From February to April, most American college students get a well-deserved break from studying and exams. What better place to celebrate this new-found freedom than the Sunshine State with its warm climate and beautiful beaches? No wonder that Spring Break began in Florida as far back as the 1930s. Inspired by movies like “Where the Boys are”, hundreds of thousands of college students started flocking there for wild parties under the tropical sun – a tradition that is still alive and kicking today.
Of course, not everybody was happy about the masses of teenagers, the flow of alcohol and the lax morals that came with Spring Break celebrations. Over time, new regulations were introduced to keep hot-headed party-goers in check. These regulations as well as the legal drinking age of 21 have prompted many Spring Breakers to choose more distant places like Cancun or the Bahamas. Nonetheless, Spring Break in Florida is still an event that attracts a significant crowd. From your vacation home in Cape Coral, you just have to visit nearby Fort Myers to get your share of partying. However, if you want to experience the true Spring Break atmosphere, the places presented below are even better suited:
THE BEST PLACES FOR SPRING BREAK IN FLORIDA
Today, Spring Break is a global phenomenon. However, it all started in Fort Lauderdale in the 1930s, when the swim team of Colgate University made the city their home during semester break. Of course, the days when 350.000 students took over Fort Lauderdale are long gone. Yet still, every March, the city turns into one giant party, especially at Las Olas Beach. The official ban on alcohol at the beach does not seem to deter party-goers.
For all those looking for wild, over-the-top parties, Fort Lauderdale is the perfect Spring Break destination. Loudspeakers at the beach are blasting music left and right, while well-off party guests are displaying their luxury cars. In the evening, the party moves from the beach to the bars and clubs of Downtown. Organizers like JusCollege sell holiday packages that include free entry into a club and a ticket for the party cruise.
Thanks to its liberal vibes, Daytona Beach used to be a popular alternative to Fort Lauderdale. Nowadays, the same strict regulations concerning alcohol are in place. Despite this, Daytona Beach is still a favorite place for Spring Breakers, particularly because of the pleasant temperatures in March. Daytona Beach is also considerably cheaper than new party hotspots like Miami, Panama City or Cancun. What is more, the long stretch of sandy beach provides the perfect backdrop for wild parties.
Traditionally, Spring Breakers enjoy themselves swimming and surfing during the day before heading to the clubs and bars near their beach hotels. There is no curfew, so places like Razzles, Bank & Blues and the Ocean Deck Club pump the newest hits until morning. Granted, Daytona Beach is not the hippest Spring Break destination anymore. But many visitors welcome this trend. Fewer people also means fewer excesses and conflicts with the locals, better safety and a more relaxed experience. A good reason for motor sports enthusiasts to visit the city during Spring Break is the Daytona 500, America’s most famous NASCAR Race at the Daytona International Speedway. Fans of hot choppers and shining chrome populate Fort Lauderdale during Bike Week in March.
Miami would not be Florida’s coolest metropolis if it did not host its own Spring Break celebrations. At the end of the college term, the coast of South Beach turns into one big party area with loud music, drinking games and revealing dress code. Millions of people come to paint the town red, circumventing the alcohol ban with the creative use of water pistols.
If you have had enough of the beach life, you can dance to the sound of internationally renowned DJs at one of many pool parties. At night, it is time to join the crowd in the club. Fans of electronic music will love to hear that the Miami Music Week takes place during Spring Break. But of course, the local clubs also play Hip Hop, RnB, Reggae and other genres. For those who want to arrive in style, a lot of travel packages include a stretch limousine that will drive you to the club. Speaking of style: Miami is the perfect Spring Break place for everybody who wants to party amidst Florida’s rich kids. Naturally, this privilege will cost you a pretty penny, but the city makes it up to you with pleasant temperatures of around 26° C.
Unlike Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, this city in Northern Florida does not boast a long tradition as a party place. It was only in the 90s that students began to come here due to more relaxed alcohol and drug policies. The wild times seem to be over, however, and Panama City sees fewer and fewer Spring Breakers each year. Like everywhere else, drinking on the beach is prohibited and clubs are forced to close at 2 am.
This trend is welcomed by an older and more refined clientele looking for a place to party in moderation. During the day, white powdery beaches offer perfect relaxation. And if your hangover allows it, you can enjoy yourself riding go-karts and playing minigolf. After dark, La Vela, the biggest night club in the USA, satisfies the party crowd with costume and foam parties. If you are lucky, you might even appear on television, as MTW produces the reality show “Floribama Shore” in Panama City.
A PREVIEW OF WHAT AWAITS YOU DURING SPRING BREAK
In this clip you can catch a glimpse of how Spring Break is celebrated in Florida.