Spring break is approaching, and millions of travelers, mostly students, will head to destinations for parties and relaxation. Spring break starts for some schools in mid February and starts as late as the second week in April, but most will be taking spring break in March. This is our list of the top spring break destinations to head to—or to avoid—based on your preference for crowds or peace and quiet.
Cancun & Playa del Carmen
Consistently ranked as one of the top party destinations in North America, Cancun embraces its wild party reputation and attracts droves of students for Spring Break. Featuring cheap overnight accommodations, stretches of beautiful beaches, and plenty of nightlife, Cancun’s hotel resorts turn into party headquarters. If you’re looking for less party and more relaxation, then try Playa del Carmen. With a small-town atmosphere, street performers, and small cafés, Playa del Carmen is far more relaxed and laidback, without as much drunken debauchery. .
Cabo San Lucas
Often referred to as the party capital of the southern Baja, Cabo San Lucas offers pristine beaches and plenty of activities for the daytime hours. At night, the city comes alive with clubs and bars lining the streets. Margaritas, anyone?
Miami Beach is becoming more and more popular among spring breakers. When the sun goes down, South Beach heats up. Nightclubs and bars pack the colorful streets encouraging partiers to stay out all night. By day, the long stretches of beautiful sand and clear waters are nice places to work on your tan and to recover from the previous evening’s festivities. Like to dance? During Spring Break, Miami plays host to the Winter Music Festival which attracts thousands of partiers from March 8 to March 12.
Key West is famous for its diving, fishing, water sports, and of course its night life! During the day the crowds will be concentrated on the beaches, with Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park beach being a popular choice. The open air at Mallory Square, lined with street artists and entertainment, is another great attraction. At night partiers will find hundreds of bars, clubs, and restaurants lined up and down Duval Street. Duval Street is Key West’s world famous destination for dancing, drinking, and all the Spring Break fun.
Panama City Beach
Looking to stay in the U.S. but still want that tropical island feel? Touted as the Spring Break capitol of the World, Panama City Beach is jam packed with live music, a massive stage set-up, bikini and dance contests, party games, and of course, drinks. Spring breakers will enjoy this Caribbean gem as the city caters to the fun. Everywhere you turn there’s a party and a majority of the clubs are 18 and up to party, 21 and up to drink. Making travel to this spring break destination more accessible, Panama City Beach recently opened the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, offering non-stop flights on Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines.
Jamaica has remained a go-to Spring Break destination for years. The resort heavy Caribbean island has water activities during the day and plenty of places for drinking all night. Montego Bay and Negril are particularly popular among spring breakers; however students should note that some parts of the island can be unsafe, so stay in groups. The nightlife in Jamaica is incredible with live music, dancing, open air bars, and casinos. When you’re all tired out, hit up the pools or hot tubs to relax and recoup.
The Bahamas feature crystal clear blue waters and are guaranteed to bring out crowds of partiers every year. There is plenty to do during the daytime from enjoying the white-sand beaches to relaxing resorts. After the sun goes down, visitors can enjoy the casinos, nightclubs and bars. Nassau and Paradise Island are particularly popular Spring Break spots in the Bahamas. Plus, accommodations are relatively inexpensive making it a top destination for students.
South Padre Island, Texas
Throughout the rest of the year, South Padre Island welcomes mostly families to its resort hotels and beautiful beaches. But when Spring Break hits, the quiet Texan island becomes overrun with students. Alcohol-induced parties and subsequent drunken debauchery fills the streets throughout Spring Break season.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas has everything adults could desire. From gambling, drinks, showgirls, amazing performances and a notorious reputation, Vegas has it all. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that MTV has made Sin City its destination for 2012. With Las Vegas hosting MTV’s crowd of students and party goers, this will certainly make for a memorable Spring Break. Walk the strip, party at the pools, sleep in till the sun goes down, and remember, what happens here stays here.
Lake Havasu, Arizona
Spring Breakers are heading out west, and more specifically to Arizona’s Lake Havasu. Slowly building up as a Spring Break hot spot, Lake Havasu offers water sports, boat parties on the lake, and warm desert sun. Visitors can find affordable hotels nearby or if you’ve got some friends try throwing in on a houseboat rental.
Have you ever been to any of these destinations for Spring Break before? Where have you gone for Spring Break? Share your Spring Break stories with us at Stories@CheapAir.com for possible inclusion in our blog.