Come spring break, many students are looking for a trip that’s affordable, accessible, popular among their peers and adheres to a party mentality. Using that criteria along with expert opinion and traveler sentiment, U.S. News ranked the best destinations for spring break getaways. Explore this list to guide your vacation choice and vote below for the warm-weather holiday that hits home.
#1: South Padre Island
Why go: During the rest of the year, nearby South Padre Island (located at the tip of Texas) ushers in families to its luxury resort hotels and beautiful beaches. But when springtime rolls around, SPI’s sands and affordable accommodations fill with temporary revellers. Loud, all-night parties fill the streets throughout the entire month of March.
#2: Miami Beach
Why go: Although a Florida vacation can be pricey, this Miami mainstay is surprisingly accessible. Clubs and bars line the streets, encouraging night owls to stay out until the wee hours. And by day, the city’s beaches make a pleasant place to perfect your tan.
Why go: Cancún has long held its reputation as a popular spring break destination in North America. And with affordable lodging, long stretches of sand and a rollicking night scene, it’s easy to see why. The city also exudes a more laid-back attitude than many American destinations when it comes to late-night partying.
#4: Puerto Vallarta
Why go: By day, Puerto Vallarta is tailor-made for outdoorsy types, with its sands and hidden coves. And once the sun sets, abundant happy hour specials cater to those on a tight budget. Plus, night owls can let loose in Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant bars, clubs and beach parties.
Why go: The Bahamas’ white sands lure hordes of sun-seekers year after year. But even those who aren’t avid sunbathers can soak up the scenery at Lucayan National Park or shop at the Port Lucaya Marketplace. Plus, cheap accommodations make it easy for budget travellers to enjoy all the Bahamas has to offer.
#6: Puerto Rico
Why go: During the day, Puerto Rico’s pretty beaches beckon to swimmers and windsurfers. And by night, music spills out of bars and clubs across the island. It may not have a stereotypical spring break reputation, but Puerto Rico offers visitors a taste of the Caribbean on US soil.
Why go: Jamaica has been a go-to spring break getaway for years. The resort-laden Caribbean island boasts aquatic activities by day and plenty of low-key venues for partying at night. Montego Bay and Negril are particularly popular spots.
#8: Cabo San Lucas
Why go: Though hotels tend to charge steep rates, Cabo San Lucas stands as the party capital of southern Baja. Beautiful beaches like Playa Medano appeal to students in need of some R&R. Meanwhile, nightlife hotspots like Casa de la Cultura and Cabo Wabo Cantina crank up the party scene through the wee hours.
#9: Sanibel Island
Why go: For a calm week at the beach, head to Sanibel Island. In place of a raucous boardwalk, you’ll have an avenue lined with cute boutiques and a quiet shoreline littered with shells. While visiting, be sure to try the local seafood; grouper and crabs are particularly popular.
#10: Playa del Carmen
Why go: Playa del Carmen is often compared to Cancún with its affordable accommodations and popularity among twenty-somethings. However, Playa del Carmen is far more laid-back and without as much debauchery. This Euro-chic mainstay is perfect for those looking for low-key spring getaway filled with beach-lounging and boutique-strolling.