Spring Break in Central Florida: What to Do, Where to Go and What to Avoid

Spring break can mean different things to different people, but one thing is for sure. The COVID-charged pent-up demand has propelled a boring, sleepy spring break into the realm of spectacular – whether you are into riotous partying or family-friendly fun.

Get the Party Started!

So first, let’s give credit, where credit is due. Let’s address Daytona Beach because, with so much to see and do within a beautiful environment and a vibrant nightlife club scene that is hard to beat, Daytona Beach is a top spring break destination in Florida…and on the entire planet, for that matter!

Having earned its moniker of “World’s Most Famous Beach,” Daytona offers miles upon miles of sugary sand beaches, and a boardwalk with arcade games and amusement park-style rides, eats and shops. Then there is the iconic, beachside Bandshell amphitheater boasting a massive list of concerts. Just an aside – all of them are free during the summer months!

Plus, all of that fun in the sun can be followed up with a club scene chaser because Daytona Beach provides some of the most exciting nightlife anywhere! From dance clubs to boisterous bars, Daytona Beach has whatever you desire. For instance, billed as Daytona Beach’s hottest nightclub and a spring break party starter for 35 years, Razzle’s Nightclub comes complete with VIP bottle service, its own spring break agenda with free drinks, a location in the epicenter of the Sea Breeze Nightlife District and the perfect dance floor to show off your sick moves.

You won’t want to miss the 509 Lounge, a two-story lounge with parties indoors and out; Sky Lounge, with its rooftop view; Knock, Knock, which is a new club everyone says you just have to try; and even Daytona Beach’s own Coyote Ugly Salon with bar top dancing!

Then there are the authentic biker bars on Main Street, like Boot Hill Saloon, Froggy’s Saloon and Dirty Harry’s Pub, which entice their spring break patrons with icy cold brews and great live music. 

Family-Friendly Fun in the Sun

If you prefer to avoid the spring break party scene, Central Florida also offers a wide array of family-friendly spring break fun – from enjoying watersports, to appreciating nature and wildlife, to exploring the area and taking part in interesting activities.

There are alligator airboat tours, guided nature tours and boat tours along Cape Canaveral Seashore, where you may see porpoises frolic in your tour boat’s wake and manatees lounging amidst the seagrasses.

There are rentals from golf carts for sightseeing in the open air; to watersports rentals for boats, kayaks, paddleboards and more.

There’s Disney Springs, with family-friendly entertainment, dining and shops. There’s Sea World, with its unparalleled aquatic shows and LEGOLAND, with interactive shows, attractions and over 50 rides, as well as Pirate Island Hotel to make your stay even more fun.

Safari Wilderness in Lakeland enables visitors to (safely) get up close and personal with exotic animals, with everything from lemur feeding, to camel riding and cheetah spotting. Safari Wilderness has also just launched its Premium Camping Experience, promising overnight, safari-like fun! Like baseball? How about checking out spring training in Tigertown?

Prefer the Wild West? Then plan a trip to Westgate River Ranch and Rodeo, offering accommodations in cabins, teepees, on a covered wagon or straight-up camping or glamping. They have horseback riding, boating…basically, all the fun things you would want to experience outdoors!

You can visit the Marine Discovery Center, with hands-on, feet-wet fun in one of our country’s most diverse estuaries. It’s located in the beautiful, beachside, charming town of New Smyrna Beach, where you can also delve into its rich history, plenty of local appeal, and possibly an ice cream soda at the local creamery!

Or opt for Edgewater, nestled along the Indian River and offering Intracoastal waterfront beauty, as well as a slew of parks, including 14-acre Whistle Stop Park with a 7,000 square-foot skate park, flow bowl and a brand new splash pad!

Let’s not leave out Cocoa Beach, a beachside beauty known for its world famous pier, the world’s largest surf shop and the out of this world Kennedy Space Center Complex, with space exhibits, Cape Canaveral rocket launchings and a bunch of food and other fun.

Love history? Try quaint St. Augustine, home 20 miles of gorgeous shoreline and historical landmarks including Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth and Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Mix in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum and you’ve definitely had your fun filled to the top!

Dare I mention theme parks – which can be the best of both worlds? Orlando offers limitless fun with great nightlife downtown. Of course there is Disney World, and this year Universal Studios is hosting Mardi Gras fun through April 24th – a dynamic event with live concerts and spicy cuisine that would put The Big Easy to shame.

The Somewhat Questionable Side of Things

The downside of spring break this year is that we’re all looking at higher prices for things like lodging, airfares, gas and eats; and with the higher demand, you also need to book anything vacation-related a good deal in advance. One more word to the wise, if you happen to play a role in the adult daily grind, whatever you do on spring break, stay away from your work email and put that phone down!

There is some good news though. COVID restrictions are relaxing and the weather here in Central Florida promises to be gorgeous.