GoFlorida.About.com: Top Spring Break Florida Destinations For 2016
By GoFlorida.About.com // March 11, 2016
Keys, Orlando, South Beach gaining popularity
The Elbo Room in Fort Lauderdale became the unofficial “party central” for hundreds of thousands of college students on spring break.
In the 1980s the city of Fort Lauderdale began to crack down on the out-of-control spring break activities and spring breakers left for friendlier locales – Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach.
Today, spring break continues to rock on in Florida with additional destinations of Key West, Orlando and Miami’s South Beach also drawing crowds of spring breakers.
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is the hottest Florida spring break destination, easily winning the “Spring Break Capital” award! Panama City Beach is one of the few beach communities to welcome spring breakers, so they come… some half a million a year. So do many companies that sponsor special events and hand out freebies — Victoria Secret, The Army, Banana Boat, GEICO and more are past supporters.
Besides the 27 miles of sugar-white and coffee-colored sand, college students come expecting to party hard.
They are never disappointed. There always seems to be plenty of booze, plenty of wild contests and events and MTV is usually on hand to provide plenty of entertainment.
This amazing 23-mile stretch of wide, white sand beach has long been one of the hottest spring break destinations in Florida. Spring breakers can take a drive down 16 miles of this world famous beach, catch some rays or ride the waves in the Atlantic surf.
Daytona Beach offers some of the wildest nightlife with nightclubs like the Ocean Deck, Razzles and many more.
Other than the beach and sponsored activities planned around spring break, there are few entertainment choices.
Daytona Lagoon is a popular water and amusement park and the Daytona 500 Experience located adjacent to the Daytona International Speedway are the most popular. Other activities include water tours and water craft rentals.
Miami’s South Beach
Often referred to as America’s Riviera, South Beach is trendy and hip… THE place to see and be seen in Florida… especially during spring break! South Beach is also a magnet for celebrities either appearing in films or television series being filmed on location. During the day, you might see rollerbladers, models, celebs, vintage cars and Harleys promenade around the streets while tourists gawk from one of Ocean Drive’s outdoor cafes.
By night the clubs sizzle. Spring break in South Beach is like flying first-class instead of coach. It’s first rate and classy. That’s not to say it isn’t fun. The party’s definitely on… but it’s definitely toned down from other spring break locations.
It’s a long drive, but well worth it once you arrive. Young, old, tall, short, gay, straight… the Florida Keys are as diverse as those who inhabit and visit them. Spring break in the Florida Keys means embracing many lifestyles and activities — including the awesome sunset celebration Just bring plenty of sunscreen and a willingness to try just about anything and follow the rules. Yes, I said rules.
The beaches close at 11 p.m., and they are regularly patrolled. The bars on the other hand are open until 4 a.m., but remember you have to be at least 21 to drink. The streets of Key West are usually quiet by that hour though… and you’re expected to be too. Shhh… what happens in the Florida Keys, stays in the Florida Keys.
St. Pete-Clearwater Beaches
St. Pete-Clearwater area beaches are some of the most beautiful in Florida. The waters of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and white-sand are award winning combinations — from Caladesi Island, America’s No. 1 beach, and its neighboring Honeymoon Island southward to Clearwater Beach and Egmont Key. Not only are the beaches beautiful, but there is so much to do and see that this area is also popular with the spring break crowd.
It’s just 30 minutes to Tampa’s Busch Gardens or The Florida Aquarium and 90 minutes to Orlando’s trio of attractions — Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando.
Orlando for Students
Orlando, Florida’s No. 1 vacation destination, is also becoming a popular destination for spring breakers — both students and families. It’s like no other place in Florida. The entertainment options are limitless — Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, Wet’n Wild, it boasts some of the best hotels and resorts in the state and the nightlife is hot too.
Probably the biggest change in Orlando since last year for the student spring break crowd is that Downtown Disney’s West Side is no longer party central.
Disney took the unusual step of closing the clubs in favor of more family-friendly shopping and restaurants. However, look for Universal’s CityWalk to take up the slack for nightlife with Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Red Coconut Club, the groove and more. Plus, weekends mid-February through mid-April, Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration offers plenty of party fun… and beads.
Family Spring Break Other Florida
While parents want to relax, the kids want action. Both are possible with some of these Florida spring break ideas:
Amelia Island is the place to visit if you’re looking for more laid back spring break. Of course, there is still plenty of activities to keep everyone occupied.
St. Augustine offers old world charm, historical monuments, unique attractions, world-class shopping, and beaches just minutes away make to make it an ideal vacation destination for families.
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