicle.

Learn more about the trips and how to reserve a time by clicking here.

Looking for cheap spring break vacation destinations? Look no further than the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors (BAADS). BAADS offers weekly small boat sailing and keelboat sailing out of South Beach Marina by the AT&T ballpark in San Francisco.

BAADS is supported through donations from the community and requires only a reservation in order to participate.

The trips are service animal-friendly as well and will be given a special life vest and secured to the vessel during the outing.  

Check the association’s availability on their calendar, here.

If you need help with wheelchair van rentals during your travel, you can visit Ability Center dealerships throughout California. 

Accessible Vacation Destinations in Florida

One of the best spring break destinations is the warm state of Florida, and along with its great expanses of beaches are some stellar theme parks. Obviously, Disney World and Universal Studios are some of the first that come to mind, but they are also among the most popular spring break destinations for families all over the world. Instead of fighting the crowds, consider visiting Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida.

From accessible parking to attraction access, the Kennedy Space Center is a must-see for both parents and children who live to see the final frontier. Accessible equipment is available to rent at any ticket window, and IMAX Theaters all feature wheelchair accessible seating. You can even participate in a shuttle launch simulation that is equipped with an accessible seat and a five-point harness to feel the thrill of a launch first-hand.

Learn more about the accessible accommodations of the Kennedy Space Center here.

After blasting off to space, cool off with an accessible trip to the Everglades. We like this guide from friend and BraunAbility customer Sylvia Longmire.

Sylvia lists several airboat tour options in Florida that allow you to experience the sights and sounds of the Florida Everglades from the comfort and security of your wheelchair. An airboat is a flat-bottomed boat that is easy to navigate from a wheelchair and uses propulsion from a large fan in the back versus a gas-powered motor. Sylvia uses a powerchair and still was able to comfortably experience the thrill of a high-speed airboat. Check out the locations to see if their accommodations will work for your specific needs.

If you need help with wheelchair van rentals during your travel, you can visit Ability Center dealerships throughout Florida. 

What is the Best Accessible Spring Break Destination?

Ultimately, the best spring break vacation is up to you! There are dozens of accessible attractions all over the states that accommodate wheelchairs, auditory and visual disabilities. Whether looking for cheap spring break destinations that keep you from breaking the bank or a destination that is easy to drive to, the best spring break destination is the one you actually dare to take!

 

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