Hide yo’ kids–but, more importantly, hide yo’ girlfriends/boyfriends, because Spring Break 2014 is here. In honor of that great American tradition, it’s time to once again find out where your destination (or home) ranks on our annual list of America’s Trashiest Spring Break Destinations. Nothing makes for a great Spring Break like being trashy. After all, trashy is fun, cheap, and open to everybody. So to every local Chamber of Commerce whose gut reaction is to be up in arms about being included on this list, grab a beer and chill out. For just a few choice weeks in the year, trashy is something to celebrate.
You and your friends may have already made your plans for where you’ll be getting #TurntUp this year but our trashiest destinations might still give you some new ideas. You’re getting on a plane or hitting the road to create some memories that you’ll never forget, despite whatever you end up doing to your brain (or other parts of your body). To quote a certain James Franco flick, “Spring Break forever, b*tches.”
The Spring Break landscape is always changing. No, we’re not talking about how you’ll hear shouts of “Turn Down For What!” replace “YOLO!” We don’t even mean how Booty-Shaking Contests have replaced Wet T-Shirt Contests. And forget how crazy the Tinder game is going to be in the next few weeks–the apps’ average of 10 million new matches a day is probably going to double.
To roll with the punches, our Trashiest Spring Break Destination feature is now taking into account that some people like to smoke marijuana while they’re on break–so it’s important to know where it’s safest to do that kind of thing. We’ve added five new destinations–including two ski destinations, since some people like to party in the snow. And since the cost of travel and stay is directly related to how trashy (fun) a place is, we’ve asked CheapTickets.com to give us the average cost of flights, plus two nights in a motel. That’s going to be especially helpful if you’re just now getting the itch to go on Spring Break.
For those looking to make travel plans to any places on our list we’re giving you easy access to average hotel and air prices based on CheapTickets.com bookings. Book a qualifying hotel using the promo code: GETAWAY between March 3 and March 9 and receive 20% off instantly. Visit www.cheaptickets.com/cheapoftheweek for details.
And–last, but certainly not least–we’ve recognized that foam parties are an integral part of any trashy Spring Break experience.
Of course, we’ve kept all the timeless factors that make a Spring Break destination memorable. That includes counting the local Hooters and the nearest casinos–along with considering tattoo parlors, the Girls Gone Wild presence, open container laws, the prevalence of liquor stores, and the number of strip clubs. Those are all things that Spring Breakers hold close to their hearts–so check out this heartfelt celebration of great trashy destinations… but remember that what makes Spring Break trashy is you.
#20: Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge, Colorado might not be the first place you think of when you hear the words “Spring Break” but make no mistake about it–people love heading to the mountains during the months of March and April. It’s when places like Breckenridge get dumped on the most. And where you find one Spring Breaker, you’ll find many of them.
One of the draws that Breckenridge has over most other places is that it’s in Colorado, the only state that has legalized recreational marijuana. And while Breckenridge Mountain is doing its best to keep smokers off the trails, that’s an impossible task. But don’t get too burnt out, there’s plenty of things to do at night. Head to the Historic Brown Hotel (a haunted bar packed with games) for a chill atmosphere or Cecilia’s Martini Bar (which boasts a stripper pole) for more traditional Spring Break partying.
#19: Daytona Beach, FL
Since being dubbed the “undisputed underage drinking capital of the world” back in 2010, Daytona Beach has done its best to quell the Spring Break crowd. To say that they’ve failed would be a serious understatement. Yes, underage arrests have apparently gone up each year, and yes the city is making new codes to stop younger college students from getting wild but trust us when I tell you that people aren’t just going to Daytona Beach to check out the Daytona International Speedway.
Speaking of cars, Daytona Beach offers 16 miles of beach roads on which you can drive your buddies friends around in your lifted F-150. Driving one way, we estimate that with traffic you can get a good three rounds of “Wake Me Up” before you have to turn around. At night, feel free to park your whip and take the complimentary double-decker party bus that travels to the various hotspots.
#18: San Juan, Puerto Rico
While it’s technically not “America” in the purest sense, Puerto Rico is not only the closest thing we have to the 51st State, its capital of San Juan is also one of the craziest destinations for college students. While San Juan’s not as dirty or trashy as a place like Cancun (have you ever been there? That place is a one-of-a-kind dump), it does have its upside for partiers looking for their share of debauchery.
Gambling is legal, rum is everywhere, and there are enough strip clubs to give you a taste of the Latin world if that’s what your into.
#17: Killington, VT
Those of you who don’t live in the Northeast might not know about Killington, Vermont but it’s probably the most popular ski destination for people who want to ski during the day and get f*cked up at night. That’s pretty much what Killington’s built for. And while the snow is already melting by mid-March, Killington’s a snow-blowing machine. Warm weather and skiing–not such a bad combination.
Similar to Breckenridge, the fine folks of the Vermont State Senate saw it fit to legalize medical marijuana. No, it’s not as easy to acquire as if it were legalized for recreational use but Vermont is not known for being a hard place to score.
#16: 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. The catch is that it’s not just college students looking to let loose, adults and 20-something-year olds come together in Key West to drink in bathingsuits (or less). 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.
#15: Gulf Shores, AL
Mobile, Alabama regular ranks as one of the Top 50 Spring Break destination sites–but smarter types head down the highway for about 45 more minutes to hit Gulf Shores, Alabama. This sleepy Southern town hosts retirees for most of the year. The place is still built to take in partying teens on a regular basis. There are plenty of sprawling party palaces right on the beach, and the Flora-Bama Lounge sits right on…um, the Florida/Alabama state line as a legendary funzone.
Gulf Shores also accommodates plenty of your non-beach needs with lots of movie theaters and fairly-priced retail establishments.There’s a particularly great Hooters right across from the beach. You have to drive out from the beach to get to LuLu’s, but that open-air restaurant is another amazing place to party your way through the day.
And if you need a break from all that partying, drive out about 19 miles to Summerdale, Alabama–home of some fine barbecue and the Spear Hunting Museum. It’s a pretty amazing tribute to Gene Morris, who thought it was cheating to go after dangerous animals with something as fancy as a gun.
#14: Destin, FL
Destin, Florida might have originated as a fishing town but it’s since turned into the biggest tourist destination on the Emerald Coast–a fantastic stretch of white beaches and emerald green waters. If it sounds like a beautiful place to rip a beer bong and then pass out, you’re not wrong. Over 4.5 million visitors head to Destin each year.
Despite attempts to keep Destin a family-oriented haven, more and more students have been flocking to the Emerald Coast. Last year alone there were apparently 800 arrests and 1100 tickets issued during last year’s Spring Break alone. It’s not out of line to say that Destin’s Spring Break scene might be the fastest growing in the country. Head to the Whale’s Tail if you’re in the area.
#13: Virginia Beach, VA
Yes, Virginia Beach is better known for being a summer vacation hotspot but there are absolutely students who are looking to turn the off-season into something special. And that’s part of what makes VA Beach so trashy. That, and the fact that it’s consistently been in the Top 20 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 we don’t know.
#12: Lake Havasu, AZ
9 out of 10 times if you see drunk American women dancing or stripping on a boat, you should bet money that footage was filmed on 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.
#11: San Diego, CA
San Diego is an interesting subject because it’s not simply known as a “spring break town.” Don’t let that fool you, though, San Diego is the fifth most popular Spring Break destination for college students. You’re not allowed to drink on the beaches anymore (due to a fight with drunken partiers and SWAT team members…seriously), but that doesn’t mean you can’t drink in the ocean. During the summer, massive groups go out in floatillas and drink themselves “special.” San Diego staying classy.
If real waves aren’t something you fancy, one place you’ll want to head to wearing your favorite fitted cap and board shorts is Wave House. It’s home to an artificial wave you can ride and has massive ragers during the warmer season. Hit up the Gaslamp District for late night partying–the Hard Rock is a staple hang-out.
#10: Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale is hands down the wildest place in Arizona. If you need a source, look no further than Kirill of KirillWasHere.com who claims that Arizona has “the hottest, wildest girls I’ve ever partied with.” Scottsdale in particular knows how to rage and we love it.
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 sh*tty gossip to the blog TheDirty. At night is when the city comes alive. The streets are crawling with college students who’ve come out to spend absurd amounts of money in the nightclubs. If you’re in town, do yourself a favor and head to El Hefe for a taste of the local flavor–which tastes suspiciously like Jagermeister.
#9: Ft. Myers, FL
Welcome to Fort Myers, where the beer flows and the morals stay loose. The name of the game when it comes to true spring break partying in Fort Myers is and shall remain Lana Kai. It’s an older, semi run-down area of the beach that is perfect for hosting the daily “booty-shaking contests” that happen during high-season. In addition to the coeds on the beach shaking their thangs to Sisqo, 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.” So, ladies and gents are both going to be equally satisfied with the eye candy in this amazing town.
#8: Tampa, FL
In 2013, 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…but this is Florida we’re talking about and crazy stuff tends to go down all the damn time.
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 now historically epic flick, Spring Breakers. Don’t expect to see girls like Ashley Benson or Selena Gomez if you end up partying in Tampa, though. You’re probably in for more of a “butthole tattoo” type of chick. But don’t despair because, let’s be honest, you’re going to have a much better chance with her than you ever would with Bieber’s ex girlfriend.
#7: Miami, FL
Miami is one of the best places to party with some of the trashiest people out there, but it’s also the kind of place where you might accidentally blow 500 dollars before you even know it. 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. But it’s all in the name of looking like you’re a billionaire who’s never worked a day in his life. And if that’s not a special brand of “trashy” I don’t know what is.
This should be obvious, but make sure to pre-game hard as hell before you even leave your hotel room and you’ll be less likely to spend that 500 we mentioned. Also, the public transportation in this city blows, make sure to have a car while you’re down there. The good news is that Miami’s one of the places where you can rent a Lambo or Ferrari.
#6: South Padre Island, TX
Everything is bigger in Texas, even Spring Break. And while 2014 is going to be the first year in awhile that Coca-Cola is not going to sponsor a week-long beach party, Spring Breakers will still be coming down and turning up. It’s one of the premiere Spring Break destinations for a reason. Not only is it completely legal to drink on the beach (that includes kegs), there’s a three-day music festival called Ultimate Music Experience (that name needs a little work) featuring the likes of Tiesto, Zed’s Dead, Bassnectar, Boys Noize, and Zed.
#5: Myrtle Beach, SC
For two years in a row, Myrtle Beach local officials have been both confused and upset that they’ve made the Top 5 Trashiest Spring Break destinations. What exactly is it that they’re missing? The fact that their watering holes close earlier than their strip clubs, causing droves of people to head to the gentlemen’s lounge? Or is it that the sun is so bright they fail to see that they’re living in the Redneck Rivera? Even Kenny “Motherf*cking” Powers spent some time in the minors finding himself.
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.
#4: Orlando, FL
Don’t be fooled by Orlando’s major family attractions (Universal Studios and Disney World), this is one of the top ten destinations for Spring Breakers in the country. In Disney World alone, there are three hotspots: the Epcot features a “Drinking Around The World” showcase, Downtown Disney is filled with nothing but bars, and
Paradise Pleasure Island (thanks O-Town) is a hidden treasure of Irish-styled pubs. Check out DrinkingAtDisney.com for more information about how to do that properly.
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.
#3: New Orleans, LA
Sure, New Orleans is the capital of jazz and the southern art scene, but it’s also a place where underage drinking is rampant and the liquor laws are about as loose as a bra-clasp during Mardi Gras.
Like last year, Mardi Gras was just one week too early for most schools’ Spring Breaks 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/prepared 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.
#2: Panama City Beach, FL
Panama City Beach has been one of the top trashiest Spring Break Destinations for years and the proof is everywhere you look. There are booty shaking parties asking women to “Twerk ’til they squirt.” DJ Pauly D, the Ying Yang Twins, Steve Aoki and Lil John are all making musical appearances. The whole place is like a Spring Breakers paradise.
And that’s why we’re heading down there in two weeks (March 14th-16th) to join the mayhem, it’s everything that people are looking for to blow off some steam.
#1: Las Vegas, NV
For the third year in a row, Las Vegas has retained its title as America’s #1 Trashiest Spring Break Destination. No surprise there, considering the City of Sin is the world leader in most of our “Trashy” benchmarks: strip clubs, Girls Gone Wild, lenient drinking laws, and of course casinos. Even hotel and airfare prices are low–courtesy of all the Vegas casinos who figure that if they can get you in the door, then they can take your money the old fashioned way.
Those who don’t like to gamble should still be prepared to spend a lot of dough at one of the many pool parties or nightclubs. We suggest that you use your credit card when paying for drinks as you’re going to want to save your cash for one of the many strip clubs.