Spring Break 2015 is finally here, so hopefully you’ve been hitting the gym and drinking all your protein like a good bruuh because it’s high time to show everyone that you deserve a spot on your school’s Wall of Fame.
But how are you supposed to stand on the shoulders of the Spring Breakers before you? Don’t think you can make a name for yourself just because you’re leaving campus and getting “crunker than a mug.” No, there are only a handful Spring Break destinations in the United States worthy of celebrating and as the leading authority on all things Spring Break, it’s our duty to tell you which cities are really America’s 20 Trashiest Spring Break Destinations. Remember, there is no best or worst. There is only trashy. Trashy is the embodiment of everything Spring Break stands for: cheap, excessive, loud, and turnt. For these next few weeks, Spring Breakers, “trashy” is your goal.
UPDATE: We just published a new and improved 2017 Edition that takes into account foreign destinations like Mexico and the Dominican Republic!
Of course, we couldn’t just reissue last year’s list of America’s 20 Trashiest Spring Break Destinations, we had to update it to reflect the ever-changing Spring Break picture. We replaced Killington, VT with Cocoa Beach, FL (a new favorite destination of students) and added a new benchmark to grade trashiness: the cost of a public intoxication ticket. With this new piece of criterion, you should be able to judge the full cost of your Spring Break trip more accurately.
Seeing as how you’ve had your Spring Break dates and calendar filled for a few months now, we realize that you’ve already made plans. But just in case you haven’t, we’ve also taken into account the average flight and hotel cost of two nights for the 20 destinations, courtesy of CheapTickets.com. Now you have no excuses.
Finally, a solid amount of our listed Spring Break destinations are also popular amongst non-Spring Breakers. So in order to fairly set apart the real Spring Break hot spots, we asked ourselves the question, “Is Spring Break the only thing going on in this city?” If the answer is “Yes,” we award points. If the answer is “No,” we don’t – simple.
It’s important to remember that the local businesses and residents of these Spring Break destinations can only make the towns and cities so trashy; what really makes Spring Break trashy is you! So get out there and embarrass yourself, and your school. [lead image via GettyImages]
#20: Breckenridge, CO
After recreational marijuana was legalized in the state of Colorado last year, Breckenridge is quickly becoming a go-to destination for Spring Breakers looking to get high off their faces.
But don’t get too stoned because the real draw to Breckenridge is the surrounding mountains that make for prime Spring skiing. And where there’s skiing, there’s apres-skiing. In addition to the Breckenridge Brewery, we suggest heading off the beaten path and checking out the Historic Brown Hotel (a haunted spot with tons of arcade games) before you leave.
#19: Key West, FL
Key West is one of the wildest cities in the United States year round, but it’s during the Spring Break weeks that things really kick off. Not only do you have all the bros and chicks who want to take advantage of the “not enforced” open container laws, but you also have the older adults who head to Key West for the lenient nudity laws.
If you’re making your way south to Key West this year, head to the infamous Garden of Eden bar which features a “clothing optional” dress code, and the eccentric group of people who flock to a place like that.
#18: San Juan, Puerto Rico
You don’t need to be an American Studies major to know that San Juan isn’t technically part of the US of A, but Puerto Rico is the closest thing we have to the 51st state. The capital, San Juan, is also a haven for party people who are looking for a place that’s a step above Cancun— better known as a sh*thole you only visit once.
San Juan offers more than enough rum and booby bars to give Spring Breakers what they’re looking for. And best of all, you don’t need to speak a lick of Spanish, so feel free to keep sleeping through those 8 AM 100-level classes.
#17: Destin, FL
Destin, Florida is one of the more popular destinations for Spring Breakers as of late, and we’re guessing it has something to do with the miles of white sandy beaches and beautiful water. Or maybe it’s because students are finally learning how to trick property managers into renting out houses to large amounts of party animals. Either way, Florida’s Emerald Coast is a new hotbed of Spring Break festivities and a perfect place to brushen up on your shotgunning technique.
If you are heading to Destin, we’ve got some great Spring Break tips on how to make it your best trip yet.
#16: Virginia Beach, VA
Each year we debate on removing Virginia Beach from the list, and each year we come back to it as one of the trashiest Spring Break spots we know. Yes, Spring Break is a little early in the season for a place as far north as Virginia Beach, but the cold weather just brings out the trashier people looking for a budget vacation (needless to say, there are a lot).
If you weren’t able to get a fine just for walking on the sidewalk in a bikini, VB would probably be higher on this list.
#15: Gulf Shores, AL
As strange as it might sound to us northerners, Alabama has some of the most beautiful shoreline in all of the United States. That’s why schools in the neighboring states make sure to visit Gulf Shores each year for Spring Break, bringing all the Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida ruckus with them.
Like Destin, Gulf Shores has become a recent addition to the trashiest Spring Break destinations once a lot of the SEC schools stopped traveling to Ft. Myers and Daytona Beach. Instead of renting rooms in hotels, the best thing to do is rent a house on, or near, the beach, and rage with your friends… Just go into the trip expecting to lose your security deposit.
#14: Ft. Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach will always hold a special place in Spring Break history after essentially becoming the first place to host Spring Break as we know it.
While Spring Breakers are now swimming in something else entirely, Lani Kai is still the place to be in terms of Ft. Myers Beach parties, and features everything from amateur booty shaking contests to male firemen stripping down to their firehoses.
#13: Orlando, FL
If you’re heading to Orlando, FL for Spring Break, the one thing you must do is carve out time to go to Disney World. As ridiculous as it may sound, DrinkingAtDisney.com has laid out a bar crawl check list of alcoholic drinks available in The Magic Kingdom. Ain’t nothing trashier than getting drunk in front of 10-year-olds.
If you can’t afford the Disney World entry fee (or would rather spend that money elsewhere), there are plenty of other places to go in Orlando for trashy fun. Just keep in mind that one study named Orlando the #1 most dangerous Spring Break destination in the nation, so be conscious of your whereabouts.
#12: Cocoa Beach, FL
One trip to Cocoa Beach, FL and you’ll fall in love like OT Genasis.
Similar to Destin and the Gulf Shores, the name of the game in CB is finding a rental home to crash at with your trashy friends. Once there, you’re free to check out Orlando’s closest beach and cruise the sand for people to day drink with. While most of your time is probably best spent around Coconuts on the Beach, make sure to stop by the first-ever Ron Jon Surf Shop for a coozie to help keep your beers cool.
#11: Daytona Beach, FL
First things first: Daytona Beach is still the “undisputed underage drinking capital of the world,” since earning that title back in 2010. And despite the police’s best attempt to bring Spring Break down to dull roar, tens of thousands of Spring Breakers are still traveling to Daytona Beach. Yes, underage drinking arrests gone up each year, and yes the city is making new codes to stop younger college students from getting wild, but that doesn’t seem to affect too much.
One of the best parts about Daytona Beach is that it 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.
#10: Lake Havasu, AZ
As far as students on the West Coast are concerned, Lake Havasu is one of the premiere Spring Break destinations. Not only are there a lot of local floozies taking off their tops for beads, but the proximity and sheer number of nearby cliffs make for some awesome GoPro footage.
Nipple tassels or tattoos are also suggested, but finding a working boat is a must.
#9: Tampa, FL
Tampa’s importance in trashy Spring Breaks has been forever cemented after hosting the cast and crew of Spring Breakers–a movie that provides real insight into how our nation’s youth really get down. And while Alien might not be real, you can find yourself plenty of trouble in Trampa if that’s what you’re into.
#8: Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ would make this list solely based on the sheer number of douches who live there full-time there, but believe it or not, it’s also one of the wildest places to be during Spring Break. Students from all over the West Coast head to Arizona’s craziest city to get down and dirty at the numerous nightclubs, while hoping that their exploits aren’t posted on TheDirty.com the next day.
Most of the residents spend their days getting a good tan (does anyone in the city actually have a job?), and plan for a crazy night of mayhem. If you’re looking for a source, check out Kirill, a photographer who claims that Scottsdale, Arizona has “the hottest, wildest girls I’ve ever partied with.”
And don’t worry about running into the police while you’re drunk; Scottsdale PD can’t solely arrest you for public intoxication.
#7: Miami, FL
No major metropolitan city in the United States is as trashy as Miami, and this shouldn’t come as a total surprise. That’s not to say Miami isn’t fun – in fact we’ve been known to party at Ultra + Miami Music Week for a few years now. But the reason it gets such a trashy rap is because it attracts insane amounts of good looking 20-somethings who don’t want to work a day in their lives. Of course, that’s not a bad thing if you’re just stopping through the city on your way to blackouttown – it’s just simply an observation.
But before you head down South, remember that Miami’s public transportation is really piss poor, and that you should always bring at least two credit cards with you (because the chances you’ll max out the first one is roughly 100%).
#6: San Diego, CA
Ron Burgundy may have left San Diego, but that doesn’t mean the party has died – not even close, actually. The city is a low-key West Coast party town year round, but when Spring Break arrives, nearby schools flock to the beaches for a relatively* cheap vacation. Unfortunately due to a melee between locals and a SWAT team in 2007, drinking on the beach is no longer something you can get away with. But fear not: what you can do is join the locals, head out in a flotilla, and drink in the bay.
Once you’re done with the beach, head to The Wavehouse, a destination favorite where watching your friend face plant on the wave machine is the norm. After that, take a nap and head to the Gaslamp District.
#5: New Orleans, LA
If Miami is one of the trashiest major metropolitan areas, than New Orleans wins as the wildest. No other city in the nation hangs its hat on a weeklong celebration centered around women showing off their breasts for beads (and like most red-blooded American men, we don’t hate it). The girls of Mardi Gras hold a special place in our hearts, but even after Lent has come and gone, visitors can still find a good time sans beads. We’re not totally sure how your liver would be ably to handle five days of NOLA, but either way, we commend you.
The city is definitely worth hitting up for a weekend or as part of a longer road trip to somewhere like Gulf Shores or Destin, FL.
#4: South Padre Island, TX
South Padre Island–better known as SPI –is a Spring Breakers’ paradise even. Not only is it one of the few places where drinking in public is legal, the island hosts notoriously awesome concerts and festivals you won’t want to stray far from. This year UME (Ultra Music Experience) is bringing David Guetta, Tiësto, Showtek, Robin Schulz, Destructo, Hardwell, and more to Schlitterbahn Beach Water Park to provide visitors with something to rave about.
Oh and did we mention that drinking on the beach is legal? Because drinking on the beach is legal. So, yeah. Legal.
#3: Myrtle Beach, SC
With the exception of bar closing times, Myrtle Beach has exactly what you’re looking for in a trashy Spring Break. Not only are there tons of beachside condos available for renting, but the booze is cheap, the water is warm, and it’s host to one of the greatest bike weeks in the United States of America. Also – and most importantly – Kenny Powers is a fan.
While we’ll never understand the cutoff t-shirt tans most locals seem to boast, the one thing that truly confuses us is the fact that Myrtle’s watering holes close hours before the strip clubs. I mean, that’s one way to convince your girlfriend to join you at Derriere’s (a BYOB strip club), so we can ultimately support that.
#2: Las Vegas, NV
The bottom line is that Las Vegas is trashy as f*ck. You know it. We know it. Everyone knows it–and that’s why everyone loves it. But despite the fact that Vegas is the single most popular Spring Break destination for students, it’s not only a Spring Break destination–it’s a place for bachelor parties, birthdays, weddings, and every other debaucherous event you can think of. So for that reason we couldn’t in good conscious list it as the #1 Trashiest Spring Break Destination for the fourth year in a row.
It’s time for someone else to wear to the crown…
#1: Panama City Beach, FL
In all our years of partying and raging, never in our life have we seen the amount of ruckus PCB brought in one weekend. Whether or not you stay at the Holiday Inn–which is best known for their famous pool cam–you should know that no amount of college will prepare you for the debauchery that is PCB. The miles of beach are quickly turn a into mishmash of fraternities, sororities, and GDIs getting “crunk than a mug” during those few sweet weeks.
Keep in mind that only a small amount of the Spring Breakers are actually college students; a lot of the people you’ll see turning up are visitors or locals, which of course just adds to the trashiness. For extra bonus points that don’t count for anything (except against your driving record) make sure to rent a scooter from one of the numerous rental locations in the city. It’s easily one of the most dangerous things you’ll ever do in your life, especially after hours of sweaty day-drinking.