They say you never forget your first Daytona Spring Break. Ours was not during college, but a few months after graduation. We landed a job at the nearby Kennedy Space Center, so our first trip to Daytona’s Spring Break was easy, and a few day trips gave us a low budget sampling of the DSB experience.
We’re still here, enjoying the World’s Best Nightlife at many of the same establishments that we partied at back in the day. Spring Break activity still includes hotel pool deck parties and lots of hot Daytona Beach clubs like the Ocean Deck, Oyster Pub, Bank and Blues Club, Boot Hill Saloon, Razzles, Coliseum, Bad Habit Lounge, and Aqua Lounge, and a few slightly more laid-back places like the North Turn and Inlet Harbor down in Ponce Inlet.
Daytona Beach is still a great choice for Spring Break, easy to get to by car, bus or air. College students still flock here From February through April, during a seven-week period when most schools take a break and students head south. Daytona is relatively easy on the budget, with plenty of affordable, student-friendly hotels and motels along the beach. Some prefer to rent oceanfront condominiums or homes, while others are content to pitch a tent in a nearby campground.
DAYTONA SPRING BREAK 2012
Of course not all of the schools take the same weeks off, spread out between February 20 and April 6. A few Canadian colleges come down in February, but the largest Spring Break weeks are between March 5 and 23.
Activities this year peak in mid-March, with a half-dozen or more concerts at the Bandshell and some of the larger bars and clubs. There are also plenty of daytime activities like drinking, bikini and wet t-shirt contests. At night, Spring Break parties abound everywhere, and you might want to shop around for a Club Card that will get you in several places.
MICKEY MOUSE, ANYONE?
Daytona is close to the Orlando theme parks, making Disney World, Seaworld and Universal a day trip away. Daytona also has DaytonaUSA, a local attraction celebrating the history of NASCAR and the Daytona International Speedway as well as the Kennedy Space Center just down the road.
HISTORY OF SPRING BREAK IN DAYTONA
When Fort Lauderdale got national attention from the 1960 movie “Where the Boys Are,” Daytona decided to go after its fair share of college tourism. Despite widespread incidents of binge drinking and nudity and the noise and mess concerns of local residents, the economic impact of Spring Break made it an important event.
In the early 80’s, MTV came to Daytona during Spring Break, and by the mid ’80s Daytona had become the “Capital of Spring Break”, with over 500,000 students visiting the city every March. Law enforcement was stretched and local residents were complaining, but the city’s businesses enjoyed the boom. When the price for hotel rooms increased along with the demand for space, Spring Break reached the point where both the students and the locals were unhappy with the situation.
Students began to look for alternative locations that would be more receptive. MTV and Spring Break tour operators helped lead the parade to Florida’s northern Gulf coast beaches and Cancun, although politics south of the border and the Gulf oil spill may have reduced the turnout. This year Daytona is looking good. We’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, here’s a handy chart showing which weeks the colleges are planning their Spring Breaks, and you can bet that some of those thousands of enrolled students will find their way to Daytona.
2012 COLLEGE SPRING BREAK CALENDAR
February 20-24, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Canada: Brock University, Carleton University, Concordia University, McGill University, Queens University, Universite du Quebec, University of Guelph, University of Lethbridge, University of Toronto
February 27 – March 2, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Bethune-Cookman College, Duquesne University, Georgia State university, Nova Southeastern University, Pepperdine University, Rice University, Rocky Mountain College, Ryerson University, Saint Francis University, St John’s University, University of Dayton, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Ottawa, Universite de Montreal
March 5-9, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Albion College, Algonquin College, Alverno College, Aurora University, Austin Peay State University, Baldwin-Wallace College, Ball State University, Barry University, Belmont University, Beloit College, Bennett College, Bishop’s University, Boston College, Bowling Green State University, Bridgewater State College, Bryn Mawr College, Campbell University, Carroll College, Central Michigan University, Clark University, College of Charleston, College of William & Mary, Columbus State University, Community College of Philadelphia, Covenant College, Creighton University, Dalton State College, Duke University, East Carolina University, East Tennessee State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Emerson College, Emory & Henry College, Ferris State University, Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic University, Florida State University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Grand Valley State University, Hampton University, Harding University, Hastings College of the Law, Hendrix College, Indiana State University, James Madison University, Kennesaw State University, Lebanon Valley College, Lehigh University, Loyola College, Maryland, Loyola University of Chicago, Mary Baldwin College, Miami University (OH), Michigan State University, Minnesota State University, Morehouse College, Normandale Community College, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina State University, Northeastern University, Northern VA Community College, Notre Dame de Namur University, Oakland University, Old Dominion University, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, Pennsylvania State University, Radford University, Saint Joseph’s University, Simmons College, South Dakota State University, Southern Arkansas University, Southern IL University at Edwardsville, St Cloud State University, Stetson University, Temple University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, Thomas More College, Universite De Sherbrooke, Universite Laval, University of Central Florida, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Evansville, University of Florida, University of Memphis, University of NC at Chapel Hill, University of NC at Charlotte, University of North Alabama, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, University of San Francisco, University of South Dakota, University of Southern Indiana, University of Tampa, University of Toledo, University of Virginia, University of Windsor, University of Wyoming, Valencia Community College, Valparaiso University, Vanderbilt University, Villanova University, Virginia Tech, Virginia Western Community College, West Chester University of PA, Western Kentucky University, Western Michigan University, Wilmington College, Wingate University, Xavier University, Yale College
March 12-16, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Adams State College, Alabama A&M University, Albright College, Alcorn State University, American University, Appalachian State University, Auburn University, Austin College, Baylor University, Bentley College, Bloomsburg University, Boston University, Bucknell University, Butler University, California University of Pennsylvania, Canisius College, Claflin University, Claremont Mckenna College, Cleveland State University, Colgate University, College of Mount St. Joseph, College of Wooster, Collin College, Colorado State University, Colorado State University, Boulder, Colorado State University, Pueblo, Columbia University NYC, Conestoga College, Connecticut College, Daytona Beach Community College, Delta State University, Earlham College, Eastern Illinois University, Edgewood College, Emory University, Fairfield University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Florida College, Florida International University, Fordham University, George Mason University, Georgia Southern University, Gonzaga University, Harvard University, Harvey Mudd College, Howard University, Humboldt State University, IUPUI, Illinois State University, Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Iona College, Iowa State University, Jackson State University, Keene State College, Lafayette College, Lakeland College, Lamar State College, Liberty University, Longwood University, Macon State College, Madison Area Technical School, Malone College, Manhattan College, Marquette University, Meharry Medical College, Miami University-Oxford, Middle Tennessee State University, Millersville University of PA, Mississippi State University, Missouri State University, Monmouth College, Montana State University, Moore College of Art and Design, Morgan State University, Naval Academy, New York University, North Dakota State University, Northern Illinois University, Northwest College, Occidental College, Ocean County College, Ohio State University, Pace University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Purdue University-Lafayette, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Sam Houston State University, Santa Fe Community College, Savannah State University, Scripps College, Silver Lake College, Slippery Rock University at PA, Southeast Missouri State University, Southern University at Baton Rouge, Southwestern Community College, St Clair College, St Louis University, State University of New York-Buffalo, Stephen F. Austin State University, Syracuse University, Tarrant County College, Texas A&M University, Texas State University-San Marco, Texas Tech University, Troy State University, Tulane University, University of Alabama, University of Calgary, University of Chicago, University of Georgia, University of Hartford, University of Houston, University of Idaho, University of Iowa, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Miami, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Mississippi, University of New Hampshire, University of New Haven, University of New Mexico, University of North Dakota, University of North Florida, University of Northern Colorado, University of Northern Iowa, University of Notre Dame, University of Rhode Island, University of Rochester, University of South Carolina, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas, University of Waterloo, University of West Florida, Utah State University, Valdosta State University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Washington State University, Weber State University, Wilson College, Winthrop University, Youngstown State University
March 19-23, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Arizona State University, Arkansas State University, Army, West Point, Bard College, Birmingham-Southern College, California College of the Arts, California Institute of Technology, Calvin College, Cambrian College, Carthage College, Central Connecticut State University, Central Missouri State University, Clemson University, Cornell University, Depaul University, Des Moines Area Community College, Drake University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Elmhurst College, Elon University, Emporia State University, Florida State College, Fort Hays State University, Georgia Institute of Technolgy, Grinnell College, Harding University, Houston Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Huntingdon College, John Hopkins University, Kansas State University, Kent State University, Lipscomb University, Manchester Community College, Mount Holyoke College, Oklahoma State University, Princeton University, Purdue University North Central, Rutgers University at New Jersey, Rutgers University at New Jersey, Camden, Rutgers University at New Jersey, Newark, Samford University, Sarah Lawrence College, Southern Arkansas University, Towson University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Arkansas, University of Central Arkansas, University of Central Missouri, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Cincinnati, University of Hawaii, University of IL at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois, Chicago, University of Kansas-Lawrence, University of Maryland, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Massachusetts, University of Mobile, University of Montevallo, University of Nebraska, University of North Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of St Thomas, University of Tennessee, University of West Georgia, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wellesley College, Western Connecticut State University, Witchita State University
March 26-30, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Air Force Academy, Brevard Community College, Brown University, California State University, Chipola Junior College, Greensboro College, Idaho State University, Indiana University Southeast, Jacksonville State University, Lewis & Clark College, Lindenwood University, Long Beach State University, Luther College, Mount Mercy College, Northwest Michigan College, Orange Coast College, Oregon State University, Pacific Lutheran University, Portland State University, San Diego State University, San Jose State, University of California, Berkeley, University of Colorado, University of Delaware, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Oregon, University of South Alabama, University of Tripsmarter, West Virginia University, Whittier College, Wright State University
April 2-6, 2012 (Mon-Fri): Augusta State University, Bates Technical College, Binghamton University, Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, University of New Orleans, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin, Parkside, University of Wisconsin, Platteville, University of Wisconsin, Stout, Wofford College
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- tripsmarter.com (college weeks)