Spring break is the time of year when students from all over the world take advantage of the college break and travel to hot, sunny places for vacation. While the timing of spring break differs depending on the school involved, it generally takes place in early spring. It may be the final week of March or early April. It can last anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on the school’s part of the world. While students travel to many destinations during spring break, the popularity of going somewhere warm started with Orlando, Florida. It remains the most popular spring break destination.
Popular Florida Spring Break Destinations
Spring break has long been known for its outlandish parties and wild behavior. Students often party with reckless abandon before returning home to cooler climates. The most popular Florida spring break destinations are Orlando, Daytona, Panama City Beach, Key West and Miami’s South Beach. Because Florida elementary schools also offer a break at this time, the beaches become crowded with families and college students alike.
The city is so popular because of the many entertainment destinations located there. It is home to Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. The nightlife is jumping with clubs of varying themes. Special events are held by many of these popular Orlando attractions like Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration.
Daytona’s beaches are its greatest attraction. The city has 23 miles of white sandy beach, making it a great place for fun, sun and ocean. It is a popular destination for surfers, but watch out for the sharks. The nightlife in Daytona is wild and raucous, with clubs that are notable for odd and quirky names, like Razzles, the Tir Na Nog Irish Pub and Froggy’s.
Of course, the Daytona 500 Experience is a popular destination, being an interactive motorsports museum and tourist attraction. Visitors can take a virtual drive on the speedway and tour the racetrack. The Daytona Lagoon is a popular water park for families. Boat rentals are also popular along the waterfront.
Panama City Beach is the coolest Florida spring break destination, in more ways than one. The 27 miles of sandy beach offer temperatures only in the 70s during the day. The water temperature is a cool 67 degrees. The city is not for the faint of heart, welcoming partygoers warmly. Major retail sponsors are there handing out freebies, recording wild party events and generally winding up a crowd of already enthusiastic college students.
The drive to the Keys is worth the time. The bridges to the keys alone are worth seeing. Like many island destinations, the Florida Keys offer a diverse array of inhabitants. This destination is the antithesis of Panama City. The beaches close at 11 pm and are heavily patrolled. The streets are quiet soon after dark and the bars close at 4 am, rather than being open all night. Key West offers a daily sunset celebration and artists of many backgrounds come to Key West just to watch the sunsets. After sunset, various street musicians entertain the crowd.
Miami South Beach
South Beach is known for its hip, trendy atmosphere and has been dubbed America’s Riviera for this reason. The movie industry also makes Miami South Beach a popular destination. Celebrities are often found here shoot scenes for the next major blockbuster. The movie culture spills onto the beach as well and the area begins to look more like L.A. or Hollywood, with roller bladders, fancy vintage cars riding by slow and gorgeous women everywhere.
Other Spring Break Destinations
Of course, students travel to many places other than Florida. Cancun has seen a recent drop off in visitors due to an outbreak of swine flu, but it is likely to become popular again when the epidemic passes. Cancun makes it easy for students to drink and party, regardless of their age. Some prefer a sports vacation, choosing to ski or go backpacking in Europe. Still others decide to volunteer during spring break.
Spring Break Cautions
Drinking is almost a sport on spring break, with many seeing how much they can choke down and survive. This dangerous practice leads to alcohol poisoning and many other dangers. Alcohol poisoning can be deadly and so can drunk driving. Studies show that spring break partiers are much less likely to practice safe sex, leading to greater chances of sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancies. On top of this is the risk of dehydration as hung-over partiers head out to the beach the next day.
Be aware of the risks associated with heavy drinking and take care to protect yourself. Decide your limit in advance and think about how you will put out the hand when more alcohol is inevitably offered to you. Always keep a condom on hand because you just never know. Finally, drink plenty of water before you turn in. Not only will this help prevent dehydration, it will go a long way towards preventing tomorrow’s hangover.