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Checking Out Some of America’s Favorite Spring Break Locales

Spring BeachPixSpecial to The Travelling Adventurer

Millions of American college students take their annual spring breaks in March, scattering across the nation in search of a place to lie in the sun, shush down a snowy mountain or belly up to a bar and/or dance the night away.

This annual rite of passage continues through March and into early April in America, meaning travelers in the spring break hot spots have to put up with the youthful hijinks as best they can.

The annual spring break excursions started becoming popular more than 50 years ago (remember the old movie “Where The Boys Are”?) and have continued to grow.

That’s great for the age 18-22 set, but for travelers who happen to be spending time in spring break locales it’s not so great.

Among the most popular spring break locales in the U. S. include South Padre Island, Texas; Panama City Beach, Florida; Myrtle Beach, S., Daytona Beach, Fla., and Breckenridge, Colo.

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Coed Magazine came up with what it called the Top 15 Trashiest Spring Break locales in the U. S. and it included places with such things as the most Hooters restaurants, strip clubs, tattoo parlors and lenient liquor laws. The list was headed by Las Vegas, South Padre Island, Texas, and Daytona Beach, Fla.

Here’s the complete listing:

1. Las Vegas 2. South Padre Island, Tex. 3. Daytona Beach, Fla. 4. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 5. Orlando, Fla. 6. Lake Havasu, Ariz. 7. Miami, Fla. 8. Panama City Beach, Fla. 9. Key West, Fla. 10. Fort Myers, Fla. 11. Tampa, Fla. 12. Virginia Beach, Va. 13. Scottsdale, Ariz. 14. New Orleans 15. San Diego

Other than the most popular U. S. spring break locations, here is a list of some of the hottest spots in the Mexico/Caribbean area according to Travel/Leisure Magazine: Cancún, Mexico This resort strip on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula lures more than 100,000 spring breakers from the U.S. each year—eager to experience the raunchy contests, foam parties, banana-boat rides, and general boozy mayhem that have made Cancún infamous. Many book cheap, all-inclusive packages that include bus rides to clubs like Dady’O and Señor Frogs, where the beers and margaritas flow freely (cover charges often include unlimited drinks).

Nassau, Bahamas

Cheap and plentiful all-inclusive packages bring thousands of American college students to Nassau each spring to marvel at the British colonial architecture, the abundant natural beauty, and … Who are we kidding? They come to drink. A lot. With dozens of nightclubs, including one at the massive Atlantis on Paradise Island, and plenty of booze cruises setting forth daily, you’ll never be thirsty as long as you and your fraternity brothers are in town.

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Fans of reggae music, rum, and other, perhaps smokier, ways to relax have been coming to Montego Bay and Negril for spring break for decades. That means that from March to April, every inch of white sand beach is packed with revelers eager to have their hair beaded, sing along to Bob Marley tunes, and practice the worst “Jamaican” accents the world has ever heard.

Vacation packages that promise all sorts of activities from cliff diving to snorkeling mean that even if you try to get away from the bars and nightclubs, you won’t get far from the crowds—or the endless loop of “No Woman, No Cry.”

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

As noisy and good-natured as Sammy Hagar (proprietor of Cabo Wabo Cantina and former Van Halen front man—the one who wasn’t David Lee Roth), Cabo San Lucas has been playing host to epic spring breaks for nearly 40 years. The town’s party scene doesn’t take a college degree to locate, but for extra credit, check out local highlights that don’t involve pulsating music and body shots: the sushi at Nick-San, for instance, and Playa Santa María, a sheltered cove ideal for snorkeling (look for a beach access sign on the highway at kilometer 12).

San Juan, P.R.

Large resort chains dominate the Isla Verde and Condado areas of San Juan, offering convenience and beach access to you—and to the hordes of college students in hundreds and hundreds of rooms. To avoid the crowds and find that quintessential Caribbean island vibe, retreat to an island farther afield, like Vieques.