Florida Spring Break 2024

By James | Last updated May 16, 2024

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Florida Spring Break 2024 will typically last 6 to 7 weeks. The start date varies yearly, around 4 to 5 weeks before Easter. Most colleges have spring breaks before Easter, but a few are after.

The 2024 Florida Spring Break runs from approximately February 24 to April 6. The Canadian colleges tend to break up first, and the American colleges typically start the following week.

The Florida Spring Break 2024 busiest period is between March 2 and 16.

In 2024, most Florida colleges will have a one-week break between March 2 and 9 or March 9 and 16.

South Beach Miami
South Beach Miami Hotels

In addition to all the beaches, bars, clubs, and restaurants, there is so much more to do in Florida. You can visit the theme parks, go kayaking, take an airboat or helicopter ride, go on a sunset cruise, ride in a swamp buggy, rent a Segway or an electric bike, or go scuba diving, and the choices are endless.

Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach (known as PCB), with its 27 miles of beautiful white sandy beaches, is one of the most popular Spring Break destinations, with complimentary shuttle buses to take you from the hotels to the nightclubs and bars.

Panama City Beach Scene
Panama City Beach Scene

It claims to be the “Spring Break Capital of the World”. Orlando would dispute that as it is now the #1 Florida Spring Break destination.

Being further north, it is less distance to drive for most students, but the weather is less predictable. Tour operators even operate buses to bring students from the Northeast and Canada.

Panama City Beach has some of the world’s largest beach clubs, including Harpoon Harry’s, Club La Vela (the largest club in the United States), Hammerhead Fred’s, Latitudes, and Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant. The Spinnaker Club has closed its nightclub and is now the Spinnaker Beachside Grill.

It is not overdeveloped, it’s reasonably priced, and regulations are pretty relaxed. However, after some nasty incidents in 2015, laws have been tightened. Alcohol is no longer allowed on the beach, and clubs must stop selling alcohol by 2 a.m. This significantly dropped student numbers, but it still attracts around 2 million students yearly.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach is still an inexpensive choice and an important Spring Break destination despite Panama City Beach’s rise in popularity. The Daytona International Speedway and the Kennedy Space Center are all close by. Orlando and Florida’s many theme parks are only a day trip away.

One of Daytona’s claims to fame is the 23 miles of beach, most of which you can drive along in your car. Sitting and watching the young students posing in their pickups as they cruise up and down the beach is an amusing experience. A few years ago, a mile-long strip of beach in front of the historic Boardwalk was declared a vehicle-free zone, but you can still drive and park on 16 miles of beach, tide permitting.

Daytona Beach In Florida
Daytona Beach In Florida

Unlike the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic coast offers the opportunity to go surfing. Like all Florida destinations, Daytona has its fair share of top-class nightclubs, including Baja Beach Club, Club 600 North, Razzles, Ocean Deck, and Fat Tuesday.


If the beach is not your thing, Orlando is a good destination. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld are all within a few miles of each other.

There are still plenty of opportunities to swim at water parks, including Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Aquatica, Volcano Bay, and Discovery Cove.

CityWalk Universal Studios Orlando
CityWalk Universal Studios Orlando

FoUniversal’ss, Universal’s CityWalk is the best choice. There is also no shortage of great resort hotels with pools, private villas, and condominiums.

Miami South Beach

Miami, and in particular South Beach, is an up-and-coming Spring Break destination. Its vibrant culture and fantastic nightlife make it popular with the more sophisticated partygoers.

Not many places beat Miami when it comes to upmarket restaurants and nightclubs, and the weather is even better further south.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has fantastic beaches, boating canals, and stunning natural features. Its slightly more relaxed vibe is perfect for spring breakers looking for beach fun and a touch of sophistication.

There are also some great bars and restaurants along the coastline to enjoy in the evenings. Fort Lauderdale still attracts students, though not in the same numbers of old.

Other Florida Destinations

Amongst the other top spots in Florida is Jacksonville, which has a vibrant night scene, laid-back Key West, Hollywood Beach, St Pete Clearwater Beach, and Naples.

A Look Back at Spring Breaks of the Past.

You could say that the modern-day week-long Spring Break dates back to the 1960s. The release of the classic film “Where the Boys Are” tells the story of four very different college girls who drive to Fort Lauderdale in Florida looking for boys, fun, sun, and romance.

During the hippy period of the 1960s and late 1970s, alcohol and free love took their toll, and some beach communities tried to deter spring breakers.

Several Florida towns make the top 10 most popular Spring Break destinations, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, and Tampa.

Many students who had previously visited Fort Lauderdale moved up the coast to Daytona Beach. This was easier to get to, cheaper, and more lax in its rules. In the late 1980s, the number of people visiting Fort Lauderdale dropped dramatically from an estimated 350,000 to around 20,000. Students are inconsistent, and destinations gain and lose popularity, mainly if local laws are changed.

By the 1980s, Spring Break had matured, becoming less about getting drunk and more about concerts and parties, visiting theme parks, and participating in sports and other activities like surfing, scuba diving, and parasailing.

More and more students are also looking at charity programs helping people in the developing world each year.

In the 90s, MTV started broadcasting from all the major beach resorts, bringing big-name groups like Run DMC to front their shows and bringing corporate sponsorship.

Other destinations started to gain popularity, such as Panama City Beach in the Panhandle and further afield, South Padre Island in Texas with 34 miles of beaches, Palm Springs in California, Las Vegas in Nevada, and New Orleans with its party atmosphere and lax drinking laws.

Drunken behavior and general rowdiness are still an issue in the USA. You need to be 21 to drink alcohol in most states legally. One of the attractions of Mexico is that the legal drinking age is notionally 18. South Padre Island is only half an hour from the Mexican border, so it is popular with younger students.

With cheaper airfares and more affluence amongst the student population, international destinations like Cancun and Acapulco in Mexico and the Bahamas have become even more popular.