Yup, it’s almost time for spring break insanity. (Photo by David Kadlubowski/DIT/Corbis. Design by Lauren DeLuca for Yahoo Travel)
In a few short weeks, hundreds of thousands of American college students will embark on a rite of passage that they spend the entire year looking forward to: their spring break vacation.
This booze-fueled, swimsuit-clad rage fest usually involves a week of hard partying and little sleep, taking place in warm beach cities throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean.
But some places are more renowned for their wild parties than others. In fact, some destinations have developed a reputation as the only place to head for spring break, creating fierce competition for party tickets, hotel rooms, and flights among the eager attendees.
So if you are on the hunt for somewhere to party hard after making it through the frosty winter semester, here are the top destinations for crazy spring break festivities:
At the all-inclusive resorts of Nassau, it’s all about fun in the sun during the day and wild parties at night. (Photo: Atlantis Resort/Facebook)
While the Bahamas haven’t been a traditional spring break location, they have been gaining some serious momentum in recent years. Large resorts, such as the Atlantis, lure partiers with a lineup of popular DJs, luxury accommodations, and a host of adventurous daytime activities, from parasailing and scuba diving to water parks and swimming with dolphins. Hotels are largely all-inclusive, meaning you can drink and eat as much as you want without worrying about the extra costs.
Panama City, Florida
Join the hordes of rowdy spring breakers living it up at Panama City. (Photo: Jason Winslow/Splash News)
Largely known as the spring break capital of the world, Panama City Beach hosts over half a million students each year, many of them clamoring to get rooms at the beachfront Holiday Inn, which acts as the unofficial HQ of the city’s festivities. Panama City Beach becomes one huge, weeklong party with concerts featuring famous acts, outdoor bars, and a 24-hour party atmosphere.
Lake Havasu, Arizona
Water-loving partiers are sure to enjoy the floating festivities at Lake Havasu. (Photo: David Kadlubowski/DIT/Corbis)
Lake Havasu proves that being landlocked won’t limit the potential for a really awesome party. In fact, this inland body of water has become a major spring break location for those seeking an affordable, accessible alternative to beach resorts. While many choose to rent boats and stay on the water, there are land options such as the London Bridge Resort, if a floating apartment isn’t your thing. There are also many water sports and activities on hand, such as jet skiing and parasailing, to keep everyone entertained.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Party it up in Punta Cana! (Photo: Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa/Facebook)
With inexpensive all-inclusive resorts, perfect weather, spectacular beaches, and a vibrant nightlife, it is no wonder that Punta Cana has become exceedingly popular to spring breakers seeking a more exotic destination. Many of the resorts feature their own nightclubs, casinos, and nightly entertainment, meaning you’ll never have to leave the property. Resorts such as the Grand Palladium Punta Cana feature multiple dining options, over a dozen bars, a spa and fitness center, and even a church, should you feel the need to atone for your sins while you are there.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Join the crowds of fun-loving beachgoers down in South Carolina. (Photo: Go to Myrtle Beach/Facebook)
Known as the seaside golf capital of the world, come spring break, Myrtle Beach evolves into a haven for bikini-clad revelers looking to soak up the sun and party into the small hours. The city has a large selection of bars and clubs that roll out the red carpet for spring breakers, along with beautiful beaches, dozens of resort-style hotels, and lots of scheduled parties and concerts.
Beautiful beaches, a low drinking age, and a 24/7 party atmosphere make Cancun one of the most popular destinations for spring breakers. (Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for MTV)
Mind-blowing beaches, warm water, and huge all-inclusive resorts attract thousands of spring breakers to Cancun each year. But one of the major attractions, especially for younger students, is the legal drinking age — just 18! Cancun has a year-round party atmosphere with each hotel hosting daily events, concerts, and parties that start after breakfast and go until the early hours. There is also a hugely popular water park nearby, along with dozens of boat trips and excursions to the Mayan ruins for those who don’t want to just drink and sunbathe.
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Daytona Beach, Florida
The beachfront hotels of Daytona Beach. (Photo: Sean Pavone/Alamy Stock Photo)
Daytona might be better known for NASCAR, but its 20 miles of beachfront and proximity to the amusement parks of Orlando (just an hour away) have made it a wildly popular destination for vacationers. The Hawaiian Inn has become Daytona’s most famous spring break hotel and features rooms with refrigerators, microwaves, stovetops, and balconies, along with a large pool area that turns into a big party, with DJs, contests, and a barbecue.
South Padre Island, Texas
For the wildest EDM party, head to South Padre Island. (Photo: U.M.E. South Padre Island/Facebook)
Everything is bigger in Texas. And that is especially true of the spring break celebrations that go down on South Padre Island. The beachside community is home to UME: Ultimate Music Experience, which Rolling Stone once referred to as “the largest beach party in the world.” This year the EDM festival runs from March 16-19 and will feature 50,000 partygoers and dozens of the world’s most famous DJs for a four-day-long event that runs day and night. Aside from the festival, there are daily parties, contests, and concerts along with a multitude of activities such as snorkeling and boat trips to indulge in.
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