In 2024, Spring Breakers are expected to descend on beaches all across the nation, with numbers projected to surpass last year’s 158 million travelers — already anticipating to beat 2019’s numbers.
With college students jetting off to sunny destinations with great pools, beaches, and nightlife, we decided to look at the most popular spring break resorts amongst Americans, by seeing which destinations were searched for the most.
The top spring break destinations for Americans
The people have spoken! These are the top destinations to spend your spring break, and forget about your studies for a week or two…
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Maui, Hawaii
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
New Orleans, Louisiana
Topping the list as the best spring break destination in the US is the Big Easy, known for beads, Bourbon Street, and the infamous Hurricane cocktail, which you’ll definitely want to try while you’re there!
With 931,680 searches, New Orleans ranks number one across 34 states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and even Louisiana itself.
Make sure you bar hop down Bourbon Street, but also try out Frenchmen Street as well, which has some of the best live music in the city, as well as being home to an outdoor art market.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
If it’s crystal-clear beaches, pool parties, and tropical cocktails you’re after, then Punta Cana could be the perfect spring break destination for you. Situated in the Dominican Republic, the resort’s received 528,480 searches across the US. It was the most popular destination in Alabama and South Dakota, and came second in 21 other states.
in addition to its pristine beaches, Punta Cana is known for its lively nightlife, with several streets lined with open-air bars and clubs, that are open until the early hours.
Las Vegas, Nevada
With 497,400 searches, Sin City is officially the third most popular destination for spring breakers; coming top in Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon, as well as coming second in 12 states.
With beautiful weather year-round, take advantage of the many pool parties that all the major hotels offer, before exploring the strip at night and visiting the casinos. If you want to add in an excursion to your spring break, then book a day trip to the Grand Canyon, which is just a few hours away.
Situated in the Pacific Ocean, Maui is a true island paradise, so it makes sense it’s ranked so highly as a spring break destination!
The second largest island in Hawaii, Maui is known for being mountainous, with Haleakala National Park one of its biggest attractions. It also has 30 miles of golden sands and azure waters, many of which you can snorkel, swim, and surf in; for an action-packed spring break.
Maui came top in seven states, including Georgia and Idaho, and had 397,440 searches overall across the USA.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
In fifth place, with 378,120 searches is Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas, coming top in Arizona and California. It’s got some of the best nightlife in the world, with tons of bars, clubs, and pool and boat parties; not to mention top performers headlining concerts there.
In the day, you can lounge by your pool or on the beautiful Medano Beach, or head in-land and hike the Canyon of the Fox, where you’ll find a waterfall in the desert, or visit the hot springs at El Chorro.
The other destinations that made it into the top 10 are San Juan, Montego Bay, South Padre Island, Cancun, and Panama City Beach. So, if you’d prefer to stay in the states, you can pick between South Padre Island in Texas, Panama Beach in Florida, or San Juan in Puerto Rico.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a far-flung destination, then Jamaica’s Montego Bay could be the ideal choice. Head to the Hip Strip, where you’ll find three gorgeous beaches, as well as all of the best shops, bars, restaurants, and hotels the area has to offer.
The safest spring break destinations
While the beaches, pools, and nightlife are some of the most important aspects when choosing where to go for spring break; safety is just as important too – and some destinations are safer than others.
According to Numbeo, the popular resorts of Puerto Vallarta, Ibiza, and San Diego are the safest during the day, with scores of 78.9 and above out of 100. Of our top 10 list, South Padre Island and Cabo San Lucas score the highest for safety in the daytime, placing sixth and seventh overall.
As night draws in, most places tend to not be quite so safe; but Puerto Vallarta and Key West top the list again, with Cabo San Lucas in fourth place.
So, now you know the top destinations, it’s time to get booking your spring break vacation! The only question is: will you opt for a tropical island destination like Punta Cana or Maui; or a lively city, like New Orleans or Vegas?
Are you going to be traveling through this period? Take a look at these special Spring Break deals and coupons to see if you can save extra cash.
Using search data and social listening data from February to May, we were able to reveal the U.S. states that are searching for spring break destinations. We utilized various keywords related to ‘spring break’ and ‘flights’ on social media and Google using the Keyword Tool. We created a ranking to determine where each state is likely to go this spring break. Through desk research, we identified the top 19 spring break destinations and used these to inform our ranking.