Top five Bobcat spring break destinations

Trends Reporter

South Padre Island, TX

Close, crazy and—most importantly—cheap, South Padre Island welcomes approximately 40,000 visitors during the month of March. The island’s popularity stems from allowing patrons to have alcohol on the beach, said Mary K. Hancock, South Padre Island special events manager. March 8-15 is known locally as Texas Week because that is when most universities have their break. This year, the beach is hosting a four-day musical event packed with major musical acts. This year’s Ultimate Music Experience features performances from dubstep superstars Bassnectar and Zedd.

“South Padre welcomes spring break, we always have,” Hancock said. It brings new attitudes, new life and new energy to the island. Everybody is happy.”

Local Options

Students don’t have to venture too far from home for an enjoyable spring break. San Marcos and surrounding areas offer Bobcats plenty of opportunities to have fun with friends. The San Marcos River, an ever-popular destination, stays temperate all season long. Grab a group of friends and hitch floats together for a lazy day in the sun. A few miles to the north, Austin’s world-famous South By Southwest festival kicks off tomorrow with film screenings, major music acts and interesting seminars. No wristband? No problem. There are several free concerts, screenings and parties scattered throughout the city.

Loving on Laredo – LoL

Cru, also known as Campus Crusade for Christ, offers an alternative option for spring breaking Bobcats. Consisting of a five-day trip to Laredo filled with service projects, Cru is designed to give students the opportunity to give back to the Texas community.

“Sometimes people need a different break,” said John Nelson, full-time Cru Intern.  “It is universally recognized that giving is better than receiving. It would be more refreshing than the typical spring break event.”

Some of the service projects volunteers participate in include assisting a food bank that caters to soldiers and their families.

“The main goal is, one, provide students with a fun positive spiritually oriented Spring Break, and two, serve the people of Laredo in a positive way,” Nelson said.

Bobcat Break

While some Bobcats hit the beach during their weeklong vacation, the Student Volunteer Connection takes a group of students on a trip called Bobcat Break to perform habitat-focused services for a community. This year, Bobcat Break is going on three trips. One team is heading to Dallas to facilitate a kids camp at the Cancer Research Center, the Houston team is volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club and another team is traveling to Santa Fe, N.M .to help build houses with Habitat for Humanity.

“Alternative spring breaks are a growing trend, especially among universities,” said Chelsea Whittington, Bobcat Break chair. “One main component of alternative spring breaks across the nation is an alcohol and drug free trip. Obviously, if you’re interest is in the people you’re serving, this isn’t an issue at all.”

Panama City Beach, FL

Known as the spring break capital of the world thanks to its 100,000-plus yearly visitors through March and April, Panama City Beach offers a series of nationally acclaimed musical acts. Luke Bryan, Flo Rida and Drake have performed in the past.  Patrons can walk the beach and score free items from vendors (known as swag) and participate in the infamous spring break contests including wet t-shirt competitions. Many vendors offer shirts emblazed with “Ain’t No Party Like a PCB Party,” a phrase that always rings true.

The requirements to apply to participate in Bobcat Break are a good standing with the university, at least half-time enrollment and a 2.5 or higher GPA. The cost of the trip is approximately $125, and includes housing, food and weeklong transportation.