College Students: What's the Big Spring Break Destination Nowadays?

Back in my parents’ day, it was Ft. Lauderdale [hums theme song to Where the Boys Are]. Then the good people of Ft. Lauderdale decided they’d rather not have the millions of dollars that the SB crowd brought to their city and did some things that made it next to impossible for SBers to enjoy their city.

So everybody went to Daytona Beach, and that was how it was when I was your age (aahhh, memories :D). Then people started going to South Padre Island, TX. By the time I finished college, SB was pretty well split, with almost half going to South Padre Island, TX, almost half going to Daytona Beach, and a small minority going to Panama City Beach. An even smaller minority went to Cancún.

I understand that nowadays it’s mostly Cancún. It makes perfect sense: cheap flights, cheap hotel rooms, more predictable weather than Florida or south Texas, and (here’s the kicker): drinking age is 18.

So, college students of the SDMB: where are your brethren going for Spring Break these days? Am I right in thinking it’s mostly Cancún? Is South Padre still in the mix? Or is it some new destination that a guy who hasn’t seen the inside of a college classroom in over eight years (that would be me) wouldn’t have thought of?


I can tell you that it is not New York City during March. :wink: Although I was crazy enough last year to go there, thanks to my sister.

San Diego
Cazumel (sp?)
Well that’s where my daughters went…

I’d say that the Alabama/Florida Emerald Coast is still a very popular, if distributed, Spring Break site. The Emerald Coast stretches from Mobile, AL east to around the Tallahasee/Wakulla Beach, FL area. Included in this range are Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, AL; Pensacola/Pensacola Beach, FL; Fort Walton Beach, FL, Destin, FL; and Panama City/Panama City Beach, FL.

These sites, from what I’d seen during my Sping-Breaking years (1989-1996) are visited mainly by folks from the South. You wouldn’t run across very many spring-breakers from up North or out West, but you would find many from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, etc.

A lot of the reputations of the places named in the OP, with the exception of Fort Lauderdale and Daytona, were essentially made through MTV’s Spring Break coverage. It wasn’t that long ago when South Padre Island was a good place to have a fun, but subdued, Spring Break – far less crowded than the Florida hotspots.

As for starving college-student spring-breakers going to Mexico, Jamaica, and the Bahamas – hey, nobody I knew was raking in that much dough during college. People from money might spring-break overseas, but I can’t imagine that Cancun or Cozumel’s silver-spoon crowd numerically beat out the Emerald Coast’s blue-collar throngs.

Back to my freezing dorm. Our “reading ‘week’” is two days for engineering.

I heard that Daytona is still a popular destination. Is that true?