20 Most Popular Spring Break Destinations for College Students

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Updated: March 8, 2024, Reading time: 25 minutes

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Every college student needs a break from academic demands. That is what spring break is for, giving you a chance to catch your breath before the pressure of finals and graduation sets in. It is your time to sit back, relax, and recharge. 

Most times, you will be spending your much-needed vacation away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Thinking of taking a trip and going out of town? We’ve got you covered! The best spring break destinations we have gathered are not only affordable but also accessible. 

The Lowdown:

College students can enjoy a week of their demanding studies by taking a spring break trip. This usually gives them the chance to relax and rejuvenate before they need to take on the finals challenge. There are a lot of college spring break destinations that most students frequent, ranging from beaches and mountain resorts to bustling and culturally rich cities. 

College Cliffs is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

What better way to make it a memorable spring break than taking a trip to some of the most sought-after destinations? Take a look at our perfect spring break destination list and start planning your academic break this spring. 

Miami Beach

1. Popular Spring Break Destinations-Miami Beach

Miami, Florida 

If you are into beaches, you will never go wrong with a visit to Miami Beach. This ideal spring break destination allows you to experience the best blend of cultures and people. Some parts are family-friendly during the day but turn into a super-chic metropolis once the night sets in. 

Most college students spend their time under the sun. They enjoy the sea, crazy parties, music, food, art, and cocktails. 

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If you want more laidback activities, you may also try boutique shopping at Coconut Grove, explore the Vizcaya Museum and Garden, or spend time in the Miami Design District for public art. 

South Padre Island

2. Popular Spring Break Destinations - South Padre Island


Spring break fun can be 24-hour beach bashes. This is what South Padre Island offers. It is a good place to be if you want gorgeous white sand beaches, sparkling blue water, and a mixture of fun activities and entertainment for all ages. 

The warm weather can be inviting, making it ideal if you want refuge from the cold. 

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Panama City Beach

3. Popular Spring Break Destinations - Panama City Beach

Panama City, Florida 

Dubbed as the quintessential getaway, Panama City Beach offers pearly white beaches and a subtropical climate. This favorite spring break destination can be an affordable, warm-weather escape for many college students. 

It is home to the largest fishing sport fleets in the world and contains the world’s highest concentration of bottlenose dolphins, making it a nature lover’s paradise. 

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Daytona Beach

4.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach, Florida

This destination often draws visitors who hope to see their race car drivers up close as it is known for the Daytona International Speedway. Those who share a passion for all motor vehicles can experience things, including the Daytona Beach Bike Week and Biketoberfest. 

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Gulf Shores

5.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores, Alabama 

If you want a trip that can fit your budget, you may choose Gulf Shores. It is a budget-friendly destination that offers white sand beaches, fun activities, and affordable accommodations. You can enjoy the sun and a little bit of adventure. 

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Grand Oasis

6.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Grand Oasis

Cancun, Mexico

Need to be in spring break destinations across the miles? A Cancun spring break is an ideal choice. The Grand Oasis resort has everything, featuring 1,500 rooms, eight restaurants, and several bars. 

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Cumberland Island 

7.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Cumberland Island

St. Marys, Georgia

If camping is your thing, you can consider going to Cumberland Island. It houses some undeveloped beautiful beaches, marshes, and forests. You can get away from the bright city lights by going on a camping trip, allowing you to spend worthwhile time under both the sun and the stars. 

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Cabo San Lucas

8.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Cabo San Lucas

Boasting stunning golden sands and turquoise waters, Cabo San Lucas is a good place to soak up some sun and enjoy the party scene. It is known for its incredible pools, fun bars, and restaurants serving sumptuous cuisine. 

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Bozeman, Montana

9.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Bozeman Montana

Bozeman is located between Helena and Billings. This small town is a popular spring break destination. It is home to the most breweries per capita in the US. It offers some of the best hiking trails with splendid views. 

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Zion National Park

10. Popular Spring Break Destinations-Zion National Park


Southern Utah is known for its warm and sunny weather with scenic desert with splotches of green amid the red rock. The Zion National Park is popular for its iconic trails, including Angel’s Landing, the Subway, and the Narrows. Springbreakers who have a penchant for outdoor adventures will love this. 

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New York City

11.Popular Spring Break Destinations-New York City

It might not have sandy beaches, but New York City is a favorite spring break destination. It is teeming with outdoor activities that will allow you to make the most out of your break. It also offers alternative scenery if you want to stay away from the typical city atmosphere. 

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Bald Head Island

12.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Bald Head Island

North Carolina

For slow travel and the ultimate nature experience, Bald Head Island is the place to go. While it may not be filled with bustling and exciting nightlife and party scenes, you can still enjoy it for its rich history and natural offers. 

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Lake Tahoe

13.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Lake Tahoe

Bordering California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is another favorite spring break destination for students. Wide pine forests and pristine beaches surround it. Students usually visit during the spring when the water in the lake is crystal clear. 

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Bryce Canyon National Park

14.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Bryce Canyon National Park

Southern Utah 

An alternative spring break presents itself in Bryce Canyon National Park. This destination is best for endless hiking, camping, and stargazing, featuring stunning and unusual red rock formations. You won’t find many bars and nightlife. 

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Yosemite National Park

15.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Yosemite National Park


The Yosemite National Park offers a magnificent view during spring as the thawing snow fills and streams and the dogwood trees bloom. If you need a nature trip, this destination is perfect for you. 

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Nashville, Tennessee

16.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Nashville, Tennessee

While Nashville is known for country music, other music genres dominate the place. It is a perfect spot for those who enjoy music-themed attractions. 

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New Orleans, Louisiana

17.Popular Spring Break Destinations-New Orleans, Louisiana

From voodoo culture to seafood, New Orleans has a lot to offer. It is an unforgettable destination for many spring breakers who want to explore new cuisines and delve deep into garden and architecture tours. 

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Las Vegas, Nevada

18.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Las Vegas, Nevada

Are you for the high life? You won’t go wrong with Las Vegas. It is accessible from many states, including Arizona, California, and Utah. Drinking, dancing, and partying are the usual order of the day. 

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Myrtle Beach

19.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Myrtle Beach

South Carolina

Considered one of the most loved beaches in the country, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina welcomes more than 20 million annual visitors. It is a good place for spring break because it is affordable, not to mention housing some great attractions like shopping, golf, and the gorgeous 60-mile beach. 

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Puerto Vallarta

20.Popular Spring Break Destinations-Puerto Vallarta


Experience the best of the beach life in Puerto Vallarta. It is one of the college student’s favorite destinations during spring break. It boasts some all-inclusive resorts and a vibrant culture. It houses the finest bars along the Malecon. 

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Spring Break: An Overview

About one week during the school year, college kids get to take a break. Every year, hundreds of thousands of American students enjoy their spring break getaway in resort towns, whiling away the time in heart-thumping beach parties and overflowing drinks. This picture does not always reflect how all spring breakers spend their much-needed reprieve from academic responsibilities. 

Spring break generally means students have a week-long break that gives them many opportunities. Some get the chance to travel home to see their families. Others choose to spend it catching up on schoolwork that they did not get to complete before the break. 

For many, it means traveling to various locations, allowing them to unwind from stress by going on a memorable trip. Their destinations are mostly geared toward party places or beach resorts. 

When does Spring Break usually occur?

Spring break usually depends on the university or college’s academic calendar. Typically, it falls in early spring, which can occur between mid-February and mid-April. Most spring breaks are scheduled in March. 

Some schools are known to hold the spring break during Easter or Passover, while others prefer to place it around the semester’s midpoint. Spring break is often the Easter holiday, Easter vacation, or Easter week. This all depends on the region one is in, however. 

Spring Break Destinations - fact

Why Does Having a Spring Break Matter?

Spring Break is held for a reason. It is often scheduled before the finals and the last half of the school year. Spring break serves various purposes for students, often romanticized as a week of wild parties and never-ending fun and traveling. It comes only once a year, and it is one of the most anticipated days for many. 

Like everyone else, students need time away from demanding coursework. The core of spring break is the opportunity to take a breather from your studies and spend time with family and friends. While spring break often gets a bad reputation for being all about wild parties, it ushers in many benefits beyond enriching your social life, especially physical and mental health. 

Taking a Break Can Make You Healthy

As a student, mental decompression is a necessity. Not only does a spring break help you achieve a better mental state, but you also get to benefit physically. It helps to get away from your daily duties to allow your mind to relax. 

When your mental health is right, your body also reaps the rewards. Lower stress and anxiety allow you to focus on your daily activities and enjoy them while you are at them. This helps lift your mood, reduce stress hormones, lower your blood pressure, and sleep better.

Spring Break Can Make You Happier 

Taking a short vacation can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. The excitement of a reprieve from academic duties can boost your mood and generally make you happy. You can meet friends or family back home or travel to a superb location where you can make the most out of your week-long vacation. 

It Can Help You Prepare for the Challenges to Come 

Since spring breaks are usually held before the finals, the much-needed holiday can help you reset and recharge for another semester of rigorous academic work. It can be used as a time off from learning where you get to avoid stress. Others use the time to catch up on schoolwork and complete pending requirements. 

Safety Tips for Spring Break

Frequently Asked Questions

How did spring break start?

The concept behind spring break originates in the Ancient Greeks. The Greeks used to blow off some steam each spring with a three-day feast dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. The modern spring break, however, started in the late 1930s. 

A swimming coach from Colgate University in New York took his team down to Florida for some early training at a new Olympic-size pool. The idea resonated with other college swim coaches, who also started to do the same. Eventually, it became an annual tradition for swimmers all over the country. By the 1960s, an influx of students prompted local businesses in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to offer attractive, affordable products. 

Is it necessary to spend spring break outdoors? Why? 

Spring break is an important reprieve for students to take a break from their hectic coursework before the finals. It offers health benefits, including mental decompression, improved mood, better sleep, and ample preparation for the last half of the school year. 

It serves as a chance to catch up with friends and family. Many also devote their spring break to traveling, good for the mind, body, and soul. 

Can students stay on campus during spring break?

Students are mostly allowed to stay on campus during spring break. You will need to complete a Spring Break Planning Form and be charged extra.

It is important to note that many services and facilities, including dining, bus transportation, and residence hall front desk hours, would be significantly reduced during spring break. It is possible that some colleges and universities do not allow students to stay on campus, so you will need to check with your school and confirm. 

Key Takeaways

The most popular spring break destinations for college students are Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Puerto Vallarta, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, Louisiana, and many more. There are literally hundreds of these ultimate go-to places for spring breakers, depending on your vacation goals and budget.

The usual idea that comes to mind is usually the beach, but hitting the party scene or doing an unconventional activity works for some college spring breakers, too!

Regardless of your destination, make your spring break vacation all worth it. Get the rest and relaxation you need, get excited over fun activities, spend some time with family and friends, and try new things!