Spring Break 2016: The 6 Worst Possible Places to Visit

Maybe it's a false assumption, but if you're a travel-lover, you probably like to travel at least a little for culture. At the same time, spring break is a great chance to get a week's worth of globetrotting in. To make sure you enjoy your spring break week to the utmost, here's a guide for destinations to avoid... and destinations to consider planning for instead (all are geographically nearby, making planning more convenient).

Daniel Dudek-Corrigan​ via Flickr

Avoid Fort Lauderdale, Florida...

Fort Lauderdale has long been America's spring break destination, but legislation in the 1980s took it down a few notches. Still, you can find plenty of debauchery during spring break weeks at the beachside bars and bungalows.

...In Favor of Palm Beach, Florida

Why? Palm Beach has plenty of nightlife, but is a bit more upscale and luxurious. You can indulge your adult side, even if you channel your inner collegiate from time to time.

dronepicr via Flickr

Avoid Cancun, Mexico...

When Fort Lauderdale enacted laws discouraging spring breakers, Cancun welcomed them with open arms. The coastal Mexican town is now 'the place to be' for spring break, meaning beer bongs, dance parties, and hooliganism.

...In Favor of Tulum, Mexico

Why? Tulum is laid-back, friendly, and welcoming -- the perfect alternative to crazy Cancun. Opt for fresh fruit Margaritas while lounging by the beach instead of pre-made mix Margaritas from farther up the coast.

Nan Palmero via Flickr

Avoid Cabo San Lucas, Mexico...

The west coast of Mexico is definitely getting a reputation as a spring break destination, especially as the city recovers from Hurricane Odile in 2014 and draws more tourists. While it's great to visit and support recovering city economies, you have the whole rest of the year to do so.

...In Favor of Baja California, Mexico

Why? Unplug for a few days in Baja's rugged wilderness: you can camp in the desert, surf on the beach, and remember what it was like to spring break in the pre-iPhone days.

Nan Palmero via Flickr

Avoid Las Vegas, Nevada...

Vegas gets a bad wrap, but spring break amplifies all the reasons you might want to avoid Vegas around this time of year. Plenty of booze, betting, and potentially bad decisions are available, but if that's not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other places to visit instead.

...In Favor of Lake Tahoe, California

Why? Slide straight up the California/Nevada border to Lake Tahoe to try your hand at skiing instead. You may still meet a few bros on the slopes, but at a lower proportion than elsewhere.

Photo via Pixabay

Avoid Ibiza, Spain...

Ibiza is European party central, and spring break is no exception. Most people head to this Spanish isle and rent a boat so as to enjoy drinking activities and water sport in close succession. That doesn't sound like the safest option, so instead opt for a different destination.

...In Favor of Barcelona, Spain

Why? Barcelona has plenty of nightlife, but a whole dose more culture to wash it down with. Opt to explore Gaudi's architecture, take in an FC Barcelona game, or dine on fine Catalonian tapas. Then, catch some nightlife.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Avoid Myrtle Beach, South Carolina...

Myrtle Beach has all the makings of a good spring break destination: plenty of beach, hotels along the coast, great weather, and easy access from farther up the coast. Myrtle Breach is increasingly popular for spring breaks, and if you're looking to avoid the crowds around this time of year, there are plenty of other options.

...In Favor of Charleston, South Carolina

People are raving about Charleston lately: it's been voted 'best food city in America' several years in a row, and has tons of cultural options -- even if it lacks the beaches of Myrtle Beach. Whether or not you head there for spring break, Charleston should be on your 2016 list for sure.

Valerie Stimac is a Seattle-based travel writer who drove the Pacific Coast Highway during the summer of 2014. She has also contributed to AFAR, Lonely Planet, and Matador.