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The 10 Best Spring Break Destinations in the US in 2023

The 10 Best Spring Break Destinations in the US in 2023

Where should you head for spring break? The answer to that, friends, depends on the vibe you’re looking for.

We share the 10 best spring break destinations, including the 5 best spring break party spots and 5 best places for families, in this guide. 

What Are the Best Spring Break Destinations in the US?

View of San Diego beach with palm trees and sidewalk leading next to the sand on a clear day for an article outlining the best spring break spots in the US

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The best spring break destinations can vary wildly for different groups of people. What’s enjoyable for a college student might be the last thing a family of 4 are looking for!

If you’re a college student, spring break might mean seeking out the biggest parties on a crowded beach or in a lively city, hitting as many bars and clubs as possible. 

For college-aged spring breakers, Florida beaches are the best spring break destinations, followed by partying on the beaches of Texas and South Carolina and the nonstop nightlife of Sin City.

If you’re past the college years and taking a family or couples vacation during spring break, it might mean looking for a more relaxed vibe with plenty of family-friendly attractions or sweet seclusion and privacy. 

That means spots like Hawaii, California, and South Carolina beaches, skiing trips, and touring famous national parks are the best spring break destinations for families and couples foregoing the wild parties. 

We’ll look at the 10 best spring break destinations – the 5 best for partying and the 5 best for families – below in our list of the most enjoyable spots to spend your spring break. 

The 10 Best Spring Break Destinations in the US

About 30% of adults in the US made plans to travel for spring break in 2023, but even more college students (35-40%, according to Gitnux data) travel during spring break. 

While most of the best spring break destinations are on the beach, you’ll find that it’s easy to enjoy your springtime getaway in places off the coast, like Las Vegas and hitting the ski slopes in Utah. 

Whether you’re seeking out one of the top spring break party spots or want a more laid-back place for a family spring break vacation, we’ve got you covered with this list of the 10 best spring break destinations! 

The 5 Best Spring Break Destinations for Partying

Group of friends in swimwear and shorts partying on the beach for spring break under a list of the 5 best spring break destinations for college students

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If loud music, good vibes, big crowds, and partying until the sun comes up is your idea of a great spring break, these destinations should be at the top of your list. 

1. South Beach, Miami, Florida

The undisputed best spring break destination in the US is Miami, Florida – specifically South Beach, where the party never stops over a roughly 10-block stretch of beachfront bars, clubs, and hotels. 

College students from all over the world descend on Miami’s South Beach in droves just in time for spring break each year, packing the many clubs and bars with new people to meet and party with. 

Trendy restaurants, a wide selection of hotels, live music blaring everywhere, and huge crowds of rowdy spring breakers might be just what you’re looking for. Miami supplies it in spades. 

While spring break isn’t technically the best time to visit Miami (winter is), it’s perfect to catch Miami Music Week, pleasant temperatures in the upper 70s, and thriving nightlife hotspots. 

Note that in 2023, Miami instituted a spring break curfew and plans to do the same in 2024 – keep an eye out for news before you book your South Beach trip in March. 

2. Panama City Beach, Florida

Known as the “Spring Break Capital of the World,” Panama City Beach, Florida (PCB) is easily one of the best spring break destinations in the US if you’re looking for a party. 

While it’s not quite as crazy during spring break as it used to be in the MTV’s Spring Break and Club La Vela days, PCB is still a hotspot for spring breakers looking to sunbathe, party, and mingle on 27 miles of Florida’s gorgeous white sand beaches.  

Front Beach Road is home to some awesome nightlife, from Coyote Ugly and Whiskey’s Saloon to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge and Donovan’s Reef. These spots are open until the wee hours of the morning and feature live music or dance-able playlists. 

Join in a spirited game of beach volleyball, swim, snorkel, and parasail, visit bars and clubs, play games at an arcade, relax in a hot tub, or walk down the beach to meet new people in PCB.

Panama City Beach is a short trip for many college students, surprisingly affordable, and always hopping with college students looking to let loose. 

3. South Padre Island, Texas

South Padre Island beach pier with tourists set up along the shore on a clear day to indicate one of the best spring break destinations for partying

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With over 120K spring breakers descending on the beaches of South Padre Island, Texas in March each year, it’s an excellent choice if you’re hoping to party on a budget during spring break. 

As one of the 10 best beaches in the USA and by far one of the best beaches in Texas, the wide shores of South Padre Island make for the perfect, affordable spring break destination for college students on a budget. 

Rolling Stone once called spring break on South Padre Island the “largest beach part in the world.” That’s thanks, in part, to the lax alcohol rules: You can bring bottles, cans, and kegs on the shore and drive on the beach.

Those wide beaches have plenty of room for partiers soaking up sand, sun, and fun with volleyball tournaments, beachfront bars and restaurants with live music, and music festivals happening during spring break. 

Nightlife on South Padre Island is the best part for thirsty college students. Foam parties, concerts, festivals, beach games, and huge throngs of spring breakers make this destination choice if you’re looking for a party.

March is one of the best times to visit South Padre Island if you’re seeking a lively atmosphere and classic spring break vibes. Through the rest of the year, it can be a more family-friendly destination.

4.  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

As the #2 beach among the 19 best beaches on the East Coast and one of the 10 best beaches in the USA, Myrtle Beach is super popular for family vacations in summer, but really comes alive during spring break for college students. 

With 60 miles of sandy beaches sprawling along the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach – AKA Dirty Myrtle – has cemented itself as a popular spring break destination for partygoers.

The lively Broadway at the Beach is filled with nightlife. You’ll find lots of packed dance clubs, bars, food spots, and live music to entertain you during spring break. 

During spring break, hotel rates are only beginning to rise to their summer highs in Myrtle Beach, meaning you can still snag some good deals on accommodations. 

Spring break happens to be the best time to visit Myrtle Beach (March-May is perfect), and you’ll find there’s no shortage of affordable options when you’re looking at where to stay in Myrtle Beach.

Coolers are allowed on the beach, though alcohol is technically not. Something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of heading to Myrtle Beach for spring break!

5. Las Vegas, Nevada

Welcome to Las Vegas sign with palm trees on either side shown at dusk to show one of the best spring break spots

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It doesn’t have the characteristic beaches, but the nightlife scene is unbeatable and pool parties are the stuff of movies in Las Vegas – or Sin City if you prefer. 

Hanging out on the strip in Las Vegas means you’ll have hundreds of dance clubs, bars, casinos, strip clubs, and shops to visit. The hotel you stay in might have all the nightlife and entertainment you need by the pool! 

Vegas has lax rules for alcohol, allowing you to consume it in public and walk with an open container on the strip. Many of the bars in Vegas don’t have a closing time, so partying until the morning is a given. 

You don’t have to gamble while you’re here, but slot machines and blackjack tables everywhere you look make it unlikely you’ll escape without throwing a few dollars away. 

There are fun rides, like indoor skydiving, the Big Apple Coaster at New York-New York, and the Sling Shot that propels you like a rocket 100 feet in the air if partying with thousands isn’t enough to thrill you during spring break in Vegas.

Spring break is also one of the best times to visit Las Vegas (February-May) because temperatures are nice, but prepare to pay a lot for your hotel room. 

The 5 Best Spring Break Destinations for Families

If kid-friendly attractions, great restaurants and shopping, and laid-back vibes are your idea of the perfect spring break for the entire family, check out the best destinations to consider below. 

1. Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Aerial view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head crater in Honolulu, one of the best spring break destinations for families

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Honolulu is a spring break paradise on the island of Oahu in Hawaii that’s just perfect for families and couples alike. It’s one of the best family vacations for all ages.

The beach, dense tropical forests, enchanted waterfalls, and vibrant culture make it unbeatable for a springtime trip.

Honolulu is home to the famous Waikiki Beach, a plethora of great restaurants and shops, and incredible tropical landscapes, this is a place to make memories. 

Aside from idyllic days on the beach or at the pool, Honolulu holds a lot of promise for families on spring break. Hike nature trails under shady canopies, spot hidden waterfalls, and snorkel with sea turtles and colorful fish.

The entire family will enjoy locals telling stories, playing with fire, and delicious buffets at a nighttime luau. The Honolulu Zoo makes a great daytime outing, while the Pearl Harbor memorials can be a welcome history lesson. 

For couples seeking a little nightlife (nothing too wild), head to Waikiki for dance clubs and bars or check out Chinatown, where you’ll be able to mingle with locals at the bars. 

Since March-June is the best time to visit Honolulu, spring break means you’ll be there for perfect weather, manageable spring break crowds, and lots of family-friendly fun. 

2. San Diego, California

Bring the whole family along to sunny San Diego, California for a great spring break trip that offers tons of things to do for all ages. From the beach to theme parks, you won’t run out of plans the entire time you’re here. 

Nature lovers will enjoy soaking up the sun on a San Diego beach – La Jolla Cove and Coronado Beach are two of the very best – along with gray whale watching from the shore, picnics at Balboa Park, and the San Diego Botanic Garden. 

Check out the famed San Diego Zoo to see a verified menagerie of animals from lions to elephants. The Birch Aquarium is lots of fun and educational, while SeaWorld will thrill kids and adults with animal encounters and rides. 

Just 30-40 minutes away is Carlsbad, California where you can check out the Carlsbad Flower Fields just in time for spring break. The flowers are bursting in bloom between late March and April with lots of activities for kids to enjoy. 

March through May is considered the best time to visit San Diego, which makes it perfect for families seeking a great spring break spot! Once you figure out where to stay in San Diego, you’ll be all set for a fun spring break trip.

3. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island's Harbour Town Marina aerial view with golf course and shore in view as boats dock in the marina at one of the best spring break spots in the US for families

Aerial view of boats moored in the Harbour Town Marina, Hilton Head Island, 2019/Helioscribe/Shutterstock

Head down to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for relaxed, low country fun in the springtime with activities from golf to beach-combing and excellent restaurants to satisfy the whole family. 

Hilton Head Island’s beaches are perfect in spring, boasting pleasantly warm temperatures around 70F that won’t roast you in the hot sun. The soft sand is great for building sandcastles or lounging by the ocean waves. 

Walking trails through the gorgeous South Carolina scenery dripping with Spanish moss is great for the entire family, with trails from easy to challenging making it fun to get out and explore the beauty. 

Try horseback riding, bike around Harbour Town Marina, go fishing, ride the trolley to different stops, and check out The Sandbox Children’s Museum on a rainy day. 

You can rent kayaks and take the ocean for a fun day out. Bring binoculars to spot birds! You’ll find volleyball, tennis, and pickle ball courts all over the place. 

This island is ranked one of the top 10 golf islands of the world by Links Magazine, offering world-class courses like Harbour Town Golf Links and over 2 dozen others. 

While late spring to early fall is generally the best time to visit Hilton Head Island, you’ll appreciate the slower pace and more affordable rates of visiting HHI during spring break. 

4. Park City, Utah

If you’re after a slightly different scene for spring break, consider visiting Park City, Utah to take the family skiing, snowboarding, sleighing, biking, bobsledding, snow tubing, and – well, you get it. 

Adventurous families will feel right at home among the slopes of Park City, Utah, nestled in the snow-covered Wasatch mountain range. During spring, the area is still blanketed in powdery snow perfect for winter sports. 

Visiting Park City in March means you’re sure to arrive to heavy snow cover after months of winter snowfall has layered the mountains in this wintry wonderland scene. 

Check out the ski beach at Canyons Village, hit the slopes on a chilly spring day with plenty of sunshine, enjoy a filling lunch at a nearby lodge-style restaurant, and brace yourself for a range of fun activities. 

Snowboarding, snow-shoeing, snow tubing, fat-tire snow biking, sleigh rides, and bobsledding at Utah Olympic Park will thrill even the most discerning adventurer. 

Head downtown for tons of shopping and restaurant options, including kid-friendly menus that won’t draw a chorus of “ewws.” The kids will love you for taking them to Park City Mountain’s alpine coaster or a hot air balloon ride! 

Spring break falls under the best time to visit Park City – usually November to March – because there’s plenty of snow cover and cool weather without being bitterly cold. 

5. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Family of 3 standing in the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park with backpacks and hats on during spring, showing one of the best spring break destinations for families

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A trip to the Grand Canyon is ranked as one of the 10 best US vacations you can take, making it a spot-on destination for spring break with your family. 

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing this massive, majestic canyon for yourself, spring is the perfect time to go. Everyone in your crew will marvel at the sheer size and enormity of this natural feature. 

And it’s not just the sights that you can look forward to – get out and enjoy it close-up by rafting down the Colorado River, hiking trails along the South Rim, dining at restaurants in the park, or biking through amazing scenery.

You’ll be a little early for a mule ride down into the canyon, but it’s the perfect season to ride the train (Grand Canyon Railway) from nearby Williams, AZ into the Grand Canyon National Park! 

The North Rim of the park will be shut down until May, but you’ll have full reign of the more-popular South Rim side of the park with shuttle and bike rental services running in time for spring break. 

The best time to visit the Grand Canyon is usually a little later in the season (April-June), but cool temperatures and smaller crowds make spring break a wonderful time for families to visit the park. 

Things to Consider

Group of friends jumping in the surf at one of the best spring break destinations at the beach

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Planning to go to one of the best spring break destinations this year? We have some helpful pointers to make it a trip you’ll remember for a lifetime – or one that’ll go down in history as one of the best spring breaks ever.

  • Do your research. Beach destinations are particularly attractive to college students ready to let loose for spring break. If that’s not your scene, do your research to see if the beach town you’re considering is popular with spring breakers. Quiet, more remote beaches are your best bet if you’re looking for a more laid-back spring getaway. 
  • Prepare for higher costs. Spring break can be an expensive time to travel, whether you’re heading to a popular spring break destination or not. You’ll probably pay a little more for rental cars, flights, hotels, and food/drink while you’re enjoying a spring break vacay – plan for the extra costs in your travel budget. 
  • Drink and party responsibly. There’s nothing wrong with squeezing every ounce of fun and freedom out of spring break, but partying responsibly is key to staying safe during your trip. Keep a close eye on your drinks at all times, keep your phone charged, let someone know where you’ll be when going out, call an Uber instead of driving to go out, and travel with friends so you can all keep an eye on each other and ensure everyone gets back to the hotel safely each night. 
  • Read up on local laws. Different areas have their own laws for alcohol consumption, possession, and open containers – unless you want to spend your spring break in a holding cell, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules and laws wherever you end up for spring break. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Parents help their children ride bikes along the shore while enjoying one of the best spring break vacations as a family

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Learn the ins and outs of choosing the best spring break destinations by taking a look at traveler’s most common questions about where to head for springtime travels!

Where is the most popular place to go for spring break?

Florida is the most popular place to go for spring break, especially Miami’s South Beach in South Florida and Panama City Beach on the northern panhandle. Both beach destinations get packed with spring breakers each March.

Miami has recently changed laws that may affect future spring breaks, including adding a midnight curfew that limits how late people can stay out, buy alcohol, and more.

Which state has the best spring?

Hawaii, Florida, California, South Carolina, Texas, and Nevada are all states with some of the best spring weather and flowers you’ll find during spring break. These places can be really hot in summer, but feel perfect in the spring.

You can expect mild, sunny weather with some rainfall and slowly warming ocean temperatures at spots on the coast during springtime.

What is the most popular spring break destination for college students?

Miami (FL), Panama City Beach (FL), and South Padre Island (TX) are the most popular beach spring break destinations for college students looking to party with big crowds of fellow spring breakers.

Myrtle Beach (SC) and Las Vegas (NV) are other popular spring break spots for college students.

Where is the best place to go in spring?

Honolulu, Hawaii is one of the best places to go in spring with warm, beachy weather and gorgeous tropical shores. Florida beaches are really nice in spring and not yet scorching-hot.

San Diego, California is also great in spring for the beach, zoo, and Carlsbad Flower Fields in full bloom. If you love casinos and nightlife, Las Vegas is perfect in springtime to avoid the 100+ degree temperatures of summer and early fall.

Where do people from Florida go on spring break?

Miami, Panama City Beach, and Daytona Beach are popular Florida spring break spots for people from Florida and all over.

Orlando, Florida is also popular for families on spring break with lots of theme parks and great resorts to choose from and warm, sunny weather that's not too hot!

Soak Up the Fun at the Best Spring Break Destinations

Whether you’re hoping to remember this spring break trip for a lifetime or just see a whole lot of partying in your near future for the trip, these spring break destinations will hit the spot. 

From party-centric destinations like Miami, PCB, and South Padre Island to family-friendly getaways to Honolulu, San Diego, and Park City, there’s a whole world of fun waiting for you in the springtime. 

Prepare to load up your crew, book a room, and get packing to take the best spring break destinations by storm in March!