Just because it’s been years since you were a college co-ed, doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the age-old ritual of spring break and take advantage of all the sun and fun. We’ve found some more adult versions of beach spots popular with adolescents. Tequila shots and booty shaking are up to you.
Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach both lure thousands of rowdy students for nonstop partying and wet t-shirt contests galore.
Instead, visit St. Petersburg, where the $36 million Salvador Dalí Museum just opened in an impressive hurricane-proof building along the waterfront. When you’re not trying to decipher the surrealist’s work, relax at the newly-renovated Don CeSar (from $199), an immense pink hotel right on the beach. Serenity is steps away in an 11,000-square-foot spa offering treatments infused with orange blossom and other sweet scents.
For decades, margarita madness has led many an adolescent to flash the camera and hook up with random guys in places like Cancun and Cabo.
Instead, slow down in the colonial city of Mérida on the Yucatan peninsula. You can swim in underground caves known as cenotes, considered sacred by the ancient Mayans, and tour the working hacienda Sotuta de Peon, where you’ll see the production process of the agave plant called sisal. Siestas are sweeter at the boutique hotel Rosas & Xocolate (from $234), where turndown service includes chocolate made by the in-house chocolatier.
Bachata, Barceló rum and a teeny bikini make a potent cocktail in Punta Cana, where all-inclusive packages are one of the biggest draws for teens.
Instead, discover the fishing village of Las Terranas on the Samaná Peninsula, a breeding ground for whales between January and March and the perfect hideaway for beach bums. Rent a quad to four-wheel it from white-sand Playa Las Ballenas to more secluded Playa Bonita. Home is one of 86 units at the brand new luxury Balcones del Atlantico (from $300), equipped with gourmet kitchens and private terraces.
While not as wild as the other destinations, Tamarindo does attract college-age surfer guys and gals wanting to hang ten at the beach and hang out till all hours of the night.
Instead, stay in a tropical cloud forest in Bajos del Toro, located in Costa Rica’s Central Volcanic Valley. Visit the still-active Arenal Volcano, raft along the clear mountain streams of the Sarapiqui River and horseback ride on rugged trails. After an adventurous day, head to eco-friendly wellness retreat El Silencio Lodge & Spa (from $170), which is situated on a private reserve and has its own greenhouse, where you can pick out veggies for a delicious lunch.