Cruises are rapidly becoming some of the most popular spring break vacations for college kids and young adults. They allow you to see more of the world in a short period of time, while only having to unpack your bag once. It’s also fairly affordable to split one cruise ship room among four friends, and you get to party on a boat just as much as you get to party on land. You don’t have to worry about getting a safe ride home after you drink too much because you just take an elevator down to your cabin. Yeah, it’s a pretty sweet deal.
However, cruises only allow you to spend a few hours in cities you may be interested in staying for weeks! If you’re looking for cities to party in with a mix of culture, excitement, relaxation, and nightlife, you’ve come to the right place. These cities are the most popular destinations for spring-breakers for a reason! They’ve got everything you could want and more. Plus, college students and young adults flock to these cities throughout the early spring months looking for an amazing party; you’ll be in good company.
So put down your study guides, close up your laptops, and grab some fruity drinks: IT’S SPRING BREAK! Here are the top 20 most popular spring break destinations.
20. Lake Havasu, Arizona
Spring break brings in a large portion of this small town’s economy and tourism every year, so they spare no expense in making this a party you’ll never forget and want to return to. They party like spring break will never end at Lake Havasu. Really. They basically party for the whole month of March so that anyone’s weirdly scheduled spring break will still line up with some of their awesome events. Maybe, if they’re really lucky, you’ll even decide to blow off another week of classes to stay for the party.
You can get a nice hotel, or you can rent a houseboat and keep the party going all day and night. There are floating stages that are on the lake, and they always get world-class talent to come out and play for their spring-breakers (this year they’ve got 3LAU and Nightmre!).
19. Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach has been a party destination for over twenty-five years, attracting spring-breakers from all around the world. Around 250,000 spring breakers visit Panama City Beach annually. It’s a location renowned as a party hot spot.
Until recently, at least. Just days ago, the city passed ordinances banning alcohol on the beaches, mandating bars to close at 2:00 a.m., and prohibiting loitering in parking lots. They’re going out of their way to keep partiers from coming to their beach this year. It would seem the snow bird state showed its true colors for this spring break; maybe Panama City Beach got too old for us spring-breakers to upset their normal routine.
It’s a bummer, but who cares? If they don’t want this iconic spring break location to be a haven for students needing a party, it’s their loss (seriously, their tourism revenue will take a major hit).
18. South Padre Island, Texas
At the Isla Grand Beach resort, you can find tens of thousands of college students and young adults partying. Texas sure knows how to throw a bash.
South Padre island is a barrier island on the tip of Texas, approximately thirty five miles long. They start the party early over spring break. All day long, you can find bikini contests, wet tee shirt contests, mechanical bull-riding competitions, and of course DJs up and down the beach. You can party around the clock at this resort. Take your friends or, better yet, make new friends with the thousands of strangers you’ll be partying with, and don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone. The Texan motto speaks true to their parties: “Everything Is Bigger in Texas!”
17. Orlando, Florida
Orlando holds plenty of things for you to do with your friends. It is perhaps the prime destination for college partiers wanting to do spring break with friends under the age of twenty-one for that exact reason. You don’t have to be drunk to enjoy your time at Walt Disney World, or Universal Studios! You can spend an entire week at any of the parks in Orlando without a drop to drink and still have an amazing time that you’ll be talking about for the next decade.
However, if you are looking to get a little tipsy, there are plenty of opportunities. Do a beer tour around the world at Epcot (in Disney World)! Go to Universal Studios’ late nights for some insane adult parties! You can even explore downtown Orlando and find some amazing nightclubs and bars for an inexpensive, boozy time. Orlando holds plenty of entertaining possibilities for college kids that need to relieve some stress.
16. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun is perhaps one of the most iconic spring break destinations. Young adults and coeds have flocked to Cancun for decades in search of a good time and fun in the sun. You can find wild parties and insanely good times in Cancun any time of the year, but you’ll be in for a special treat if you come for Spring Break.
Cancun has a wonderful reputation for bringing out the scandalous in us all. It’s where valedictorians participate in wet t-shirt contests, and future university presidents do their first keg stands. Prepare yourself to do things you never thought you’d do; just remember that tattoos are forever and pictures/videos will make their way to the internet! What happens in Cancun doesn’t stay in Cancun! Make sure the memories you make aren’t ones you’ll regret.
15. Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau’s ports are constantly filled with cruise ships stopping in for a day so that passengers can enjoy the amazing beaches and drinks that can be found in the Bahamian capital. If you’re planning on spending a full week in Nassau, you can take your pick from a variety of luxury resorts on the island, some designed specifically for college and young adult partiers.
Nassau always prepares for spring break in order to bring you the greatest week of partying you’ve ever experienced. They bring in some of the best DJ talent to keep your nights loud and the dance floors full. During the day, you’ll be able to find time to lounge by the beach before competitions and parties break out in the sand. You’ll never find time to be bored in Nassau; you may pass out from exhaustion, but you’ll never be bored!
14. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
There’s a total of twenty-one miles of white and coral sand beachfront to explore. There are nightclubs known the world over. There are opportunities to snorkel, scuba, hike, paddleboard, zip-line, and ocean kayak. There are crystal clear turquoise waters and exotic wildlife. There are world-class casinos for people looking to try their luck. In Punta Cana, there are plenty of opportunities to keep your days packed with activities and your nights busy partying.
This growing destination in the Caribbean hasn’t always been so popular but, as tourists have been discovering the beauty of this place, all-inclusive resorts have sprung up in abundance. The resorts of Punta Cana are now packed every year with spring-breakers. The inclusive setting balances everyone’s weeks with relaxation, exploration, and heavy partying. Every type of spring-breaker will enjoy what they have to offer.
13. Miami Beach, Florida
Everyone knows that a good time can be found at Miami Beach for spring break; the beach is basically known for its spring break shenanigans. Consider how many girls have gone wild here, how many keg stands have happened, how many wet tee shirt contests? If you’re looking to lose control this spring break and have an amazing time, Miami Beach might be the place for you.
It’s probably good to note that Miami Beach is also considered one of the trashiest places to party over spring break. If you’re a class act, you might not enjoy this. If you’re a gentleman looking for a lady to spend time with, you probably won’t find her here. If, however, you’re a dude looking for a loose chick prepared to make some mistakes, head on down to Miami! Just be careful how many keg stands you do over the week- you want to remember some of it, don’t you?
12. Venice Beach, California
How many 90’s movie montages did we see of Venice Beach? Women in high and tight bikinis, guys in wife beaters playing volleyball, jeeps with the doors off and stereos blasting? All while playing Smash Mouth in the background? That was all Venice Beach. And while the party has certainly gotten cooler, it’s also gotten a lot bigger and a lot crazier.
The major disadvantage to partying with the Venice beach spring-breakers is that alcohol is prohibited on Southern Californian beaches (Venice included). Sure, it’s not too hard to sneak some goodies, but authorities do enforce these rules and are extra attentive during spring break. That said, it’s Los Angeles! There’s so much you can do and see, including many, many options of bars and clubs if you’re looking to spend most of your spring break in a drunken stupor.
11. Montego Bay, Jamaica
With how easy it is to have an amazing time in “Mo-Bay” (as the locals call it), you’d think spring break was designed to be in Jamaica. Mo-Bay’s three major beaches are all located along the same avenue, which also has all of the restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, and shops you could ask for.
It may be pricey getting to Jamaica but, once you’re there, everything is pretty affordable. The rate of exchange is approximately forty Jamaican dollars to every one U.S. dollar; you can afford a lot on that kind of budget. There’s also a lot of history behind Montego Bay, as well as a sensational and welcoming culture. Jamaica can give you an amazing party, but also much, much more!
10. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Don’t think you’ve heard of Cabo San Lucas? Yes, you have; you simply know it as “Cabo.” That’s usually all that people are able to get out before they’re sucked into memories of drunken stupors and sun-soaked parties. Cabo is a destination vacation for those looking to escape their normal lives.
You should note that Cabo is not for the faint of heart. If you spring break in Cabo, you’ll be awake all week, partying all day, drinking constantly, maybe even partaking in a few illicit substances. Prepare yourself for an amazing, exhausting, hot, sweaty, sexy time in Cabo. Don’t be afraid to try anything new (whether you’re dancing with strangers or eating the tequila worm).
9. Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach has been one of the most iconic spring break destinations for decades, and it’s likely to continue being that way for a long time. Daytona is best known for its off the chain spring break parties (well, that and its “Bike Week” parties). They put a lot of effort and energy into their spring break preparations; their tourism department even has a year-round help line you can call to ask questions about spring break! That’s dedication!
Daytona is another location where you’re likely to have a trashy time (rather than a classy one). Just be careful not to get any tattoos you’ll regret, and don’t blow all your money on Fireball shots. A trashy time can be fun, but don’t let it haunt you!
8. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is beautiful, and San Juan is full of culture and rich traditions that any traveler would enjoy. However, they put a little extra effort and love into their spring break celebrations.
Only recently did San Juan become a destination for those looking to party it up over spring break. The gorgeous island has everything you’d look for in a March vacation (beautiful vistas, lots of booze, hot sun, inclusive resorts). If you’re looking for a private, quiet beach, you’ll be able to find it. If you want a wild beach party, you’ll be able to find that too! You’ll be able to find affordable hotel accommodations, delicious food, insane nightlife, and plenty of excuses to day drink. What more could you want?
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is definitely best known for its insane Mardi Gras parties in February, but they save up some beads for spring break! Just like its Mardi Gras celebrations, you’ll find plenty of topless women trying to collect cheap necklaces. It’s made news many times for being one of the trashiest places to party in America; but, like we said before, a trashy party isn’t necessarily a bad one!
Everything you could ever want can be found on Bourbon street (with a name like that, it has to be a great place). There are insane nightclubs, strip clubs everywhere, lax drinking laws, bars that never close, and cheap drinks. It’s easy to get trashed quickly in New Orleans; just try to avoid being publicly intoxicated, at least around the cops.
6. Key West, Florida
This destination spring break vacation isn’t known for the swimming. Key West is the place to go if you’re looking to take a big group for a fairly low price and get crazy drunk all day, every day.
Key West is a popular choice for partiers looking to have a relaxing time in. While you can definitely find exciting nightlife and plenty of parties going on, it’s much easier to bring the party with you down to Key West. Rent a house and pack it full of your favorite frat brothers and your sorority girlfriends, fill a cooler with beers, and relax on the beach.
5. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach is another great location for partiers looking for a wild time. It’s another high ranker on the trashy party list, but South Carolina knows how to party and they’ll show you a good time.
Myrtle Beach boasts that they’re the perfect location for all millennial spring breakers, whether they want to take it easy and relax or they want to “make some bad decisions” (they actually say it like that on their tourism website!). If you’re looking to take it easy, stick to North Myrtle. It’s a bit pricier, but you’ll get quiet beaches and nicer restaurants. Central Myrtle is where you’ll find the loudest clubs and cheapest drinks. There’s a party fit for everyone at Myrtle!
4. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Mexico takes pride in making Puerto Vallarta the sexiest and hottest place to spend your spring break. They bring in some of the hottest DJs to play on their beaches- check out Electric Beach if you want a week long party. There are amazing resorts with wild pool parties and insane deals on drinks. The city, which is nestled between the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains and Puerto Vallarta bay, is gorgeous and historic. There are amazing nightclubs and bars and sensational restaurants. If you’re more of the outdoorsy type, take a hike on some of the trails or try the snorkeling. There’s something for everyone at this gorgeous, sunny retreat!
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
It just wouldn’t be a complete list without mentioning Las Vegas! Vegas doesn’t have the beaches that many people crave for their spring break vacations, but it has pretty much everything else. You can take your pick of upscale casinos, unique shows and performances, sexy cabarets, exclusive clubs, themed hotels and bars, celebrity meet and greets, and basically anything else you could want. No matter what you’re looking for, Vegas will put on a show and give you an amazing time. There’s a reason Vegas is renowned the world over for throwing the best parties. But be warned: what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there.
2. Negril, Jamaica
Looking for an exotic spring break vacation where you can abandon your cares and be someone new for a week? Negril has everything you could want. You can find beach parties, bonfire parties, exclusive reggae concerts, wild themed parties, VIP water bars, you name it. Yup, pretty much every kind of classy Caribbean party you could dream of is in Negril. One of Travel Channel’s “Top Bars in the World” is built into a cliff you can jump off of and has one of the most beautiful views of the sunset you’ll ever see. You can have the most amazing spring break vacations here in Negril, and it sounds a lot classier than most other locations on this list!
1. Acapulco, Mexico
Because of the U.S. dollar’s strength versus Mexico’s peso, this is a fairly affordable spring break vacation once you get past the airfare. The drinking age allows your younger college buddies the opportunity to drink openly, and the lax drinking laws allow you to booze it up pretty much anywhere you please. Furthermore, it’s easy and inexpensive to find an all-inclusive resort that gives you all the perks of a five star treatment. Acapulco is a dream come true, a paradise for spring breakers!
Be advised to stay safe, as people who wander too far from the safety of their resorts and tourist traps have encountered problems. However, if you stick to the nightclub strip, resort bars, banging beach parties, and booze cruises, you should be just fine .