So, spring break 2021 is….happening...ish? Kinda. Maybe. Sort of. Whatever your interpretation of spring break entails––be it a rental house with the quar-pod, a road trip, or something else entirely––we’ve got destinations and swimwear to suggest for your vacation. If you’re not heading into the great unknown just yet, bookmark these ideas for travel later this year or maybe even for spring break 2022. There’s no rush, since these hotspots aren’t going anywhere either!
If You Want Classic Spring Break Atmosphere: St. Pete Beach, Florida
Just a touch outside of the traditional spring break party twosome of Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach, St. Pete Beach is still a lively location for mid-March vacay that offers the festive feel of those collegiate haunts with smaller crowds. If you’re not going to splurge by staying at the crown jewel of this key (barrier island), aka: the giant flamingo-pink Don CeSar Hotel, never fear. St. Pete Beach has hotels and rentals in all price ranges, so you’ll be able to access the sugar-fine white sand and the warm, lapping waves of the Gulf of Mexico whatever your budget. Of the many surfside bars and restaurants to choose from, check out Caddy’s Treasure Island if you prefer to imbibe an “adult beverage” with your toes still in the sand. That’s right, you can walk straight from the water and grab your ‘rita thanks to their private beachfront (it’s perfectly legal). While Florida currently has no statewide travel restrictions, be sure to double-check with your hotel or vacation rental service to make sure you’re following any additional protocols.
What to Pack: Tricolor Triangle Bikini
We’re thinking that the teeniest bikini possible would be an apt addition to your suitcase for this locale. It’s a Floridian spring break after all, even if it’s not happening in the most party-friendly of times. A skimpy and ultra-sultry two-piece swimsuit like the Tricolor Triangle Bikini is the wearable equivalent of pure Gulf coast fun. Cheerfully bright colors––check out that cute contrasting trim––help to balance out all of the bareness. You probably noticed the sleek triangle-style bralette bikini top, but everyone will notice its coordinating thong-back bikini bottom! This swimsuit absolutely makes the most of the “suns-out, buns-out” moment you’ve been waiting for since this time last year.
If You’re Looking for Small-Town Charm: Jekyll Island, Georgia
This is a low-key spring break location that’s more about personality than partying. Part of the Golden Isles of Georgia’s barrier islands, Jekyll Island has beautiful Atlantic Ocean-facing beaches, plentiful history, and enough southern hospitality to charm the pecans right out of the pralines. The must-do activity here is walking along the famous Jekyll Island sandbar at low tide while pretending to stride atop the water. Once high tide draws near, head back to the shore for sunbathing, an outdoor tour of the Landmark historic district, or a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which has an in-situ hospital for curing these prehistoric-looking (but somehow still adorable) creatures. Arbiters of taste like Architectural Digest magazine have named it one of the most beautiful small towns in America, but you can decide for yourself if it lives up to the hype.
What should you pack when you want to wear a bikini but look a touch demure at the same time? Finally, a conundrum we actually know how to solve! Our answer: bring along the Cute Yellow Knotted Bikini Top and the coordinating Yellow Buttoned High Waisted Bikini Bottom, both in a soft buttercup tone. This bikini works well for a trip to Jekyll Island, which was once the vacation choice for wealthy bankers in days of yore and retains a touch of that old-school reserve. Not that a louder print or a more revealing cut would be frowned upon, but sometimes a subtler (though no less adorable) swimwear option makes the better choice. We can just see it now: you’re in this two-piece swimsuit topped with a floppy straw hat, riding a beach cruiser bicycle down one of the many shore-adjacent paths.
If You Want the Good Times to Roll: New Orleans, Louisiana
While we’d normally advise visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras celebrations, the floats will not be parading down the wide avenues this year, so spring break makes as good a time as any to head to the Big Easy. New Orleans has some restrictions in place like crowd caps to maintain social distancing orders, but it won’t keep you from enjoying one of the liveliest cities in the U.S. With the warm temperatures in March, consider taking tours of the swamps and the cemeteries (it’s a thing here), which ensure plenty of outdoor fun during the few hours when you’re not imbibing––this is a famous drinking city, after all. Head to the historic Napoleon House for a real muffuletta sandwich chased down with a Pimm’s Cup cocktail, then take a stroll through the French Quarter. But let’s get one thing straight: you may not call it ‘Nawlins unless you happen to be Harry Connick, Jr. or a member of the Marsalis family.
What to Pack: White Crochet Trim Cover Up
Admittedly, you won’t be hopping from beach to beach in New Orleans, though there’s plenty of time during spring break week for a side trip to Biloxi Beach, Mississippi, which is less than two hours away, if you’re desperate for surf, sun, and sand. In the meantime, you’ll need something to wear on Bourbon street and beyond––a piece that can multitask, like the White Crochet Trim Cover Up. As the name implies, it is both a blazer and a cover-up, with a lightweight weave that can stand up to Louisiana’s torrid humidity. Throw it on with a tank and shorts for daytime exploring, or wear it belted over a slip dress for a sophisticated evening look. Since it’s a cover up, you can and should pair it with a swimsuit, too. Either leave it open like a kimono or tie it at the waist like a robe. This cover-up might be the hardest-working item you put in the suitcase!
If You’re Entranced by the Desert: Tucson, Arizona
Hear us out, ok? Tucson is...not exactly a waterfront location. But it is home to the popular party-centric University of Arizona (go wildcats!) and happens to be engaged in a full-fledged downtown renaissance right now, too. It’s reliably warm in March, with plenty of posh pools that can be accessed with day passes, so you’ll have no shortage of places to sunbathe, drink, and take dips. Plus, once you feel the magical pull of the Sonoran desert, you might not miss the beach as much as you think. During the day, take a hike in Saguaro National Park amongst the sometimes funny-looking and otherworldly forms of the park’s namesake cacti if you’re feeling motivated. Alternatively, stay in a private poolside cabana if you’re not. While there are many luxury resorts in Tucson, we’d recommend staying somewhere with a little more flavor. Either the Tuxson, a recent and rather swank addition to the hotel scene, or the Hotel McCoy, a decidedly IG-friendly 60s hangout featuring murals everywhere, would make a great home base. No visit to Tucson is complete without sampling a Sonoran hot dog, a delicious gut-bomb wrapped in bacon and topped with pinto beans, either!
What to Pack: Striped Ribbed One-Piece Swimsuit
If you plan to spend some pool time at either of these hipster hotels, you’ll want to pack a swimsuit with similar low-key appeal. The Striped Ribbed One-Piece Swimsuit nail the same retro-cool vibes as the location. The textured fabric and striped pattern give it a late-1970s look with a touch of tomboy attitude. Should you decide to leave your perch on the pool deck for some urban (or desert) exploration, this maillot can double as a bodysuit and become the cornerstone of an outfit in a flash. Whether done as cutoffs or a mini skirt, denim makes a simple pairing choice, but we also love it teamed with a tiered peasant-style maxi skirt. Or head in a different sartorial direction altogether and match this one-piece swimsuit with hip-slung track pants and your favorite sneakers. Anything goes when you’re on spring break, right?