Best Things to do During Spring Break for College Students

Looking for spring break ideas? With beaches, nightlife, festivals, parties, tours, and unforgettable experiences, San Diego is ideal for any spring breaker.
Jess Tucker
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
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Sunny San Diego: An Overview of Best Things to do During Spring Break for College Students

Tacos and Margaritas in Pacific BeachSurfer Carving a Wave at Windansea

From parties on the sand to pub crawls Downtown, San Diego has always been a popular spring break destination. Each year the beaches welcome hundreds of vacationers ready to work on their tans and ease some of the stresses of the school year.

With options for high school and college students to kick back and relax or live it up, San Diego is the place to be this spring break!

Local Tips
The Ultimate Spring Break Adventure
Plan your activities and accommodations well in advance. San Diego is a popular destination during this time, so hotels and attractions can fill up quickly.

The 12 Best Things to do During Spring Break for College Students

San Diego isn’t just a popular spring break destination for Southern California natives. With its golden beaches, outstanding weather, and a lively bar and nightlife scene, it’s one of the best spring break destinations in the United States.

Our team worked together to amass the ultimate 12 must-do activities if you’re planning spring break in San Diego with your friends!

Margarita and Tacos on the Tequila Tacos Tombstones Walking Tour in Old Town
Margarita and Tacos on the Tequila Tacos Tombstones Walking Tour in Old Town

1) San Diego: Old Town Tales, Tacos, and Tequila Walking Tour

San Diego Tours: 10 Best San Diego Food & Beer Tours

Sample the best of what the Old Town neighborhood has to offer on the Old Town Tales, Tacos, and Tequila Walking Tour. Drink and dine your way around the neighborhood while listening to interesting stories from its history.

Tours are offered daily starting at 1:00 pm and depart from the meeting point at 3963 Conde St, San Diego, CA 92110. Tickets are $75 per person.

The Tales, Tacos, and Tequila Walking Tour is also one of our picks for San Diego’s best food and drink tours, and is highlighted in our Complete Guide to All the Holidays in San Diego.

Book Tequila Tour
Tropical Tiki Cocktails at The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach
Tropical Tiki Cocktails at The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach

2) Go to a Speakeasy - Oculto / Grass Skirt / Captains Quarters

Neighborhood: Pacific Beach

San Diego is well-known for its craft beer scene, especially in North Park and at historic Ballast Point. For spring breakers seeking a unique way to get the party started, though, San Diego is also home to a number of bars set up in the style of 1920s speakeasies.

Old-timey speakeasies like Oculto 477 in Old Town and The Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach will transport you back through time to the wild parties and glamor of the Prohibition Era. Right next door to The Grass Skirt is Captain’s Quarters, with a drink menu themed around rum-running pirates.

Beach in North Pacific Beach
Beach in North Pacific Beach

3) Go Surfing in Pacific Beach

Neighborhood: Pacific Beach

There are excellent surfing beaches all along the Pacific Coast, but some of our favorites are in Pacific Beach, which is especially lively during spring break with a big college student crowd.

Beginner surfers can try their hand at spots like Tourmaline Surf Park and North Pacific Beach, while the waves at PB Point offer a welcome challenge.

Looking for ways to save while you surf? Rent a board for cheap with the Go City San Diego pass, and use our GVSD5OFF discount code when you buy your pass.

Book a Surfing Lesson
View of Downtown San Diego from Waterfront Park in Harborview
View of Downtown San Diego from Waterfront Park in Harborview

4) Music Festival : CRSSD Festival Spring 2024

Neighborhood: Harborview

Watch live performances of electronic music against a backdrop of sun and sea at the Spring 2024 CRSSD festival. The event by FNGRS CRSSD features three different stages and over 50 different musical artists.

The musical festival is set to take place on March 2nd and 3rd, 2024, at Waterfront Park and within view of the San Diego Bay.

CRSSD Festival is a 21+ event that runs all day and spills over into afterparties at nightlife venues of the Gaslamp Quarter.

Getting a Bite to Eat on the Little Italy Food Walking Tour
Getting a Bite to Eat on the Little Italy Food Walking Tour

5) Go on a Bar Crawl

San Diego Tours: 10 Best San Diego Food & Beer Tours

Want to embrace the party vibes while on vacation? The breweries, pubs, and other bars in San Diego are perfect for spring breakers.

At North Park, you can crawl your way down 30th Street, San Diego’s most famous craft beer hub. Many Gaslamp Quarter bars stay open late, as do spots Downtown San Diego and in Little Italy.

Looking for a more structured pub crawl? Try a food and beer tour like the Brewery and Tap Room Sidecar Tour or the North Park Beer-ucation Tour.

Book Beer Tour
Boardwalk and Volleyball Mission Beach
Boardwalk and Volleyball Mission Beach

6) Ride Skateboards on the Boardwalk at Pacific Beach

Neighborhood: Pacific Beach

San Diego’s Pacific Beach is among the city’s best spring break destinations, with plenty of space to sunbathe, swim, and surf. The party atmosphere during spring break carries over to the nearby boardwalk, a shopping and dining destination.

The Pacific beach boardwalk is concrete and skateboarder-friendly. You can also rent a bike with a Go City San Diego pass and ride down toward the peninsula to reach Mission Beach.

Beautiful Art at the San Diego Art Museum
Beautiful Art at the San Diego Art Museum

7) Art Alive Floral Exhibition

Balboa Park Museums: The San Diego Museum of Art

Visiting a museum might not be everybody’s first spring break idea, but it can make for a nice break from partying.

Swing by the San Diego Museum of Art from April 25th-28th, 2024 to see their annual Art Alive Floral Exhibition, and walk among Instagram-worthy floral arrangements.

Like many of the other museums in Balboa Park, visiting the SDMA is cheaper with a Go City San Diego pass. Other attractions that help make San Diego a great spring break destination include the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego / Central (ICA San Diego/Central).

The Sun Setting in the Carlsbad Village
The Sun Setting in the Carlsbad Village

8) Carlsbad Village: 3-Hour Local Food Tour

Neighborhood: Carlsbad

Choosing the right spring break destination is a chance to indulge in drinking and dining. Like many of the activities featured in our article A Complete Guide to All the Holidays in San Diego, dining at restaurants is a surefire way to experience local culture.

Having trouble choosing? Why not try them all?

On the Carlsbad Village: 3-Hour Local Food Tour, you’ll sample dishes from a selection of incredible Carlsbad restaurants while also learning about the neighborhood’s history and its landmarks.

Tours embark from Caldo Pomodoro at 2907 State Street, Carlsbad CA.

Book Food Tour
Indoor Skydiving at Ifly Oceanside
Indoor Skydiving at Ifly Oceanside

9) iLets fly! FLY San Diego-Mission Valley: First Time Flyer Experience

Neighborhood: Mission Valley

Here’s a fun idea for spring breakers: indoor skydiving! iFLY uses vertical wind tunnels to simulate the skydiving experience in a way that’s just as thrilling as the real thing.

iFLY’s First Time Flyer Experience is ideal for newbies. Group pricing rates are also available.

The Mission Valley iFly is located at 2385 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA 92108. Both the Mission Valley and Oceanside iFLY experiences are part of the Go City San Diego All-inclusive pass. Pick up a pass with our discount code (GVSD5OFF) to save during booking!

Book Tour
Surfer Carving a Wave at Windansea
Surfer Carving a Wave at Windansea

10) Grab a Cocktail During Sunset in La Jolla

Neighborhood: La Jolla

There’s nothing quite like relaxing on the sands of a La Jolla beach before going to an ocean view bar and enjoying a spectacular view of the sunset.

The view of the sunset in La Jolla is gorgeous enough to rival other top spots for spring breakers like Panama City Beach and South Padre Island. Your photos will be right at home among pictures from Myrtle Beach and Cabo San Lucas.

Our article Best Places to Watch the Sunset in San Diego has other ways to enjoy the golden hour in San Diego, from breezy national park hikes to harbor cruises.

Little Italy District in San Diego
Little Italy District in San Diego

11) Have fun at Downtown and Gaslamp Loop Scooter Tour

Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter

Take an hour-long tour through San Diego’s most famous landmarks on the Downtown and Gaslamp Loop Scooter Tour. Ride your own scooter and travel to different locations around the city while enjoying narration from the scooter’s talking GPS.

The scooter tour is $59.81 per person. Locations include stops throughout Little Italy, Downtown San Diego, and the Gaslamp Quarter.

Book Tour
El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town San Diego
El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town San Diego

12) Enjoy the Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour

Neighborhood: Old Town San Diego

Interested in the spooky side of San Diego? The after-dark Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour is the best way to learn about rumored hauntings and the true crimes from San Diego’s history that inspired these ghost tales.

The trolley tour departs at 7:00 pm daily and costs $40.74 per person. Meet your tour guide at 4010 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110.

Book Tour
Trolly Ride with Go Pass!
2-Day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego
Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley
Using your Go Pass, grab a 2 day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley. The trolley tour takes you through all the most popular areas of San Diego. It's a great way to start your trip and you'll learn where everything around the city is located.
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Local Tips
How much can you save by using the Go City San Diego pass?

The Go City San Diego pass is the perfect way to explore more attractions and activities that the area has to offer, all while being cost-efficient.

With the Go City San Diego pass, you can save up to 55% off admission fees at some of the area’s most popular attractions.

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

What to Know Before You Leave for Spring Break

Stairs from Law Street Park to Beach
Stairs from Law Street Park to Beach

How Expensive is San Diego for Spring Break?

Cheap spring break destinations are in short supply, with popular spots like New Orleans, Panama City, Daytona Beach, Puerto Rico, Las Vegas, and Key West promising expensive travel costs.

Luckily, San Diego is full of free things to do and cheap activities, especially with a Go City San Diego pass in hand.

Kids Train at Balboa Park
Kids Train at Balboa Park

Are there Spring Break Activities for Younger Kids?

Planning on skipping the Disney World trip and visiting San Diego with the family this spring break?

See what kid-friendly activities await with our list of the Best Things to Do During Spring Break for kids.

Featured Hotel
Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Exterior view, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego
Boutique
Boutique
Near Bay
Near Bay
Pool
Pool
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Dining at MaryJane’s, viewing famous rock memorabilia, and visiting Old Town San Diego are some of our favorite reasons to stay at the iconic Hard Rock Hotel.
Prices Starting at $189
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Looking to Save on Tickets?
Save on Tickets
Explore all that San Diego has to offer & save up to 55% on attractions
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Tours & Adventures
GoCar: Downtown & Balboa Park
GoCar: Downtown & Balboa Park
$63 per person
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Historic Whaley House Museum
Historic Whaley House Museum
Discounts Available
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Looking for Something Different?
More Holidays in San Diego