Spring Break Facts
Spring Break Facts

32 Fun Facts about Spring Break

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published September 4, 2017
  • Every year, between 1.5 and 2 million students in the US go on spring break and collectively spend over $1 billion[9]
  • During spring break, South Padre Island averages 25 arrests a day and collects approximately $80,000 in fines.[11]
  • Approximately 75% of all students on spring break report never or rarely using a condom.[13]
  • Nearly 50% of men and 41% of women on spring break drink alcohol just prior to having sex. Students report that alcohol negatively affected their decision.[13]
  • During spring break, businesses often play into what is called the “Super Bowl of Hookups” by providing alcohol and access to rooms where college students can have sex.[10]
  • During Spring break the average male consumes about 18 alcoholic drinks a day, and the average woman consumes 10 alcoholic drinks per day.[11]
  • Spring Break Fact
    Fort Lauderdale is ground zero for spring break
  • Spring breakers have nicknamed Fort Lauderdale “Fort Liquordale.”[11]
  • During spring break each year, over 2,500 American citizens are arrested abroad.[11]
  • In Daytona Beach, Florida, six rapes were reported in just one week during spring break, and officials believe many more were unreported. Three of the victims were unconscious when they were assaulted.[6]
  • Modern spring break began in 1936 when a swimming coach at Colgate University brought his team to Fort Lauderdale to train. An annual swimming competition soon followed--as well as the swimmers’ less aquatic friends.[12]
  • Time magazine first highlighted spring break in a April 1959 article titled “Beer and the Beach.” One student they interviewed said, “It’s not that we drink so much; it’s that we drink all the time.”[1]
  • Spring break in the United States dramatically increased in popularity with the release of the book and 1960 movie titled Where the Boys Are. An English professor who tagged along with college students during spring break wrote the novel.[1]
  • The five top destinations for US spring breakers are 1) Panama City Beach, Florida, 2) Cancun, Mexico; 3) Daytona Beach, Florida; 4) South Padre Island, Texas; and Colorado’s ski resorts.[7]
  • Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'

    - Robin Williams

  • In 1997, a 24-year-old production assistant named Joe Francis began producing a series of VHS tapes of drunken women exposing their breasts in Ft. Lauderdale during the spring break. This would be the first of the Girls Gone Wild franchise. Francis said that soon everyone thought this was the norm and, consequently, “Girls Gone Wild became spring break.”[12]
  • In the early 1980s, South Padre Island became the first location outside of Florida to attract a large number of spring breakers. It became popular because those under 21 could legally drink, whereas in a majority of other states, students would have to be 21.[8]
  • In 1986, MTV aired its first spring break special from Daytona Beach where Mr. Mister and the Beastie Boys performed. It was also the first time “woody” was used on television.[12]
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida is commonly referred to as the birthplace of spring break.[12]
  • Spring break has ancient origins. Specifically, in ancient Greece and Rome, the arrival of spring was historically celebrated with the veneration of Dionysus or Bacchus, the Greek and Roman gods of wine.[1]
  • Spring Break History Fact
    Historically, the celebration of spring typically involved a bit of debauchery

  • The pioneer of student tour operators was a spring break travel company named “College Tours and Student Tours.” They were the first company to offer packages with inclusions to students specifically for spring break.[3]
  • After Cancun was leveled by a hurricane in 1988, it was purposely rebuilt as spring-break mecca. Today, Cancun hosts over 30,000 spring breakers each year.[8]
  • Fed up with spring-break debauchery, Panama City Beach declared in April 2015 that “Spring break as we know it is over” and promptly banned drinking on the beach between March and April.[5]
  • The first popular destination in Mexico for spring breakers was Mazatlan. Soon after, Cancun and Acapulco started to draw crowds as well, primarily because the drinking age there is under 21.[4]
  • In 1975, John McGuire, an owner of Pierre’s Restaurant and Bar, says he invented the first commercial wet T-shirt contest during spring break[12]
  • Wet Tshirt Contest Fact
    Wet T-shirt contests have been a staple of college spring break celebrations

  • During spring break 2015, a video was shot of a gang rape that took place along a crowded stretch of Panama City Beach. The video shows that of the hundreds onlookers, no one intervened.[5]
  • Every year during spring break, a small number of college students die from falling off of balconies.[10]
  • Fatal traffic accidents at spring break hot spots are 9.1% higher in April and March than during any other time.[14]
  • Over 57% of college females said being promiscuous during spring break was a way to fit in.[10]
  • Spring break is tied intricately to corporate marketing and advertising. Major beverage companies, such as Red Bull and Budweiser, are a ubiquitous presence during the break because they know that if they can turn a college student into a loyal customer, the student will buy their products for the next 30-40 years.[9]
  • In 1989, a University of Texas student’s spring break in Mexico turned into horror when a Mexican drug lord kidnapped and killed the student for a human sacrifice ritual.[2]
  • Random Facts about Spring Break
    Alcohol can even disrupt memory formation
  • Over half of males on spring break and more than 40% of women drank alcohol until they became sick or passed out.[11]
  • Researchers note that many hotels and resorts in Mexico are embedded with drug cartel groups. Cartels are very interested in interfering with the tourism industry, especially during spring break.[4]
  • Several universities and communities are attempting to “evolve” spring break. Specially, alternative spring break organizers are offering a chance to participate in community service and other social causes, such as tutoring migrant farmers in Florida or registering voters in Mississippi.[10]

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