The Wildest Spring Break Beaches in the World
What began as a swimming coach trying to get his team to practice in Florida’s first Olympic sized pool somehow turned into an integral part of the American tradition. In 1936, Sam Ingram had no idea what he would start when he brought his team down from Colgate University to Ft. Lauderdale’s Casino Pool: In 1938, the city smelled money and decided to host its first College Coaches’ Swim Forum, in which more than 300 swimmers competed— thus Spring Break was born.
Of course, it took a few years and steps to completely catch on, but soon droves of college students were showing up to Ft. Lauderdale to watch and compete in the annual forum, and then soon, they were just showing up to enjoy the beaches and the city's exciting nightlife. And now, each school year in the spring, millions of American students look forward to the glorious and wild week that is Spring Break.
There are plenty of places to spend your spring break, but not all of them are a wild time. Today, we're taking a look at some of the best spring break beaches for those who want to party...and party hard! These destinations aren't for the faint of heart!
Let's get started!
Panama City Beach
When you're at Panama City Beach, there's not a bad time or place to get crazy. Spring break here is basically a huge party that takes place across 27 miles of white sand beaches and beautiful emerald water. The clubs are age 18 and up, 21 to drink, and stay open until 4 am.
500,000 students choose this destination for spring break each year, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Travel and Leisure magazine calls it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world—not that you'll remember what the beaches look like after all that partying!
This four-mile by two-mile island is small and parking is at a premium, but is that really a bad thing? A ritzy place means ritzy people throwing unbelievable beach bashes! Just remember to bring your wallet because spring break partying doesn't come cheap here.
From bonfires on the beach to the famous nightlife, to all the activities the island has to offer, no college student could ever leave Key West saying they were bored. And judging by the thousands that visit this sunny locale every year, no one ever has! If you want a wild but luxurious spring break, Key West is the place to be.
Let 23 miles of wide, hard-packed white sand take you away for a week. Every beach is packed with students on spring break, but Daytona Beach makes a special effort to cater to those looking to cut loose for a week before hitting the books again. This is not the place for the faint of heart!
Daytona boasts plenty of clubs and other fun places to get crazy, but unlike some other beaches on this list, Daytona is not a destination that's going to bankrupt you. It's a nice place to visit, but the drinks are cheap, and there are plenty of good times to go around!
If you're looking for a wild time at spring break with some southern flair, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is the place for you! It's just as wild and crazy as any party spot in the Gulf, but without any of that disgusting Gulf water! These beaches are pristine and ready to help you get crunk.
Thousands of visitors descend on Myrtle Beach each spring break, meaning you'll have no problem mixing and mingling the night away in the city's many clubs and bars. Plus, if you ever get the hankering for something a bit more family-friendly, there are tons of spots around the town for a more traditional tourist experience.
Playa del Carmen
If you want to get wild on spring break and leave the country, there are plenty of international destinations to choose from, but one of the best (and craziest) is Playa del Carmen in Mexico. It's biggest draw is that the place is basically a Cancun experience without the Cancun-sized crowds.
Unlike Cancun, Playa del Carmen is smaller and more compact. Don't worry—there's plenty of clubs and bars for some nightlife fun, but you won't have to walk a mile through a huge crowd of people to get a little tipsy. It's one of Mexico's most fun and best-kept spring break secrets!
When you think of spring break debauchery, San Diego isn't the first place that pops into your mind. But we've been wrong all along about this mid-sized California city—they can party just as hard as iconic spring break beaches like Panama City and Cancun. We would never have guessed it, but we're pleasantly surprised!
Boasting several beaches along its 70 miles of pristine coastland, San Diego has become a great alternative to the more crowded and crazy spring break destinations. There are lots of fun destinations for day trips, but things really get crazy after the sun sets and everyone heads for the club.
Sanibel Island is the perfect spring break getaway for people who want to party hard but also need plenty of time to unwind on vacation. The island itself is actually very peaceful and low key—so you won't have any overenthusiastic neighbors starting the party at 10 in the morning.
However, Sanibel Island is just a short drive away from the Florida city of Fort Meyers—and that's where the real party is at. A short mile's drive is all it takes to get from quiet, picturesque beaches to wild parties at the hottest clubs in the city. You can have it all on spring break, and Sanibel Island is here to help with that.
South Padre Island
When it comes to wild spring break beaches, not many are as classic (or wild) as South Padre Island. Everything is bigger in Texas and that includes the spring break parties! With four miles of beaches, it won't be hard to find a little fun when you visit for spring break.
It's clear that spring breakers know that South Padre is the place to be because almost 20,000 students visit every year. The Coca-Cola Beach at the Isla Grand Beach Resort is the number one daytime hotspot. This island also boasts a giant MTV-style stage surrounded by a 50,000-watt sound system.
No other place on earth can compare with Cancun when it comes to spring break beaches. If you've got the money for a flight down to Mexico, you won't find a crazier hotspot than this. With more than 100,000 spring break visitors per year, the party never stops when you're in Cancun.
The nightlife options that this place has to offer are too numerous to mention here, but, needless to say, you have plenty of options for imbibing and hitting the dance floor. Honestly, the party is year-round here in Cancun, so visit on spring break or any other time of the year—it's sure to be a good time!
For those of us who can’t travel too far and wide and don't want to spend an arm and a leg, there will always be Gulf Shores, Alabama, which boasts 32 miles of beautiful white sand beaches. It's the perfect spot to get wild on spring break on a budget.
It may not be as glamorous as Cancun or South Beach, but there's plenty of trouble to get into at Gulf Shores. After a long day at the beach, you'll find plenty of clubs and bars to mix and mingle. Plus, it's a tourist hotspot, so you're sure to find the perfect air-brush t-shirt to remember the experience by!
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is a gorgeous resort city at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. And although this city can boast miles upon miles of pristine beaches, only some are approved for swimming due to safety reasons. Who doesn't want to live a little dangerously? Who doesn't want to party with a shark?
Still, thousands of spring breakers choose Cabo San Lucas for its vibrant spring break night life, activities, and adventures. Besides the typical ‘booze cruises’ available, enjoy the world-famous performances by celebrity DJs and musicians, or go snorkeling at the many places its available.
Venice Beach isn't just a spring break destination—it's a tourist hotspot and California icon all year round. Even though you might not think of it as a wild and crazy spring break spot, it's in Los Angeles—there's probably a thing or two you can find there to have a little fun.
It draws more than 16 million visitors each year, making it one of the most crowded beaches year-round. This beach also has an eclectic feeling as the spirit there is mainly bohemian. For entertainment, the party never stops in Venice and there are many things to do for people of all interests.
Located just 97 miles off the Florida coast, it’s easy to get to by a three-hour ferry ride. Lucaya Beach is located right across the street from the Port Lucaya Marketplace, which boasts more than 30 bars and after-hours clubs, shopping, and local flavor. It's a hidden gem of the spring break world.
Beach parties and other events are a common occurrence here, which means you won't have any shortages of fun here. Lucaya Beach is a fun change of place, and it's a great spot for spring breakers who want to go abroad without paying a ton.
Spring breakers come to Puerta Vallarta each year to enjoy things like spectacular all-inclusive resorts, poolside DJ parties, and all-you-can-drink bar specials. But let’s not forget the beaches, which are spectacular themselves. You won't find a prettier place to party than this!
In addition to all the wild fun, Puerta Vallarta is also famous for its hospitality and friendly locals. There's not a better combination for spring break than wild parties and smiling faces. It's a bit of a long trip to make, but all the fun you'll be having is well worth the effort!
Thousands upon thousands of college students converge on Miami’s South Beach each year. From backpackers to celebrities, it’s the perfect place to see and be seen. On top of the eclectic personalities to be found, accommodations to suit every taste and budget abound nearby. You're in for a wild time when you visit South Beach.
And let’s not forget the hot and vibrant nightlife in Miami. There are more nightclubs there than you could visit in one lifetime. It’s the perfect spring break destination, and thousands of spring breakers agree! If you want the classic (and crazy) spring break experience, you're not going to do better than South Beach.