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Spring Break in Florida: Top spots, hot tips 2024

When is Spring Break in Florida?

Spring Break in Florida is associated with the weeks colleges and universities take their spring semester break, and every school is different.

The staggered schedule means Florida’s Spring Break begins in late February and runs through mid-April, peaking in mid-March.

College spring break dates don’t necessarily align with the Easter holiday, although Easter is when you are most likely to encounter families whose spring recess is dictated by primary and secondary school schedules.

In 2024, Easter falls on March 31, so Easter-related spring break for families should be expected from March 23-31.

Top 2024 Spring Break destinations


Orlando consistently tops the charts as the No. 1 Spring Break destination in Florida. The big attraction, of course, is the multiplex of theme parks with Disney World, Legoland and Universal Studios leading the way.

Orlando is also a great jumping off spot for visiting the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville and the beaches of Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach, two popular Spring Break destinations in their own right.

If you are Orlando bound, you are probably interested in these closest beaches to Orlando and Disney World.

With more than 480 hotels and resorts in Orlando, you’ll find keen competition among them to attract guests, so spring breakers should find plenty of good deals by shopping comparison sites such as

For camping near Disney World, check out Our picks within an hour’s drive. You also may find attractive camping options in Ocala National Forest. Another long shot that may be worth checking is Lake Kissimmee State Park, which is about 55 miles south of Disney World.

Hot Tip: Try something different and get away from the crowds. The world’s largest concentration of springs can be found north of Orlando, in and around Ocala National Forest. We’ve picked out 19 springs worth visiting.

Miami Beach

Topless tolerance and Art Deco panache have propelled Miami’s South Beach to a premier Spring Break destination, but rowdy crowds in recent years have put the brakes on fun.

And you will pay top dollar for accommodations, dining and nightclubs. Bring money to spend. If you don’t have money to spend, you should consider another destination. In any case, comparison shop to find the best room rates at

Last year, Miami Beach implemented a curfew for Spring Break, and the three causeways leading to Miami Beach from Miami proper were shut down at 10 p.m. We don’t know if those restrictions will be repeated in 2023, but expect the worst and book your room beachside.

Alternatives to consider are the Haulover Beach Park area, which has a nude beach north of Bal Harbour, or arts-oriented Coconut Grove.

The beauty of staying in Miami is access to the Everglades and the Florida Keys.

Hot Tip: If you are looking to get off the grid, cruise out to Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, where the beach is postcard-perfect and there’s plenty of parking. North of Miami Beach, check out Oleta River State Park for kayaking, hiking and off-road bicycling.

spring break in florida, fort lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Beach last year. (Photo by Bonnie Gross)

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is a perennial favorite for Spring Break, despite efforts by the city to quell the debauchery of the 80s and 90s. In recent years, Spring Break is considerably more orderly and the crowds keep coming back, carefully managed behind barricades lining A1A.

With consistent sunshine and the warm Gulf Stream offshore, Fort Lauderdale may have the most predictably pleasant weather of any destination, and the weather so far this year has been straight out of the promotional flyer.

Never discount Fort Lauderdale’s enduring reputation as a Spring Break mecca.

There are a few public campgrounds near Fort Lauderdale, and they are definitely worth a look. We also suggest comparison shopping for hotel rooms on

Hot Tip: Increasingly, spring breakers are dispersing onto neighboring beaches in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, and perhaps the most desirable hot spot, Delray Beach.

Daytona Beach

The “World’s Most Famous Beach” has long been a popular Spring Break destination and will remain so this year.

Daytona Beach is a town that likes to party, kicking off peak season with rowdy Bike Week in early March. It gets real crazy near the newly renovated Main Street Pier and boardwalk.

Expect the beach to be just as crowded in 2023 as in past years, increased beach patrols and more attention is likely be paid to the city’s prohibition of alcohol on the beach.

There are numerous scenic drives nearby if you want to get away from the party. Try the Ormond Scenic Loop, or cruise over to Ocala National Forest.

Campers should check out the best 15 campgrounds near Daytona Beach. For hotel rooms, compare prices on

Hot Tip: If you’re not into craziness of Daytona, spring breakers are gravitating to nearby New Smyrna Beach, the best little beach town with easy access to pristine Apollo Beach in  Canaveral National Seashore.

Key West

Key West is Key West, party capitol at the end of the world, 24/7 at any time of the year.

And the parties kick up a notch during Spring Break as college kids swam Duval Street, crowding the beaches and bars.

But be ready to shell out the big bucks. Rooms as high as $600 to $800 per night are to be expected. Sure, you’ll find some rooms cheaper, but they’re probably already gone. Don’t give up, though, there are a lot of options for vacation rentals and rooms throughout the Lower Keys on

Arriving by car, bring Florida Rambler’s popular Florida Keys Mile-Marker Guide and check out the fabulous Lower Keys along the way.

Hot Tip: The most underrated destination in Key West, thus the least visited, is the beautiful but unassuming beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. On a budget? Key West on the cheap isn’t easy, but here are tips

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is the surfing capitol of Florida with sprawling beaches and dozens of beachfront hotels.

It’s also the closest beach to Disney World, Orlando International Airport and the Kennedy Space Center.

There is plenty of action on these beaches and in the air around them. This is the Space Coast, after all, and with a little luck you might see a rocket launch.

With luck, you might find a campsite or a cabin at Jetty Park. Most (but not all) of Cocoa’s hotel rooms are clustered around the pier area, which rocks during Spring Break. Compare prices on

Get your beach gear and souvenirs at world famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, one of at least five things to discover near Cocoa Beach.

Hot Tip: Avoid the pier area and venture further south on A1A to Cocoa Beach’s real town center and “Coconuts Beach.”

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater continues to be a Spring Break hot spot, and that won’t change any time soon.

Part of Clearwater’s undying appeal are two awesome beaches, Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island.

If you do come to Clearwater, bring your bicycle so you can enjoy one of Florida’s most appealing multi-use trails, the Pinellas Trail.

Like many other beach hot spots in Florida, Clearwater’s hotel rates are eye-opening this year, so comparison shopping is critical if you hope to save money. Here’s a link to for Clearwater Beach.

For the best camping near Clearwater and Tampa Bay, check out these 9 choice campgrounds.

Hot Tip: The best alternate destination may be 20 miles south of Clearwater to the stunning dunes and leisurely pace of Pass-A-Grille.

Panama City Beach

‘Girls Gone Wild’ had its roots Panama City, but the city’s heyday as a premier Spring Break destination has faded in the decade since city fathers enacted laws banning alcohol on the beach during March.

With temperatures rarely rising much above the high 60s during March, this may not be the best place in Florida to soak up the sun, at least not until April.

On the other hand, if you are suffering from sub-zero snow pack, a sunny beach in the 60s could be nirvana!

Panama Beach has long been a Spring Break party town, and expect nothing less this year. Drinking is no longer permitted on the beach but that hasn’t dulled the revelry.

Because of the unpredictable weather (temps have already dipped below freezing this winter), you likely will find a few bargains on Campers should consider our choices for the beach camping in Florida’s Panhandle.

Hot Tip: A cozier, Old Florida small-town atmosphere can be found 30 miles east of Panama City in Grayton Beach, but accommodations there are few.

Sarasota Beaches

In recent years, Spring Break has been a growing phenomena along the beaches off Sarasota, particularly Siesta Key, attracted by beautiful beaches and vibrant night life.

But there’s a spoiler in the wind and sea: Red tide.

The big unknown is where red tide algae will be blooming in the Gulf of Mexico during Spring Break. So far this winter, patches of algae blooms have been drifting erratically along the coast, leaving dead fish on beaches and reports of respiratory irritation among beach-goers.

Keep up with the latest red tide news, updated weekly in our Red Tide Report.

There are plenty of things to do near Sarasota, and we highly recommend bringing your bicycle and riding the paved multi-use Legacy Trail, which runs between Sarasota and Venice, 20 miles south.

Spring Break News:

Hot Tip: Book your accommodations in Sarasota proper, where the impact of red tide is unseen, and drive to safe beaches. Beaches impacted by red tide are posted.

Key Largo

Another rising star for spending Spring Break in Florida is Key Largo, the northernmost island in the Florida Keys and “snorkeling and diving capitol of the world.”

To suggest you can have fun here is an understatement, and the sun is always shining.

Our Visitors’ Guide to Key Largo details hundreds of things to do, including dive and snorkel tours, kayak trails and rental locations, parks and beaches on Key Largo, restaurants and bars, places to stay, places to camp, RV services and where to find groceries.

You can mosey on down to Islamorada for some of the best fishing you’ll find anywhere in the world, or take a side trip back to the mainland and visit Everglades National Park.

Hot tip: One of the first things you should do on arrival in Key Largo is book a 90-minute cruise on the “African Queen,” the actual steamboat used in the filming of the 1951 movie classic starring legendary actors Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

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