Chase the perfect time-out from college or the office by choosing one of the 10 spring break destinations listed below. They are among the most sought-after and recommended spots to venture to between February and April, bringing everything from sun-splashed party nights on wavy beaches to snowy ski pistes into the mix.
South Padre Island – all a spring break getaway needs
Sun? Check. Sand? Mile upon mile of the stuff, actually. Nightlife? You bet. When spring break swings around, South Padre simply doesn't stop grooving. From the rooftop microbreweries to the Texan grills, there are revelers wherever you look. What's more, the big resorts along the surf-washed beachfront put on high-profile music festivals with big-name acts.
Wild nights with mojitos in hand in Cancun
No selection of the top spring break destinations in the world could possibly be complete without at least a nod towards Cancun – wild, Caribbean-washed, tequila-splashed Cancun. The Hotel Zone is where the action's at during spring break. Undergraduates spill from deluxe suites and Balinese-style villas there, into infinity pools where margaritas flow from swim-up bars. It's not all hedonism though. Tulum's temples and Chichen Itza's jungle-shrouded pyramids offer more than enough culture to balance it all out.
You'll never be bored in Puerto Vallarta
Hop across to the other coast of Mexico and it's Puerto Vallarta that comes up trumps for spring breakers. Why? Where do we begin? There's that palm-shaded Malecon, awash with slick cocktail bars and pulsing clubs. There are the Latin cantinas and Spanish-styled streets of the Zona Romantica. There's massive Banderas Bay, where you can go in search of humpback whales in March. And there are heart-thumping ziplines and treks to conquer in the surrounding Sierra Madre.
Park City – a spring break destination with a difference
If you're not like most and you don't mind a little bit of snow and sub-zero with your springtime escapes, Utah's winter sports mecca extraordinaire could be what's needed. March heralds the time when the sun starts to beat down on the groomed ski runs around Park City, which brings the après out into the mountain air and even music festivals to the slopes. What's more, you can usually enjoy a taste of luxury in Park City vacay homes – think ski-in chalets or Swiss-style lodges with saunas and simmering hot tubs.
The shimmering isles of the Bahamas
So, you might need to jostle for flights across to the Caribbean with all the other spring breakers with dreams of sugar-soft beaches and aquamarine seas in their mind, but that's a small price to pay for the paradise that is the Bahamas. The great thing about this string of glinting cays and coral banks between Cuba and Florida is that it's got something for all. Slick villas with BBQ grills and pools but up to PGA-rated golf courses. There are condos in Nassau near old buccaneer rum bars. And there are family resort complexes with their very own aquaparks and aquariums.
Heading south of the border to Cabo San Lucas
If you think you can handle one of the most off-the-hook spring break destinations over the Mexico side of the border, Cabo is always happy to present the challenge. Its sleepless marina is in overdrive come March and April, when sombrero-topped tequila drinkers hit foam parties and fireworks displays. And during the day? You'll want to sizzle off the hangover extra quick – surf spots, mezcal tasting, boat tours, and dolphin watching abound.
Myrtle Beach remains a top spring break destination
Myrtle Beach is a well-practiced spring break spot. As soon as the vacations kick in around February, the whole 60-mile arc of the Grand Strand goes wild. There are al fresco music shows, waterfront stages on the marina rocking to live DJs, and Tiki-themed bars which pit surfboards against dueling turntables. There's good news for families, too – districts like Cherry Grove Beach have Carolinian cottages and villas in quieter areas of town.
New Orleans – there's always life in the Big Easy
Even as Mardi Gras winds down and the big bands rest their trumpets, there's a beat to this great city at the end of the Mississippi River. Yep, as if to shout "the party's not over," spring break breathes life into the honky-tonk bars of Bourbon Street and the Sazerac joints of Marigny once again. What's more, there are often wallet-friendly deals to be had on heritage-rich inns in the French Quarter or cozy Creole cottages by the riverside in the wake of the February festivals.
A reggae welcome to Jamaica
Pining after talcum-hued sands and a classic chillout session? There are few islands in the Caribbean that offer the same kick-back-and-relax attitude as Jamaica. It's a good idea to steer clear of heady Kingston and opt for the sizzling jerk shacks and palm-timber rum bars of Mo'Bay on the north shore. Pretty much anywhere you head from there will have fish fries and papaya-infused cocktails, from Seven Mile Beach in Negril to the gushing waterfalls and jungles of Ocho Rios.
Palm Springs – a West Coast option
A rare option for college goers in California and LA in particular is Palm Springs. Just shy of the Mojave Desert, this corner of the Golden State heats up to bikini-worthy levels around April. There are both thumping neon-lit bars and sleek tennis clubs to get through in the Downtown. And if you can pull yourself away from the poolside of your deluxe villa? Days promise biking and hiking adventures around San Jacinto Mountain.