Spring Break: For some these two words conjure up images of fun-filled hedonism and evoke memories of crazed beach parties, while for others it is a vacation nightmare. Booking a booze-fueled trip during this holiday period between late-February and mid-April is a rite of passage for college students. But Spring Break isn’t only for hungover coeds. If you want to get away yet stay clear of the madness, take heed and avoid the following destinations.
Cancun has long been the Spring Break capital of the world and every year thousands of Americans make the journey to this stunning beach-centric resort on the Yucatan Peninsula. They descend upon the Hotel Zone to relish in the plethora of all-inclusive offers and late-night parties. If Mexico is your destination of choice then try Cozumel and Tulum instead.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Similar to Cancun, Daytona Beach is one of the pioneers of the Spring Break holiday and continues to entice students with its budget hotel packages and buzzing nightlife. There’s a delightful beach for you to nurse a hangover and amusement parks for non-alcohol entertainment. Fort Lauderdale is a quieter alternative on Florida’s Atlantic coast and closed down its scruffy bars in the 1990s.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
What’s not to like about a watersports-loving city set along the shores of its namesake lake? With balmy year-round temperatures you can have fun boating, fishing, kayaking and off-roading before retreating to your lakeside accommodation. Just don’t do it when the waters are invaded by booze-hungry coeds. Go boating, fishing and hiking in Prescott National Forest instead.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
With a 60-mile coastline and a boardwalk home to arcades, bars, dance clubs and strip joints, it's little wonder Myrtle Beach lures the college crowd. COED.com even included it in its Top 20 Trashiest Spring Break Destinations. If you must visit South Carolina at this time of year then go on a cultural getaway to Georgetown.
Nassau has all the ingredients for a quintessential spring break: beautiful beaches, booze cruises, a legal drinking age of 18 and huge resort hotels. StudentCity.com says it has the perfect blend of wild parties and relaxation. However, the Bimini islands are a better bet for true serenity.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, Bourbon Street and mouth-watering Cajun cuisine make New Orleans one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. There’s a party here every night of the year, so consider planning your visit for summer or fall. Plus Louisiana has plenty of other great cities to see, such as Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Already boasting a reputation as a party town, MTV enhanced the status of Panama City Beach with its 2017 series Floribama Shore. This is music to the ears of bar owners and party animals but not to those who want to enjoy the Caribbean-like coastline and amusement parks alone. Nearby Pensacola Beach might be more your scene.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The idea of kicking back on an isolated Punta Cana beach, listening to rippling waves and feeling the cool breeze in your face is somewhat marred by hordes of vacay parties. Beside the resorts and their connecting beaches, safety concerns mean that there’s not much freedom to go out exploring alone. You could be better off visiting the beaches of Varadero, Cuba.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Heaps of colonial charm and scenic seafront promenades make Puerto Rico’s capital a delightful place to visit throughout most of the year. Nevertheless, with an 18-year-old drinking age, bars serving rum by the gallon and all-inclusive packages along the Isla Verde hotel zone, the city is mayhem in springtime. You may prefer a jaunt to the deserted beaches of Puerto Rico’s Flamenco island.
South Padre Island, Texas
The population of serene South Padre Island allegedly rises from 5,000 to 100,000 during the party period and STA Travel named it among their top places for Spring Break 2019. They come for the constant sunshine, white-sand beaches and shallow waters. As with almost everywhere in Texas, the heat is unbearable so you’d be wiser to come in autumn or winter.