Every March at around this time, some of the world's most gorgeous beach destinations are taken hostage by crowds of rowdy college students in the delightful ritual known as Spring Break. To save your vacation-and your sanity-we've put together a list of destinations you should avoid, and where you should go instead.
angelo cavalli / Alamy
Skip: Ft. Lauderdale
Instead: Hollywood, FL
You can avoid out-of-control college students wreaking havoc throughout Ft. Lauderdale, if you head just fifteen minutes outside of the city to Hollywood, FL. There you'll find the protected North Beach, an eco-friendly oasis that has a sea-turtle hatchery. For water adventures, the nearby Anne Kolb Nature Center at West Lake Park offers canoes and kayaks to explore the marine life through mangrove channels. For dinner, head to open-air bar Le Tub Saloon for its celebrated sirloin burgers and chili.
Skip: Cancún, Mexico
Instead: Tulum, Mexico
You'll want to steer clear of Cancún, home of MTV U's Spring Break Village. A less stressful experience is waiting just two hours' drive away on the powdery white sands of Tulum. Instead of beaches strewn with beer bottles, you'll find quiet jungles and Mayan ruins; instead of rowdy, all-day pool parties you'll find peaceful, secluded resorts like Playa Mambo.
The oceanfront Sanctuary Hotel at Kiawah Island Golf resort is a reader favorite: It has 24 tennis courts, 5 golf courses, and 6 pools, all 30 minutes from Charleston. Courtesy Sanctuary Hotel
Skip: Hilton Head, South Carolina
Instead: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head earned a spot on our readers' list of the Top 10 Islands in America, but that's not the only South Carolina island they love: The resort island of Kiawah ranked even higher. A reader described it as a prime spot for a "vacation away from all the hustle and bustle of mainstream America." It also boasts an impressive nature preserve, so between trips to the expansive beaches and afternoons on the renowned golf course, make sure to check out the exotic wildlife. Don't miss a day trip to charming and historic Charleston either-our readers voted it the No. 1 city in the U.S. for three years running, and the friendliest.
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