Spring Break is a time-honored American tradition that involves binge-drinking, tail chasing, passing out on the beach and all the hangovers you should expect from such wild behavior. Since you only get one shot at Spring Break each year, we thought we’d help you plan your trip by ranking the trashiest 15 destinations in the United States.
Why trashy? Because acting a fool isn’t just par for the course on Spring Break, it’s the best way to ensure that you leave with the best stories. We’re not suggesting you go so far as to rob a liquor store (a la the upcoming flick Spring Breakers), but sometimes sh*t happens.
Like our post last year, we’ve ranked the 15 cities on criteria that include Girls Gone Wild, bike weeks, Hooters, tattoo parlors, etc. But this year, not are we only adding five new cities to the list, we’ve included a quick guide on the local liquor laws pertaining to open containers and closing time. (Our lawyers insist that we mention you should check these laws for yourself before cracking a cold one on the street.)
So check out the 15 trashiest Spring Break destinations… but remember, what really makes Spring Break trashy is you.
#15: San Diego,CA
We know that most of the people who live in the San Diego area head to other destinations for Spring Break, but that just means the people left partying here are extra trashy. You’re not allowed to drink on the beaches any more (due to a fight with drunken partiers and SWAT team members), but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink in the ocean. During the summer, massive groups go out in floatillas (photos below) and drink themselves retarded, probably pissing themselves in the process.
If real waves aren’t something you fancy, one place you want to head to while wearing your favorite fitted and board shorts is Wave House. It has an artificial wave you can ride and has massive ragers during the warmer season. Hit up the Gaslamp District for late night partying – apparently the Hard Rock is a staple hang-out. Awesome…
#14: New Orleans, LA
If New Orleans didn’t have such an important cultural hold in our country, you can bet that NOLA’s ranking on this list would be a lot trashier. Sure, it’s the capital of jazz and the southern art scene, but it’s also a place where underage drinking is rampant and the open container laws are arguably the most lenient in the USA.
Unfortunately, 2013 Mardi Gras was too early for Spring Break this year but those of you who were hoping to see boobs have nothing to fear — that whole “beads” thing carries on all year. Just be warned that if you’re looking for real hookers, there are plenty. The only thing is that those women don’t accept beads. They prefer cash.
#13: Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale is to Phoenix as South Beach is to Miami–it’s essentially the wilder extension of Arizona’s capital. Unless you happen to have the same Spring Break as ASU (located next door to Scottsdale in Tempe), there’s a good chance that you’ll see a lot of college revelers out and about.
Don’t expect to come to Scottsdale though if you’re looking to rage during the day. Locals tend to use the daylight hours working on their tans and uploading shitty gossip to the blog TheDirty. Instead, they tend to come out at night where they can spend absurd amounts of money in nightclubs.
#12: Virginia Beach, VA
Arguably more of a destination for summer vacay than Spring Break, the beach’s close proximity to lots of schools on the East Coast makes this a last resort for students on a budget. That hasn’t stopped it from landing the #19 spot on The Most Dangerous Spring Break Cities (source). Whether or not that ranking has anything to do with the amusement rides on the beach’s boardwalk is yet to be determined.
#11: Tampa, FL
In 2012, Tampa saw one of its wildest Spring Breaks ever — a scary thought when you remember that bath salts hadn’t yet become a staple of Florida’s youth.
Perhaps one of Tampa’s biggest recent claims to infamy is that it’s located directly across Tampa Bay to St. Petersburg — the shooting location of the upcoming movie Spring Breakers. Don’t expect to see the likes of Ashley Benson or Selena Gomez if you wind up making the trip, though. You’re probably in for more of a “butthole tattoo” type of chick. Deuce Deuces!
#10: Fort Myers Beach, FL
The name of the game when it comes to spring break partying in Fort Myers is and always will be Lana Kai. It’s an older, run-down area of the beach that is perfect for hosting the daily “booty contests” that happen during high-season. In addition to the co-eds shaking their thangs, the Cincinnati firemen have a deal with the hotel to throw their own little “revue.” Cincy’s Bravest have only been doing it for 10 years, but now that the event is sponsored it’s become “tradition.”
#9: Key West, FL
Maybe it’s the fact that Key West is the southernmost inhabitable place in the lower 48 states or that it claims to have never had a frost, but this town parties constantly. During the high Spring Break season, open container laws are not enforced – this is coming from the Chief of Police.
One of the must-see destinations is the Garden of Eden bar. It’s a clothing optional bar, which means that you get to keep your shit on while you check out the few girls who are either too old to care or not attractive enough to warrant an audience. Apparently at night it turns into a house music scene, but for the best of that, head to Aqua which is a “wonderfully LGBT-friendly place.” It’s a safe bet that everyone will end up at Fat Tuesdays though, because that’s what Spring Breakers do.
#8 Panama City Beach, FL
Panama City Beach can exist because of Spring Break — it’s usually one of the first places that come to mind when we think of weeklong parties involving tattoos, pickup trucks, and questionable decisions.
This year’s talent traveling to PCB includes: DJ Pauly D, Juicy J, Sky Blu from LMFAO, Lil Jon, and the Ying Yang Twins. Literally the all-star team of musicians when it comes to wet t-shirt contest tunes. With exception to the Ford F-150 tailgates taking place on the beach, most of the bigger parties revolve around Club LaVela. We suggest getting (at least) a good 40-50 pushup chest pump going before entering.
#7: Miami, FL
Any place that serves as a winter destination for the Jersey Shore crew is a place that needs to be included on a trashy Spring Break list.
South Beach is probably one of two places where you can wear a shiny button-down shirt, rent a Lambo, and wear white pants all why trying to keep a straight-face. Clubs like Space, Nikki Beach, Mansion, and Cameo are going to hit your wallet hard for the cover charge then over-charge you for drinks. If you’re not rolling with a girl already, be prepared to drop at least $200 a night. I can’t hate on Miami too much, considering that we’ll be down here for Miami Music Week (March 19-24th). One quick note: the public transportation in this city blows, have a car.
#6: Lake Havasu, AZ
Anytime you see videos of drunk American women dancing or stripping on a boat, it’s a safe bet to assume you’re watching footage of Lake Havasu. As one of the premiere (we use that word lightly) destinations for West Coast Spring Breakers, you’re always guaranteed to see some ridiculous stuff here. Nipple tassles and tattoos are par for the course once things start getting rowdy. The only price of admission you have to pay is securing a working boat.
#5: Orlando, FL
Don’t be fooled by Orlando’s major family attractions (Universal Studios and Disney World), this is one of the biggest destinations for Spring Breakers in the country. In Disney World alone, there are three hot spots where you can get your party on. The Epcot Center features an “around the world in beer,” Downtown Disney is filled with nothing but bars, and Paradise Island is a hidden treasure of Irish-styled pubs.
If you’re not into blacking out in front of children under the age 13 (18-year-olds are another story), you’ll probably want to skip the amusement parks and head to Church Street Downtown for some incredible drink specials. Just keep in mind that somehow this city won the honorable distinction of landing as #1 on the “Most Dangerous Spring Break Destinations” list.
#4 Myrtle Beach, SC
The Myrtle Beach locals weren’t too pleased about being included on last year’s Trashy Spring Break list but it’s our job to call ‘em as we see ‘em. The fact that Kenny “Motherfucking” Powers had a recent stint there on Eastbound and Down isn’t helping Myrtle’s reputation very much.
South Myrtle (the trashier side) is split into three major places: the actual beach, Broadway on the Beach, and the strip clubs. You’ll spend your day on the beach getting hammered. At night, you should head to the Boardwalk where you can drink fishbowls at Fat Tuesdays and Froggy Bottomz until the bars close at 2 AM. When this happens, just head to your favorite strip club which will happily keep serving later into the night.
#3: Daytona Beach, FL
With the exception of its famed Daytona International Speedway, this city is known solely for hosting Spring Break revelers. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Daytona Beach has become the “undisputed party capital of underage drinkers.” In 2010 alone, there were 1000+ arrests for underage drinking.
With over 16 miles of beach to drive you and your shirtless friends around, you’ve got plenty of space to show everyone how awesome “Levels” sounds on your system. At night, feel free to park your P*ssy Wagon and take the complimentary double-decker party bus that travels to the various hotspots.
#2: South Padre Island, TX
Including Spring Break, everything is bigger in Texas. Not only does Coca-Cola sponsor slosh fests from 11-5 PM in what Rolling Stone Magazine calls “the largest beach party in the world,” this year Ultra Music Experience is flying in some very respectable DJs. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that with respectable DJs come disrespectful fans.
If you don’t feel like taking part in the ready-made ragers, starting your own is as easy as throwing a keg in the sand. SPI is one of the few locations where alcohol is legal on the beach.
#1: Las Vegas, NV
Considering that Las Vegas is the mecca of decadence and debauchery, it should come as no surprise that the City of Sin has retained its title as The Trashiest Spring Break Destination in America. While there aren’t any beaches to go to, those wanting to show off their guns can find plenty of pool parties to attend.
Surpringly, despite all the money that gets spent here, hotels can be realively cheap. The casinos figure if they can get you in the door, they’ll take your cash the old fashioned way: gambling. But Spring Breakers are often on a budget so be smart: get a good deal on a nice room in heart of the Strip and then head to other parts of town to gamble. Do your partying at The Cosmopolitan, then head to the dives in Downtown Las Vegas to find plenty of $5 tables.
But Vegas is more than just Three Card Poker. It has tons of hot clubs, and if you strike out there, what seems like even more strip club. Just one more incentive to not gamble away all your cash, especially the ones.