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Best Florida Places for Spring Break: Families, Couples and College Students Alike Can Count on Having a Fun Time

Florida Spring Break

By Myscha Theriault

Looking for the best Florida places to vacation for spring break? Well, it depends on whether you’re with the college crowd, part of a couple with kids, or an active senior looking to get out of the cold while you treat your grandchildren. Whatever your speed, we’ve got it covered with reviews of the following hot spots.

Florida Spring Break for Families and Couples

Florida Keys

Beach at Pennekamp State Park

Explore a sleepier side of the state by driving out to the Florida Keys. Take a swim with the dolphins, learn how to make your own conch fritters, or take an eco adventure via kayak on some of the quiet waterways the Keys have to offer. With all of the world-class fishing at your disposal, who knows? You might just catch that fish of a lifetime to tell your grandkids about. Scuba diving enthusiasts also have lots to get excited about when visiting this particular stretch of the state.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Strip

Not a real draw for the college crowd, but Fort Lauderdale is a great Florida spring break destination for couples and seniors. Beaches, sun trolleys available with a wave, the historic Bonnet House Museum, and the high-end Riverwalk art and entertainment district are just a few of the options at your vacation disposal when visiting this coastal town in the southern part of Florida.


SeaWorld OrlandoOrlando offers many attractions for the Florida spring break traveler. There’s the New Harry Potter World for starters, as well as the classic Disney World visit and perhaps a daytrip to the nearby Kennedy Space Center. It’s not all theme parks and mouse overload, however. The Mad Cow Theater for example, offers numerous plays of broadway quality, and parents wanting a more academic experience for their child can schedule a visit to the Orlando Science Center.


Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach

With some of the top beaches on the gulf coast, Clearwater is most assuredly a spring break town. While adventure travelers and single folks might gravitate there for the kite surfing, there’s plenty for families and couples to enjoy as well. For starters, Pier 60 has a sunset arts and crafts event most evenings, which features street performers and other live entertainment in addition to stall shopping. Cultural enthusiasts will definitely want to check out Ruth Eckerd Hall during their visit to Clearwater, where you can catch everything from Celtic dance to Natalie Cole, with a side of Jerry Seinfeld occasionally thrown in.

Fort Myers

Main House at Seminole Lodge

In addition to great weather, families considering Fort Myers for spring break can rest assured that everyone will be entertained. For history buffs, there’s the Fort Myers Historical Museum and the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Hands-on science enrichment for the kiddos is available at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium and Imaginarium, a hands-on science museum for children. Beach lovers, fisherfolk and boating enthusiasts will also have a fantastic time in this Florida nature-coast town.

Sanibel Island

Bay Side Windsurfers

For nature lovers and families traveling to Florida for spring break, Sanibel Island provides a unique, in-depth experience. On the island itself, you can experience world-class shelling, check out the historic lighthouse and experience the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge which is famous for its migratory bird stopovers and undeveloped mangrove ecosystem.

Daytona Beach

Places to Stay in Daytona Beach

More Spring Break Ideas
  • Spring Break in Daytona Beach
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  • Try Cocoa Beach
  • Auto racing fans may enjoy Daytona Beach for the motorsports activities, but there’s lots more to do here besides revving your engines. There’s the African-American Museum of the Arts, the Gillespie Mineral Museum in nearby Deland and the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. And of course, don’t forget the beach and area dining opportunities. While still popular with the college students, Daytona Beach has certainly transformed itself into a family spring break destination as well.
    Spring Break in Daytona Beach – Tips, Ideas and Activities »

    Florida Spring Break for College Students

    Panama City Beach

    Panama City Beach

    A hot spot for the college crowd, Panama City Beach has numerous attractions to keep you entertained in between the daily beach gatherings of coeds from all over. For starters, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum is located here, along with Gulf World Marine Park and any number of eco touring options via hover boat or helicopter. At the end of the day though, the university kids know it as one of the biggest and best party spots for spring break in the sunshine state, which is why it’s a top pick year after year.

    Panama City Spring Break Clubs

    Popular Panama City Beach clubs include La Vila, Coyote Ugly, Sharky’s, Harpoon Harry’s, Spinnaker Beach Club and Margaritaville.

    Miami South Beach

    Sunbating on South Beach

    This Miami Beach hot spot has been hip for a while with the jet setting crowd, but South Beach Miami is apparently the new cool place to hit for spring break as well. Hit the boardwalk or sand stroll in hopes of a Beyoncé sighting, or cruise Lincoln Road to shop for the latest in trendy tidbits. Walk the side streets to check out the art deco architecture, and stroll through the design district to get inspiration for an oh-so-hip dorm room. Looking to splurge on dinner? Hit Red, the steakhouse getting all of the buzz lately, or Catch, the new seafood restaurant in the Marriott at Biscayne Bay.

    Hottest South Beach Bars

    The hottest South Beach clubs include Wet Willie’s, Mansion, Mango’s Tropical Café, Finnegan’s Way and the Clevelander.

    Key West

    Sloppy Joe's On Duval Street

    In addition to being a hot place to hang with your peeps, Key West offers sunset cruises, dolphin encounters, eco tours and a variety of cultural options in case you happen to be one of those coeds who likes to do more than down drafts. Check out the Victorian Curry Mansion, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory or historic St. Paul’s Church for starters. Then move on to Ernest Hemmingway’s home and work in a visit to the Dry Tortugas National Park.

    Key West Nightlife

    Much of Key West nightlife is centered around Duval Street. Popular bars include Sloppy Joe’s, The Green Parrot, Willie T’s, Capt. Tony’s Saloon and Margaritaville.

    As you can see, if you’re looking for the best Florida places for spring break, you certainly have several to choose from. So go ahead and hop on a plane. What are you waiting for?

    Myscha Theriault Myscha Theriault is a syndicated columnist for McClatchy-Tribune, best-selling author, and professional blogger whose work has been featured by Forbes, MSN, the Los Angeles Times, Boston Herald, AOL, and others. Print interviews include Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, and All You Magazines. She is the founder of, a web site for independent travelers. You can also catch up with her on Twitter.

    Originally Published on March 1st, 2011

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