Spring Break has become a ritual of alcohol abuse and debauchery in the last couple of decades, but that doesn’t mean you have to party with the caveman-like lunkheads who crowd into bland and basic beach cities each year. Not all Spring Break destinations are created equally, but even some of the more popular ones can be worthwhile if you approach them the right way.
This year, BootsnAll has decided to chime in with 5 destinations that we feel are a cut above some of the more obvious ones. Yeah, we know you see Cancún right on the top of the (alphabetical) list and you think we are full of it, right? Well, Cancún combines cheap drinks with an exotic location near some fascinating ruins, so get off your high horse for once!
It might be its closeness to many of Mexico’s most impressive and important Mayan ruins, or it might be the cheap flights, inexpensive resort hotels and lowered drinking age, but somehow, this Caribbean city that didn’t even exist before 1970, has become the most popular Spring Break destination for Americans and Canadians over the past decade. Oversized margaritas and buckets of beer are easy to find, but the area does have a lot going for it beyond the potential for alcohol poisoning for anyone willing to look around.
This country, which is often considered the jewel of Central America, hasn’t become a Spring Break cliché, but it’s definitely becoming more popular among people looking to break the mold a bit. Once you get there, things are reasonably priced, and it’s easy to combine a few days at one of the famous surf beaches with a few more days zip-lining through the rainforest canopy only an hour or two away. Those with less motivation can find plenty of places to relax. You'll never run out of things to do if you have the energy.
Students living in places with good year-round climates (yes, we’re talking about you, SoCal), often like to flip the Spring Break concept upside down and head to mountain resorts instead. Lake Tahoe is one that is easy to reach and thanks partly to it being half in Nevada, it has an infrastructure big enough to hold large crowds. Plus, it has the added bonuses of decent nightlife, cheesy lounge acts, and it offers an opportunity to start a long and bitter journey towards compulsive gambling at one of its many casino resorts.
You could go to Panama City on the gulf coast to whoop it up with MTV, or you could head to Fort Lauderdale or Daytona Beach if you didn’t get the memo that those places are yesterday’s news. We prefer to party with the international jet-set in South Beach for only a little more dough. Plenty of cheap hotels remain standing between the pricey refurbished ones, only a block or two from famous Ocean Drive, one of the most gorgeous beaches on the planet. The nightlife can be pretentious, but you’ll never run out of choices in Miami Beach.
Parts of the island have a reputation for being dangerous, so Spring Break, Rasta-style, can feel a bit exotic and edgy, even when stationed in one of Negril’s many posh resorts. Its excellent beaches are lined with hotels in different price ranges, so visitors don’t have to stay in a sheltered all-inclusive to take advantage of the various water sports and beach madness. A favorite pastime is centered around cliff divers risking life and limb while onlookers sample a few Red Stripes at Negril’s world-famous Rick’s Café.