The Most Popular Spring Break Destinations Revealed

by Kathy Kehrli  |  Updated February 29, 2016

TravelMag’s latest survey has revealed Panama City Beach to be U.S. students’ favorite spring break destination. In coming up with the rankings, the survey established the 20 most popular spring break locations worldwide. Queries conducted by spring breakers on the Google search engine served as the foundation for the list’s creation.

Panama City Beach (Photo: Brent Moore via Flickr)

Panama City Beach (Photo: Brent Moore via Flickr)

Google’s “Keyword Planner Tool” was specifically used in determining the rankings. The frequency with which a certain destination in conjunction with “spring break” was typed into the search engine yielded the results. Because 2016 data is obviously not yet available, the survey used searches conducted during February and March of 2015 as the benchmark in setting the rankings.

To illustrate, the survey uncovered that “Las Vegas Spring Break” was typed into Google 2200 times by United States residents during that time period. Searches closely related to that phrase, like “Spring Break Las Vegas,” “Vegas Spring Break” or “Las Vegas Spring Break 2015,” were also taken into consideration. When they were, Las Vegas appeared in 13,000 queries related to spring break. As a result, Sin City ranks number nine most popular among all spring break locales.

The following table lists the Top 20 most popular spring break destinations for Americans based on the number of related queries conducted on the Google search engine. The February and March 2015 timeframe served as the basis for establishing the rankings.

1. Panama City Beach (Florida) 224,000
2. South Padre Island (Texas) 64,000
3. Lake Havasu City (Arizona) 49,000
4. Cancun (Mexico) 33,000
5. Miami Beach (Florida) 29,000
6. Daytona Beach (Florida) 21,000
7. Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) 21,000
8. Fort Lauderdale (Florida) 19,000
9. Las Vegas (Nevada) 13,000
10. Gulf Shores (Alabama) 8,000
11. Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) 8,000
12. San Diego (California) 7,000
13. Key West (Florida) 6,000
14. Destin (Florida) 6,000
15. Port Aransas (Texas) 6,000
16. Galveston (Texas) 6,000
17. New Orleans (Louisiana) 6,000
18. Corpus Christi (Texas) 5,000
19. Virginia Beach (Virginia) 4,000
20. Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) 4,000