Best beaches for spring break
Need help picking your spring break destination?
Exactly which beaches are the best beaches for spring break? There are a lot of different factors that make a beach desirable. In the case of spring break those factors usually include things like lots of sunshine, lots of young, healthy members of the opposite sex and lots of nearby clubs or other places to go to.
Bearing that in mind, I've compiled a short list of the best beaches to hit in the United States this spring break. Some are on the west coast, some are on the east coast and some are on the gulf coast. All are down south. I'm from Florida, but I've lived in Texas and California. And I currently live in northeastern Ohio. So not only do I know where the beaches are, I understand perfectly why after a season of plowing your way through snow to get to school, you'd want a little bit of sunshine on your face.
Before we get going here, let me say that I've written this with the college student in mind. These recommendations are for that group - not for families wanting to take their young children somewhere.
The West Coast
Let's start with the west coast. One of the most famous beaches in the world is certainly Malibu Beach. It can be costly, but there's no doubt that this one is the one with the best chance for seeing someone famous while you're there, which would be a nice bonus for your excellent beach week. The Who's Who of Hollywood hang out at Malibu Beach. I've seen some of them myself. Heck, being as I was a professional actor in another life, I've worked with some of them myself! Malibu is on the famous Pacific Coast Highway and is surrounded by some of that road's most well-known miles.
Some serious fires in the area may have put a damper on it for locals, but no hotels were lost so it should have no serious effect on your visit. Where you'll want to stay while you're there depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is how much money you have. If you stay away from the beaches in places like Los Angeles, you may be able to save some bucks. But keep in mind that parking is truly a pain in Malibu, so it may be easier just to stay there in town and not have a car.
Heading south on the PCH you can find several other great beaches, not as famous, but sure to be just as packed with plenty of great bodies and only slightly less likely to have the occasional movie or TV star. Starting with the first you'd come to and heading south are the Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey area, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. The last two are fairly close to Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, so that may also be a deciding factor.
Another factor is that while the Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey area is physically the closest to Hollywood and Beverly Hills, traffic is so completely horrendous there that it may actually take the longest to get from that area to Hollywood.
Also in California are several beaches in the San Francisco area including Moss Beach, Bodega Bay, San Mateo and Monterey. But if you want a really hot spot, it's gotta be those beaches down in L.A.
Moving east halfway across the nation to Texas, we have a few beach towns. Most notable are Corpus Christi and Galveston. Texas is not really known as a major spring break destination for those from outside the state, but you can rest assured that these beaches will still be packed.
Moving right along, let's hit Florida. Wow! Now this place has a lot of beaches. Starting off in the far northwestern corner of the state is Pensacola. From time to time this beach has become the number one destination for spring breakers. Several other Florida beaches can make this claim as well, but we'll get to them.
Next is the Destin/Sandestin area. While not really considered a major spring break getaway, I thought I'd mention it because this area has the most amazing pure white sand anywhere in the country. It's truly something to see. It looks like beaches of sugar or snow.
Panama City Beach
Not too far away from Destin is Panama City Beach. This is a great beach, and there will be plenty of college-aged people there. But there will probably be plenty of kids and older people as well. The Miracle Mile is a fun part of Panama City Beach, but last time I was there a lot of it was shut down for refurbishing.
The entire Florida coastline is covered with beaches. But I'm going to skip way down about half-way down to Clearwater Beach. The Clearwater/St. Pete area has a bunch of different beaches to choose from. So if one isn't your style, it's just a few minutes to drive down to the next one to check it out.
The hottest beach for young people in the area though is definitely Clearwater Beach. If you like a crowded beach with lots and lots of hot bodies, this is the one for you. A national top spring break destination again and again, this is probably the hottest destination nationwide.
Heading further down you come to the Fort Myers/Naples area. Not a very happening place just 10 or 15 years ago, the addition of a major university has gotten this place really hopping. There are nice beaches, and they are not overly expensive.
All the way down at the southernmost point in Florida, we have Miami Beach. This is another area with multiple beaches to choose from. Very famous and very hot, this beach is a bit more commercial and glitzy than most of the others especially in Florida. While it's not my personal favorite, if you like crowds and a party atmosphere this is not a bad choice at all. And it's the only real east coast destination with a decent possibility for running into stars.
If you like crowds, higher costs and a very commercial atmosphere, Key West can be fun. At least you can say you've been there.
Just as with Florida's Gulf Coast, the east coast has tons of beaches to choose from. If you drive up Route 1 or A1A, you can pretty much stop anywhere and there will be a beach there. Interstate 95 also pretty much follows the same route but is a bit farther off the coast.
There are many, many worthy beaches here, but the last beach I'll talk about is Daytona Beach. This is one of the oldest famous beaches in the nation. There are miles of beach where you can actually cruise right on the sand itself. While I personally don't like being on a beach where people are driving, some people really love it. This is not so much of a hot-bodies beach as places like Clearwater Beach or Malibu Beach, but there are still plenty of them.
And there's plenty to do with the spacecoast - Disney World and Universal Studios all within about an hour. It's also just a ways north of the original RonJon Surf Shop, the most famous of all surf shops, and a pretty cool place to visit.
Believe it or not, I've been to all of these areas, and with the exception of Miami Beach and a couple near San Fransico, I've been to every one of these beaches, as well as quite a few others. All in all, if you're looking for the best beaches for spring break, there are two stand-out winners. With the many, many destinations to choose from, if you want the hottest of the hot I would have to recommend Clearwater, Florida, for the best on the east coast and Malibu for the best on the west coast.