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Picture this: the winter frost giving way to the warm embrace of spring, and you, right in the heart of the Sunshine State, ready to make the most of your Florida spring break 2024! With the sun playing hide-and-seek in the skies year-round, Florida is the ultimate playground for seekers of sun-kissed adventures.

Having called Tampa Bay home for over seven years, my spring break adventures in the Sunshine State have been seasoned with firsthand experiences at these vibrant Florida spring break destinations. Hailing from Ohio, I’ve also ventured to Florida multiple times during my college years, making me well-versed in the art of crafting the perfect spring break getaway. Are you ready to unlock the best that Florida has to offer during this lively season?

Clearwater Beach Florida on a sunny day

Best Florida Spring Break Destinations

1. Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, where sugar-white sands meet the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. This lively destination is a hub for water sports, vibrant nightlife, and family-friendly attractions. With its iconic Pier 60, amazing fresh seafood restaurants, lively beach bars, and endless sunshine, Clearwater Beach is the perfect place to unwind and soak in the coastal charm.

Top things to do in Clearwater Beach:

  • Clearwater Beach: Relax on one of the best beaches in the US!
  • Pier 60 Sunset Festival: Experience nightly festivities, street performers, and breathtaking sunsets at Pier 60.
  • Private Boat Tour: Cruise along the stunning coastline, drop anchor at secluded spots, and indulge in water activities like swimming and sunbathing. And my favorite part, the waterslide! I promise this boat trip will make your Florida spring break epic. Book with A Boat Day here.
  • Cruisin Tiki: These floating tiki bars offer a distinct and lively perspective of Clearwater Beach. Sip on tropical drinks, enjoy picturesque views, and bask in the sun aboard these vibrant boats. It’s a perfect spring break activity for celebrating with your crew. Book your tour in advance here!
  • Clearwater Beach Scavenger Hunt: Tailored for a memorable spring break experience, this adults-only scavenger hunt includes entertaining tasks, challenges, and surprises. It’s a lively and budget-friendly way to explore the beach, forge stronger connections with friends, and craft enduring memories. It’s also great for Clearwater Beach bach parties!

Best places to stay in Clearwater Beach:

For smaller groups who prefer to do a hotel stay check out Edge HotelPier House 60, and Springhill Suites by Marriott (all three of these options even include breakfast). If you don’t mind splurging a little more, Hyatt RegencySandpearl, and Opal Sands are all solid resort options.

If you have a larger group and want a suite or rental home we absolutely loved our stay at this beautiful condo on Clearwater Beach that slept 7.

For all of the best things to do in Clearwater Beach check out my Clearwater Beach Guide.

2. St. Pete Beach

Nestled on the Gulf Coast, St. Pete Beach combines sugary shores with a lively atmosphere. This beach town offers a mix of water activities, eclectic dining, and cultural hotspots. Whether you’re strolling along historic Corey Avenue or unwinding on the sandy shores, St. Pete Beach caters to family and college spring breakers.

Top things to do in St. Pete Beach:

  • St. Pete Beach: Relax on the wide, sandy shores of this award-winning beach. Take your beach day to the next level with The Cabana Club. Imagine chic cabanas, loungers, and umbrellas that will create the perfect haven for your spring break crew. Savor refreshing cocktails, dip into crystal-clear waters, and unwind in style under the Florida sun.
  • eSUP Adventures: This motorized paddle board adventure to Shell Key Preserve adds an extra layer of excitement, allowing you to cruise at your own pace and witness breathtaking views both above and below the water.
  • Cruisin Tikis boat tour: a lively and distinctive way to explore the waters of St. Pete during spring break. Cruise along the picturesque coastline, feel the sea breeze, and sip on tropical drinks while making everlasting memories with your crew. Book your boat tour in advance here!
  • Explore St. Pete’s vibrant nightlife: uncover the city’s best bars, from laid-back beach hangouts to trendy cocktail lounges. Dive into the diverse selection and don’t miss the hidden speakeasies, elevating your night with an extra touch of excitement.

You’re also right by downtown St. Pete which is a whole vibe in itself! Check out my full guide on the best things to do in downtown St. Pete and fun things to do in St. Pete Beach.

Best places to stay in St. Pete Beach:

If you want to be beachfront, The Don Cesar is ICONIC. It’s a huge pink hotel better known as the “Pink Palace.” There are 2 heated pools, 3 lounges, newly renovated rooms, and the beautiful Spa Oceana. Go here if you’re looking for a magical experience. (Here is a recap from my stay at this hotel.)

TradeWinds is another great option if you’re looking for a beachfront hotel in St. Pete Beach! For a true party and college spring break vibe though I recommend staying at Postcard Inn (PCI to the locals). They always have DJ’s and fun events going on. It’s also one of the best St. Pete Beach bars!

3. Tampa

Tampa, a city rich in culture and outdoor adventures, welcomes visitors with a mix of historic sites, modern attractions, and lush green spaces. From the historic Ybor City to the vibrant Riverwalk, Tampa offers a variety of experiences for every traveler.

Top things to do in Tampa:

  • Boat Adventure: Go on an exhilarating boat tour to discover the picturesque beauty of Tampa Bay. For an exclusive experience, opt for a Staying Afloat Party Boat complete with a captain, starting at $700 for 4 hours and accommodating up to 12 people. Alternatively, a 2-hour downtown Tampa charter is available for $400, catering to the same group size.
  • WTR Pool Party: WTR is a premier waterfront venue famous for its energetic pool parties. Enjoy a day of sunshine, lively music, and refreshing cocktails by the pool. Dance to the tunes of live DJs and make a splash at this ultimate spring break pool party destination. Don’t forget to explore the vibrant vibes at Whiskey Joe’s nearby for an added dose of fun.
huge crowd at WTR pool party in Tampa, Florida
  • Busch Gardens: For an adrenaline-packed day, head to Busch Gardens and experience an array of exhilarating rides, shows, and wildlife encounters. From heart-pounding roller coasters to captivating animal exhibits, this theme park promises a dynamic blend of excitement and entertainment.
  • Explore Tampa’s rich culinary diversity: From craft breweries to rooftop bars and top-notch restaurants. And of course, you can’t leave without getting one of Tampa’s famous Cuban sandwiches!

For a full list check out my Tampa Guide and fun free things to do in Tampa!

Best places to stay in Tampa:

There are a ton of awesome hotels in Tampa. Where you’re going to want to stay just depends on what your itinerary looks like!

If you don’t mind splurging The Tampa EDITION is the newest hottest spot on the block! It provides an extraordinary, luxurious hotel experience that is unlike anything else Tampa Bay has seen. It even includes seven food and beverage venues to be explored. Read my full Tampa EDITION hotel review for all of the deets.

If you’re wanting to stay in downtown Tampa, I recommend checking out Hyatt Place Downtown. The reviews are excellent, and they have an outdoor pool, fitness center, and a modern, sleek look. Not to mention the location is prime. The JW Mariott Tampa Water Street is also a great location, plus you can use your Bonvoy points to book!

If you want to stay near the water and have some views, The Godfrey Hotel (where WTR is located) and The CURRENT Hotel are both solid options providing beautiful sights of Tampa Bay.

4. Miami

Miami is of course a prime spring break destination in Florida, renowned for its nightlife scene, vibrant beachfront clubs, and the lively atmosphere of South Beach. Whether you crave nights filled with dancing at chic nightclubs or laid-back days lounging on the sun-drenched shores, Miami offers plenty of options to captivate your spring break crew.

Beyond the buzzing nightlife, the city offers a diverse range of activities and amazing restaurants!

Related read: Miami Instagram captions

Life guard stand on South Beach Miami

Top things to do in Miami:

  • South Beach: Soak up the sun on the famous stretch of Miami’s coastline.
  • Experience Miami Nightlife: Miami’s nightlife is renowned for its diversity, with an array of clubs, bars, and lounges to suit every taste. From hip-hop beats to electronic rhythms and salsa vibes, the city’s vibrant club scene ensures a night to remember. Some Miami hotspots include LIV at the Fontainebleau, E11EVEN, or Story Nightclub.
  • Yacht Day: Elevate your spring break with a touch of luxury by renting a glamorous yacht in Miami. Cruise along the city’s stunning coastline, bask in the sunshine, and relish the breathtaking views of the skyline. While this private yacht experience accommodates up to 8 guests for around 2 hours, the affordable rate allows you to extend the booking for an even more extended and fabulous yacht day!
  • Pool Party: Miami is synonymous with epic pool parties, and three must-visit destinations for this aquatic revelry are SLSDaer, and Strawberry Moon. These venues offer sensational poolside settings, lively music, refreshing cocktails, and a vibrant atmosphere, ensuring a day of pure fun.
  • Wynwood Walls: Explore colorful street art in this trendy arts district.

Best places to stay in Miami:

Miami has an array of luxurious and stylish hotels and condos to choose from. If you are going for spring break it’s crucial you plan accommodation in advance! When you book through Booking.com you often have a decent cancellation window, so I would recommend booking ASAP and can adjust if need be.

Some popular options include:

  • Fontainebleau— a luxurious resort located in the heart of Miami Beach offering a wide range of modern amenities, and is home to LIV, one of the best nightclubs in Miami.
  • Edition Hotel Miami Beach— The Edition is known for its luxurious amenities, pool and lounge, and incredible beach views. This hotel offers a range of amenities and services that are perfect for a relaxing stay in Miami. Plus it’s home to Basement which is one of the most fun places for a wild night in Miami.
  • Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel and Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach— I love Kimpton hotels so much, they offer a free wine happy hour every day, and the hotels themselves are always so stylish and unique. Both of these are on South Beach in the middle of all the action.

If you want more options and have a group of 6 or more, check out these accommodation options or VRBO for some penthouse and condo options!

5. Key West

This sun-soaked haven is the perfect getaway for an unforgettable spring break, featuring idyllic beaches, a captivating historic district, and the vibrant energy of Duval Street. Whether you prefer sunbathing on the shore, discovering the city’s vibrant architecture, or embarking on a sunset sail, Key West offers endless possibilities for daytime adventures.

Related read: Fun Things to Do in Key West

Key West Southernmost Point

Top things to do in Key West:

  • Snorkeling: Immerse yourself in the enchanting underwater world of Key West with an exhilarating snorkeling adventure. Discover vibrant coral reefs, encounter tropical fish, and marvel at the diverse marine life that thrives in these crystal-clear waters. For early risers, opt for the morning snorkel tour that includes breakfast and unlimited mimosas. And if you’re recovering from a night out, the snorkel and sunset cruise is the perfect remedy.
  • Boat tour: Set sail on a scenic boat tour around the picturesque waters of Key West. Cruise through the turquoise sea, basking in the warm breeze and taking in the breathtaking coastal views. Check out this fun tiki boat, or do a 2-hour Wind and Wine Sunset Sail!
  • Sunset at Mallory Square: Admire the mesmerizing beauty of a Key West sunset at Mallory Square, a lively gathering spot. Join the street performers, explore local art stalls, and snag some delectable street food as the sun paints the sky in vibrant hues.
  • Duval Crawl: Immerse yourself in the legendary nightlife of Key West with a Duval Crawl bar-hopping adventure. Duval Street boasts a vibrant array of bars, pubs, and clubs, each offering unique entertainment and live music. Embark on a pub crawl, hopping from one iconic spot to the next, and savor the lively atmosphere, tropical drinks, and boundless fun. You’re going to love this unique Key West activity! For a sneak peek at each venue and their signature drinks, check out this TikTok for insider tips!

Best places to stay in Key West:

While Key West is pretty small, it still manages to have hundreds of accommodation options. Thank goodness for this, because these places book up quickly! These are a few options that I have stayed at or stood out to me, but feel free to check out the full list here.

If you do see a hotel you like be sure to book well in advance to ensure its availability. Along with that, the further in advance you book, the better the rates are most likely going to be.

The La Concha features an outdoor pool, pool bar, and free parking. The rooms and bathrooms are modern and decently sized. The number one selling point of this hotel though has got to be its clutch location. It sits right on Duval Street!

Douglas House comes extremely highly rated and is an adult-only inn. The beach is just a short 5-minute walk, and attractions like the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum are just a mere 2-minute walk. Other great features are its shared outdoor swimming pool, free parking, and the fact that it’s pet-friendly.

Situated in another great location right off of Duval Street you’ll find Andrews Inn and Garden Cottages. Along with an outdoor pool, free parking, and extraordinary charm, you’re also offered a lovely free hot breakfast and complimentary poolside happy hour!

6. Siesta Key

Siesta Key, renowned for its powdery white sands and turquoise waters, offers a tranquil retreat on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Whether you’re lounging on the beach, exploring the village, or participating in water activities, Siesta Key promises a serene and beach-centric escape.

Top things to do in Siesta Key:

  • Siesta Key Kayak Tour: Paddle through mangroves and coastal waters via kayak or paddleboard on this epic 2-hour tour. It’s the perfect way to explore this Florida spring break destination!
  • Private Funship Adventure: You should know by now, if there is a boat with a waterslide, I’m going to suggest it. They are just such a fun time! And the perfect spring break activity. Check out this epic 4-hour boat tour that allows you to hop around to sandbars and even provides SUPs, floats, beach chairs, and beach toys.
  • Point of Rocks: Snorkel and explore the marine life around this unique geological formation. Your best bet is to do this activity in the morning when water visibility is at its best and you have a better chance at snagging a parking spot. (Find parking at Beach Access 12.)
  • Explore Sarasota: You’re so close to Sarasota! Head over and explore the Botanical Garden or The Ringling Museum. There are enough fun things to do in Sarasota you can spend a whole day here exploring.
Ringling Museum, one of the best things to do in Sarasota, Florida
Ca’ d’Zan

Best places to stay in Siesta Key:

Nestled right by the famous Siesta Key Beach, Siesta Key Beach Resort & Suites offers a perfect blend of convenience and comfort for spring breakers. Choose from a variety of accommodations, including suites and beachside villas.

Located in the heart of Siesta Key Village, the Tropical Breeze Resort provides a central hub for spring break fun. From cozy studios to spacious apartments, the resort caters to different group sizes. Enjoy the resort-style pool, stroll to nearby bars and restaurants, and take advantage of the complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas for the ultimate Siesta Key experience.

For those wanting a more intimate and boutique-style accommodation, The Ringling Beach House is a gem. Situated within walking distance to the beach and boasting stylish suites, it offers a relaxed setting with a touch of luxury. With a focus on personalized service and a tranquil ambiance, it’s a great choice for a laid-back yet sophisticated stay during spring break.

7. Destin

Known as the “Emerald Coast,” Destin boasts stunning white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters. The charming town offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re indulging in fresh seafood, exploring the vibrant harbor, or simply basking in the coastal beauty, Destin is a haven for beach enthusiasts.

Top things to do in Destin:

  • Crab Island: Dive into the ultimate spring break party at Crab Island in Destin. This lively sandbar, nestled in the sparkling Gulf of Mexico waters, is a hotspot for boaters. Immerse yourself in the festive vibe with floating bars, water slides, and live music, all while soaking up the sun. This private double-decker pontoon that takes you to Crab Island comes with two waterslides and a paddleboard!
  • Cruisin Tikis: Infuse your spring break with some fun on a Cruisin Tikis boat tour in Destin. Climb aboard these floating tiki bars, sip on tropical drinks, and bask in the sunshine as you cruise along the picturesque coast.
  • Destin Harbor Boardwalk: Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Destin Harbor Boardwalk, a lively waterfront destination. It’s lined with charming shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.
  • Clear Kayak Glow Tour: This is not your average kayak tour! This 1.5-hour adventure takes you out at night to explore a haunted Pirates Cove. The lights illuminate beneath your clear kayak so you get a unique perspective of what is going on around you in the water.

Best places to stay in Destin:

Positioned along the pristine shores of Destin, Henderson Beach Resort combines luxury with beachfront bliss. The resort features spacious rooms and suites, multiple pools, a full-service spa, and easy access to the private beach.

Offering a range of condo-style accommodations, The Palms of Destin provides a fantastic location and family-friendly atmosphere. With expansive views of the Gulf of Mexico, multiple pools, a fitness center, and on-site dining, it’s a great choice for those wanting a comfortable stay close to the heart of Destin. The rates are generally very affordable too.

Situated at the entrance of HarborWalk Village, Emerald Grande provides a unique experience with stunning harbor views. The condominium-style suites are well-appointed, and is a perfect option for spring breakers who want to be in the midst of vibrant activities.

Other Florida Spring Break Destinations

  • Anna Maria Island: Enjoy a relaxed island atmosphere with pristine beaches and local shops. Expect very chill spring break vibes here. Check out the best things to do in Anna Maria Island and the best restaurants to see if it’s your vibe.
  • Daytona Beach: Famous for its hard-packed sands and legendary racing history, Daytona Beach invites visitors to enjoy a mix of beachfront relaxation and thrilling activities. From the iconic Daytona International Speedway to the lively Boardwalk, Daytona Beach caters to both racing enthusiasts and beach lovers.
  • Fort Lauderdale: Known as the “Venice of America,” Fort Lauderdale boasts picturesque canals, upscale shopping, and a sophisticated beachfront. With its cultural attractions, water taxis, and upscale dining, Fort Lauderdale offers a blend of relaxation and cosmopolitan charm.
  • Orlando: With its world-renowned theme parks, vibrant downtown scene, and unique outdoor experiences, Orlando provides a perfect blend of excitement, entertainment, and unforgettable moments! It does lack a beach unless you don’t mind driving so keep that in mind.
  • St. Augustine: Immerse yourself in history with charming cobblestone streets and historic sites. Check out all of the best things to do in St. Augustine!

Tips For Your Epic Spring Break in Florida

  1. Plan Ahead: Florida is a popular spring break destination, so plan your trip well in advance. Book accommodations, flights, and activities early to secure the best options.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Florida’s sun can be intense, even during spring. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially if you’re spending time at the beach or exploring outdoor attractions. This is my absolute favorite water bottle! (And no, it’s not a Stanley.)
  3. Sun Protection is Key: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect yourself from the strong Florida sun. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
  4. Embrace the Local Cuisine: Florida is known for its diverse culinary scene. Try local seafood, Cuban sandwiches, and key lime pie. Venture beyond the tourist areas for hidden culinary gems.
  5. Be Beach-Ready: If you’re hitting the beaches, pack essentials like a beach towel, swimsuit, and beachwear. Many Florida destinations boast stunning coastlines, so make the most of it.
  6. Explore Beyond the Beach: While the beaches are a major draw, Florida has much more to offer. Explore nature reserves, visit museums, or take a stroll through charming historic districts.
  7. Respect the Environment: Florida is home to diverse ecosystems. Be mindful of wildlife, follow leave-no-trace principles, and respect local regulations to help preserve the natural beauty of the state.
Key West palm trees on a sunny day

Which Florida spring break destination are you heading to this year?

So there you have it—the perfect mix of sun-soaked destinations for an unforgettable spring break in Florida. From the crystalline shores of Clearwater Beach to the cultural pulse of Miami, each spot offers its own unique charm and adventures. Whether you’re into vibrant nightlife, tranquil beach retreats, or exploring rich history, Florida has something for everyone. So pack your bags, soak up the sunshine, and dive into the diverse wonders of the Sunshine State!

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8 Comments

  1. I’ve never seen Tiki Boats before! That looks like so much fun! Also I love the Cabana Club idea! Thanks for all the great tips!

  2. If I was planning a spring break I think I would choose Miama – I haven’t been there before and it looks fabulous.

  3. So many fun options I don’t know how I’d (or anyone!) be able to pick just one! I’ve never done a tiki boat tour & that sounds like a ton of fun!

  4. Thank you for this! I particularly love Miami and Key West, but after reading your overview, I just might expand my horizons a little! 🙂

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