Best Spring Break Beach Destination (2015)


Spring break and the beach go together like peanut butter and jelly, and that's why USA TODAY 10Best embarked on a quest to name the Best Spring Break Beach Destination. After four weeks of voting, our readers have chosen Myrtle Beach, S.C. as the top beach destination for a spring break getaway.

  • Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    Mini golf courses, water parks, amusement parks and banana boat rides within sight of a giant beach-side Ferris wheel make Myrtle Beach an obvious option for spring breaking families. The 60 miles of beach appeals to all types of travelers, while daiquiri bars and popular nightclubs, like Señor Frogs and House of Blues, satisfy collegiate spring break requirements.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Myrtle Beach

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    During spring break, Cabo San Lucas is 'party central' in Los Cabos on the Mexican coast. By day, stunning beaches and dramatic rock formations set the scene for outdoor adventures, like parasailing or kayaking, while at night the tequila flows at infamous cantinas like El Squid Roe and Cabo Wabo.
    Photo courtesy of Todd Taulman

  • Cocoa Beach, Fla.

    Cocoa Beach, Fla.

    Located on Florida's Space Coast, Cocoa Beach offers a spring break scene for any type of traveler. College revelers blow off mid-semester steam along the beach (alcohol is allowed, glass is not) near the pier and Coconuts, while families can set up their beach towels along quieter stretches of sand slightly further afield. Outdoor adventures, including wind and water sports, abound, so there's always something to do.
    Photo courtesy of Thaise Hygino Photography

  • Atlantic Beach, N.C.

    Atlantic Beach, N.C.

    Located on North Carolina's Crystal Coast, Atlantic Beach features a wide, sandy swathe of lifeguard-protected beach fronted by a pedestrian boardwalk, making it a very kid-friendly option come springtime. For spring breakers looking for a party, a smattering of local bars serve up waterside drinks, and alcohol is permitted on the beach, though not in glass containers.
    Photo courtesy of Patrick Eilers

  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

    Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

    Punta Cana's 21 miles of postcard-worthy beaches are lined with upscale resorts and all-inclusives, making for an effortless spring break experience. When the sun's up, visitors can catch rays on the beach, relax by the pool or get the party started on a snorkeling or booze cruise in the amazing turquoise waters of the Dominican Republic. Since Punta Cana's biggest nightclubs, like Coco Bongo and Imagine, are off resort, the late night party is there for those who want it while maintaining the peace and quiet for everyone else.
    Photo courtesy of Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Daytona Beach, Fla.

    Daytona Beach, Fla.

    With 23 miles of white sand beach, it's not wonder MTV kicked off their iconic spring break coverage in Daytona Beach back in 1986. While the scene is decidedly tamer these days (alcoholic beverages are no longer permitted on the beach itself), the nightlife here still ranks among the best in Florida, and the drivable beach is a uniquely Daytona experience.
    Photo courtesy of Tom Hirtreiter

  • Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

    Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

    Located near El Yunque National Rainforest on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico, Rio Grande is home to resorts like the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort. What that means for visiting spring breakers is ecotours of the USA's only subtropical rainforest, world class golf, stunning (and quiet) beaches and some of the best boating, fishing and sailing opportunities on the island.
    Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico

  • Panama City Beach, Fla.

    Panama City Beach, Fla.

    Panama City Beach has long been one of the nation's (if not the world's) biggest spring break destinations. The city on the Florida Panhandle caters to the college masses with daytime pool and beach parties, live concerts, all-you-can-eat seafood buffets and late night parties at venues like Club La Vela, one of the largest nightclubs in the nation. But with 27 miles of white sand beaches and plenty of attractions for kids, families can certainly find a quieter spring break experience as well.
    Photo courtesy of fallbrook

  • Cancun


    Cancun is Mexico's quintessential spring break destination. A perennial favorite with the college crowd, Cancun offers a month straight of beach and pool parties DJed by some of the world's best, nightclubs packed with hot bodies, outrageous beach contests and beautiful white sands and turquoise waters providing a backdrop for it all.
    Photo courtesy of Mike Liu

  • South Padre Island, Texas

    South Padre Island, Texas

    This family-friendly destination near the border of Mexico draws water sport enthusiasts eager for kiteboarding, kitesurfing, jetskiing and windsurfing. And if visitors aren't partying the night away or spending the day outdoors on the beach, they're hitting parks like the Laguna Madre Nature Trail, popular with birders and nature lovers.
    Photo courtesy of Kenny Braun

Cabo San Lucas in Mexico and Cocoa Beach, Fla. were neck and neck to the very end, but the former snagged the runner up spot, with Cocoa Beach coming in third. Atlantic Beach, N.C. and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic rounded out the top five.

The full list of winners in the 'Best Spring Break Beach Destination' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice is as follows:

  1. Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  3. Cocoa Beach, Fla.
  4. Atlantic Beach, N.C.
  5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  6. Daytona Beach, Fla.
  7. Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
  8. Panama City Beach, Fla.
  9. Cancun, Mexico
  10. South Padre Island, Texas

Congratulations to all 10 winning destinations!


License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



AlertThe Experts

Lee Pettyjohn

Lee Pettyjohn

Lee Pettyjohn