Spring Break 2016: Five Places to Avoid

Are you starving for a slice of spring break? Who could blame you. After a winter cooped up indoors shivering, everyone starts fixating on sunshine and tropical destinations. If you're dreaming of a lazy afternoon melting away your cares on pristine sandy shores, fruity umbrella drink in hand, you may have a rude awakening. Here are five spring break destinations that you'll want to avoid because in additional to sand, surf and sun you'll get a healthy dose of crowds, noise and price gouging that'll leave your wallet in pain. Don't despair. Also included are alternative destinations that'll put more spring in every step that brings you closer to vacation.

Panama City Beach, Florida
This stretch of over populated sand hosted an epic spring break last year that included a plethora of shootings, assaults and rapes. In response, the city has passed an ordinance banning alcohol on the beach until spring breakers can clean up their act. It's probably not a great idea to book your spring break here until the city can ensure safer shores for everyone.

Instead Try: Hollywood Beach, Florida
Positioned between South Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood Beach offers the traditional palm trees, sand and sun. Bask in the calm and then take the short drive to more popular beaches for a taste of the party.

Cancun, Mexico
Quintessential spring break? Yes. Overdone? Absolutely. If you don't enjoy a classic cliche, you probably won't look back on a spring break in Cancun with much fondness. And while this particular area of Mexico is relatively safe, the United States still has a travel advisory in effect for much of Mexico due to an increase in violent crime and drug cartel activity.

Instead Try: Ambergis Caye, Belize
Belize and Mexico are neighbors, so travel to this South American country is relatively inexpensive. The largest island, Ambergis Caye, is small and charming. A gorgeous haven for divers and sun seekers alike, the island is also the inspiration for Madonna's song 'La Isla Bonita."

Las Vegas, Nevada
If noisy clubs, smoky casinos and never ending buffets don't sound like your idea of a good time, you may want to rethink spring break in sin city. Sure the tacky rooms and airfare are relatively cheap. But you'll make up the difference on high priced attractions, expensive drinks and poor decisions at the craps table. Unless getting married by an Elvis impersonator is on your list of life goals, you may want to avoid losing more than your shirt in Vegas.

Instead Try: Palm Springs
This destination used to be a rowdy scene of spring break debauchery in the 60's, but it has mellowed nicely with age. Come for the vintage vibe and legendary pool parties this desert oasis offers, stay for a round of golf and a manicure.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This used to a good alternative for spring breakers looking to mix it up and stay away from the typical Caribbean locales, but it has officially been overrun. Popular with Europeans, the resorts are getting trendy and expensive and there are increasing concerns about safety and health issues like the Zika virus.

Instead Try: St. Vincent & The Grenadines
This string of 32 islands in the Southern Caribbean offers unspoiled beaches and the rare opportunity to experience a tropical local without the trappings of tourism. While the accommodations can be basic, the scenery is anything but.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Known as one of the wildest spring break destinations, Myrtle Beach has long been home to an endless array of themed bars and opportunities for unabashed revelry. It's an attractive, affordable option for the financially strapped but the weather doesn't always cooperate so if you're looking for assured sunshine, head further south.

Instead Try: Captiva Island, Florida
Rated one of the top ten beaches in 2016, Captiva Island is home to gorgeous white sands that become littered with a beautiful array or seashells. The island is well situated to provide access to any watersport you could imagine and nearby Sanibel Island offers plenty of revelry, dancing and nightlife for those so inclined.

Kaz Weida is a parenting and food blogger who has been hunting down the best Salt Lake City has to offer for the last decade. She speaks fluent sarcasm and has a penchant for all things vintage.

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