College might be primarily about education, but an important component of the college experience is spring break. Scheduled for March and sometimes April each year, spring break is the college student’s a rite of passage — an event that encourages the formation of social bonds and a time to get away from the stress of school  There are some good budget-priced spring break options for students who are strapped for cash, and for Houston-area college students, there are several fun destinations all located within driving distance of local universities. Here are some of the top spring break destinations near Houston for college students:
South Padre Island
Isla Grand Beach Resort
500 Padre Blvd.
South Padre Island, TX 78597
(956) 761-6511

Located at the southern tip of Texas right next to the Mexican border, South Padre Island is one of the top spring break destinations for college students across the United States. The narrow barrier island is lined with resort properties with sandy beaches and large stretches of open space for college student debauchery. South Padre Island’s extreme southern location means the temperatures during spring break are warmer than those of other top destinations. With warmer weather, college students have more opportunities to put on the swimming suit, play a game of volleyball and head to the beach for fun in the sun. With so much to offer from great beaches to blue water and nice resorts, South Padre Island is a top spring break destination for college students in Texas and across the nation.

New Orleans 
Pelham Hotel
444 Common St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(504) 522-4444

A spring break destination doesn’t have to involve sun and sand. One of the best destinations for Houston college students looking for a place for fun without swimsuits is New Orleans, America’s number one party central. Students can roam the French Quarter, listen to jazz music and otherwise party the night away at one of the hundreds of hot night spots. Each day brings something new when you visit New Orleans and college students will cherish the memories they make and the great times they share with fellow students and friends. It’s just a few hours east of Houston and it makes a great choice for a spring break getaway.

Corpus Christi
Raddison Corpus Christi Beach
3200 E. Surfside Blvd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78402
(361) 883-9700

A nice place to visit for sand and surf, Corpus Christi represents a somewhat quieter place for spring break fun. South Padre Island and other top spring break destinations are often overflowing with students, but Corpus Christi is a little slower and the lack of crowds make it ideal for students who want to have fun but also want a little privacy. Students can spend some time on the beach, go deep sea fishing and even take a tour of the USS Lexington and Texas State Aquarium. Corpus Christi is relatively close to Houston compared to most other spring break destinations and its generally less expensive accommodations and activities make it ideal for students on a budget.

Related: Houston’s Top Guided Tours

Guadalupe River
Hampton Inn
1130 Larkin Ave.
Seguin, TX 78155
(830) 379-4400

A completely different type of spring break getaway awaits students at the Guadalupe River in central Texas. The reason for the Guadalupe River’s popularity is tubing and anyone who has visited here during the prime season will attest to the hundreds of individuals floating down the river on inner tubes of all sizes. The Guadalupe River is scenic and accommodating to those who take a relaxing ride down its easy-going, slow-moving waters and students will love the instant loss of stress as they lie back on the inner tube and float downstream. The Guadalupe River is located just a couple hours west of downtown Houston and it makes the perfect choice for the more adventurous student who wants to have spring break fun in a less conventional way.

San Luis Resort
5222 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77551
(409) 744-1500

Houston’s coastal neighbor to the south, Galveston is an island destination that makes a great spring break option for Houston students who prefer to travel close to their college or university. College students often want spring break to include beaches and Galveston has several of them located along its southern shore. What college students will like is that a spring break visit to Galveston is more than just a time to spend on the beach. The island offers several museums, the Schlitterbahn waterpark, the historic Strand in downtown, the Pleasure Pier and much more. Less than one hour south of Houston, Galveston is great for college students who prefer a wider range of activities all within close proximity to their local school.

Related: Five Reasons to Visit Houston in 2015

Bryan Carey is a Houston, Texas resident with an avid interest in restaurants, dining, breweries, wineries, festivals, cultural events, museums, theatre, concerts, and other forms of entertainment. He has been writing about entertainment, travel, and related topics for more than fifteen years and has thousands of articles to his credit. His work can be found at