Spring Break has long been associated with crowded beaches, inflated prices, and partying college co-eds. Given a bad rap by the US, once called "Reading Week" in the UK, a weeklong spring trip is the perfect getaway to clear your head and get into the summer groove. Ditch Cabo or Myrtle Beach, and escape the aggravating crowds by jetting off to some of the world's best alternative spring break destinations that offer even better eye-catching scenery and exceptional cuisine without the crowd-inducing headaches.

Photo Credit: Giuseppe Milo

Dublin, Ireland

Although Ireland's capital city has often been overlooked for the nearby booming metropolis of London, its unique sites and rich history, make it a great alternative for travelers who don't want to battle the crowds often present in other major European cities. History buffs will delight in the free admission offered by government-run museums and those wishing to take in the true Irish experience can stop into one of the city's hundreds of pubs to enjoy a frothy Guinness, which is still manufactured right in the city. An educational, cultural and classical spring escape.

Photo Credit: Brian Snelson

Puerto Morelos, Mayan Riviera

For those who want an alternative to the crowded beaches of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Mexico, but still want to experience the allure of the Mayan Riviera, Puerto Morelos offers a tropical beach getaway without the hustle and bustle of Mexico's traditional hotspots. It's a smaller fishing village with postcard-ready beaches that offer a relaxing, secluded experience for those who love their beach time, but don't love the crowds that tend to populate them. Puerto Morales also boasts some of the Riviera Maya's finest restaurants and a handful of luxury resorts for those travelers wishing to relax in style.

Photo Credit: Kenneth Garcia

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Although Costa Rica has become less of a hidden gem and more of a prime vacation destination in the past few years, it still offers a worthy alternative to those who want a more low-key beach Spring Break free of college co-eds. Located on the country's stunning Caribbean coast, this small beach community offers a surprising amount of diversity in beaches, lodging, and dining options. If you're feeling adventurous, head down the coast a few miles to Playa Chiquita or Punta Uva where more luscious beaches await.

Photo Credit: Bill Devlin

Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Cabarete is a short flight away from any cold-weathered East Coast city and is a less traveled alternative to the up-and-coming vacation destination of Punta Cana. Visitors can indulge themselves in one of the numerous all-inclusive resorts and satisfy their adventurous sides during the day by hiking or caving in El Choco National Park or learning to kite board on Kite Beach. The city also offers a bustling nightlife scene with quality restaurants and beachside clubs that won't be packed with students blowing off steam.

Photo Credit: Mattzs

Stowe, Vermont

Often described as the "quintessential New England town," Stowe offers a great alternative to those who want to hit the slopes, but don't want to do the standard ski Spring Break in Aspen or Breckenridge, Colorado. Stowe is also home to the Stowe Mountain Resort, which is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the country by Ski magazine and features 46 trails for skiers and snowboarders alike. Those who aren't into snow sports will enjoy visiting Stowe Village, where shops, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts line the streets.