Spring Break

"Spring break!" The mere mention of the phrase would conjure distinct visions of fun for any particular age group in American history. For well-heeled college students at least as far back as the 19th Century, the spring holiday was a casual time to recuperate from academic stresses. For those who came of age in the late 1950s and early 60s, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello defined and inspired a more established spring break ritual. Young adults today, who have never known life without MTV, experience spring break as an aggressively produced and marketed event that has all the flash of a rock concert, major sporting event, and fashion show, all rolled into one annual beach blast.

Over the years, spring break revelers have made a home for themselves at many different beach locales. The Frankie and Annette crowd could be found primarily at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach, also in Florida, began solidifying their own respective popularity not long after. Palm Beach, California, along with international stars Cancun, Acapulco, and the Bahamas, have all established themselves as crowd favorites today.

There's another major spring break hotspot right in Texas' backyard. South Padre Island, 25 miles north of Mexico on the Texas gulf coast, has gained steadily in popularity since the tents and bonfires of the 60s. South Padre Island offers an expansive five mile stretch of beach, and there is ample lodging to accomodate any budget. A trip into Mexico is only a thirty minute drive, for those spring breakers who want an international experience. For spring break with a Texas flair, come on down to South Padre Island.

Mark Stone