Whether it’s with your friends or family, Florida doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Spring Break hot-spots. Looking to relax? Hit the water? Enjoy some nightlife? The Sunshine State has you covered.
And while some may be more family-friendly than others, the fact remains that there are so many amazing beaches sprinkled throughout Florida that there’s something for every crew you’re travelling with.
To help illustrate this, we’ve broken down some beach locations that are prime destinations for Spring Break. Each with their own unique personality, chances are there’s some spot on this list that you can explore during your time off which ticks your boxes and fits within your budget!
Ft. Lauderdale Beach
If you want to see South Florida without paying South Florida prices, look no further. There are so many things to do while visiting Ft. Lauderdale, especially given the city’s close proximity to the Everglades. This added bonus also gives the city a bit of extra personality versus the likes of Miami which can be both pricey and a long trip for out-of-towners.
Cocoa Beach is a relatively quiet beach town that attracts students and families alike, although tourist activity does ramp up during the Spring Break season.
Although the beaches themselves may not be the sugar sands and emerald coasts often associated with Florida, Cocoa’s plethora of nearby attractions are all the reason to visit. Between Kennedy Space Center being only fifteen minutes away and the major theme parks an hour away, this quiet coast has tons to offer if you’re willing to hit the road along the way.
St. Augustine Beach
We thought twice about including the likes of St. Augustine Beach because it’s such a well-kept secret! Not too busy during the spring and summer months, this beach is located within biking distance of historic St. Augustine – in fact, the whole region is pedestrian friendly.
If you’re looking for somewhere to shack up at a bungalow and walk up and down the beach to explore shops and restaurants, St. Augustine has you covered. Additionally, nearby Anastasia State Park is a prime place for beach-side camping if that’s more your speed.
Given Panama City Beach’s reputation as the unabashed “Spring Break Capital of the World,” those visiting the Panhandle are right to look for slightly sleepier spots to enjoy the Emerald Coast. Only 45 minutes away from the madness, Destin is home to a plethora of luxury shopping in addition to sharing the shoreline of some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.
St. Pete Beach
In close proximity to Tampa, St. Petersburg is yet another spot that’s of particular interest to students looking for some one-of-a-kind southern culture. Specifically, St. Pete is home to an active and eclectic arts community, which is perhaps why it hosts the Salvador Dali museum which is a must-see for out-of-towners.
Daytona’s reputation for Spring Break speaks for itself for tourists who want to see the wild side of the beach. That said, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy, particularly during Bike Week which attracts hundreds of thousands of people and their motorcycles throughout the state.
New Smyrna Beach
Not too far from Daytona and in contrast, New Smyrna is yet another hidden gem that’s a favorite of local Floridians. Believe it or not, this beach is home to some of the best surfing and skimming that the state has to offer.
Although we gave the city a hard time earlier, Miami is yet another infamous hotspot for Spring Breakers and general tourists alike. As you can imagine, Miami can be a bit pricey and obviously requires a lengthy drive through the state. That said, experiencing South Beach on a budget is possible with ample planning and accommodations.
Finally, Key West is an absolute treat for those willing to make the drive. Not unlike Cocoa, the beaches of Key West aren’t necessarily the city’s main attraction. Downtown Key West is party central with a vibrant downtown district and tons of nightlife. Additionally, those who want to do some adventuring can enjoy kayaking through mangroves or taking a fishing tour.
Oh, and you can’t forget your key lime pie on a stick!
If you’re a student visiting Florida, you have no shortage of options when it comes to stellar Spring Break destinations. No matter what you’re looking for or what your budget might be, chances are there at least of few spots on this list will make for a memorable, relaxing vacation in the sun.