Every spring, untold number of college and high school students stream south for a week of binge drinking on the beach. That’s all well and good if you’re among them, but if you’re not, you’ll want to avoid them like the plague. This list of the six worst places to spend spring break is based on a few measurements: the availability of activities that don’t involve kegs, the ubiquity of red plastic cups, and most of all, the number of o’s in the phrase: “Spring break, wooooooooo!”
These vacations are supposed to be all about fun in the sun, but heavy drinking can quickly turn them dangerous. According to legal research organization Avvo, Orlando is the most dangerous spring break destination in the country. Based on figures for violent crime, murder, rape and fatal car crashes, Orlando was at or near the top of each. So keep your distance.
Based on those same crime figures, Daytona Beach comes in second, right behind Orlando. But especially shocking is the number of rapes in the city, and how quickly it has risen in recent years. From 2009 to 2010, the rate doubled. Making things worse, according to the Daytona Post, is a crippling culture of corruption that leaves little money available for improved policing and safety measures.
The most telling thing about Myrtle Beach is that is ranks among Trip Advisor’s list of Top Party Spring Break Destinations. That accolade is thanks to the thousands of college students who rent out the city’s homes for most of March, turning it into one giant frat row. If you’ve got (kids, a sense of decency, brain cells), save your visit to this beach town for another time of year.
The best reasons to visit Cancun are to see the ancient Mayan temples nearby and to relax on white sand beaches. The worst reasons are the drinking age is 18 and drugs are readily available. So guess why high school and college students cross the border in droves every year. You don’t want to be surrounded by high school seniors getting their first taste of life away from their parents’ supervision- so see the temples another time.
Las Vegas doesn’t have a beach, but the casinos and generally pro-vice attitude make it a major draw for college kids. And this year, MTV is bringing its annual Spring Break show to the Palms Casino Resort. Rappers B.o.B. and Young Jeezy, and some of the cast of “Jersey Shore” will be on hand, and two-night hotel packages start as low at $100. That’s a recipe for suspiciously warm pools filled with empty beer cans and way too much noise to ever sleep- or hear yourself think.
Lake Havasu is a lovely place to visit: it is a fishing and boating hot spot, hosts the International World Jet Ski Final Races, a pyrotechnics convention and a hot air balloon festival, and features the 19th century London Bridge, transported and rebuilt to span the lake instead of the Thames River.
But if you want to see the bridge or hit the water, wait until March is over- Lake Havasu has twice hosted MTV’s Spring Break and is overrun for a few weeks every year by spring breakers looking to party- and they don’t do it quietly.