Lake Havasu
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Spring break hot spots

Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

This town of 55,000 expects 15,000 to 20,000 visitors during the last three weeks of March, many of them college students from California, Arizona and Colorado. The town is about 10 miles from the California border and 60 miles south of Las Vegas.

Party barges, boats and revelers crowd a sandbar on the Colorado River near Lake Havasu City. (Robert Caplin, Los Angeles Times)
Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Near the water, students occupy scores of houseboats and other vessels, many of them rented from outfitters like Arizona Watersports and Paradise Boat Rentals. Many gather at Bridgewater Channel (a mile-long stretch beneath the city’s imported London Bridge), Copper Canyon (a cove with rocks that daredevils jump from, see photo), Steamboat Cove and Satellite Cove. (Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times)
Lake Havasu
Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

Some say this hot spot (including the Copper Canyon area, pictured) peaked during the MTV years in the early 1990s, and there’s talk that the Mexican outpost of Puerto Penasco, 60 miles south of the Arizona border, has been stealing market share. (Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times)
Acapulco
Acapulco, Mexico

With beaches, clubs and temperate weather, Acapulco has traditionally been a huge draw for college students. Thousands come during spring break.

American students prepare to make a toast in a hotel pool in Acapulco. (Eduardo Verdugo, Associated Press)
Acapulco
Acapulco, Mexico

A carefree dance at an Acapulco pool seems safe enough. But spring break partiers also are warned by the U.S. State Department about increasing “drug-related violence” in the area and the rough surf at Revolcadero Beach. (Eduardo Verdugo, Associated Press)
Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico

Perhaps 200,000, perhaps 300,000 spring-breakers have gathered in past years on Cancun’s 14-mile hotel row. Here the party rocks at the Coco Bongo club. (Israel Leal, Associated Press)
Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico

Gorgeous water, about 570,000 locals, more than 20,000 hotel rooms and too many Americans to count make this a sought-after destination. Mexico has spent billions rebuilding (and adding sand to beaches) since Hurricane Wilma caused damage in 2005.

Partying at the Coco Bongo club. (Israel Leal, Associated Press)
cabo
Los Cabos, Mexico

The city of Cabo San Lucas (pictured), the slightly quieter city of San José del Cabo, and the 18-mile waterfront corridor between them have turned Baja California’s southern tip into a playground for golfers, fishing enthusiasts and party people of collegiate years and beyond. (Geraldine Wilkins, Los Angeles Times)
cabo
Los Cabos, Mexico

Though the coastline is stunning, the U.S. State Department says you should worry about beaches on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, which are “dangerous due to rip tides and rogue waves.” (Geraldine Wilkins, Los Angeles Times)
cabo
Los Cabos, Mexico

Beachfront hot spots include the Office. It’s on oft-crowded Medano Beach at Cabo San Lucas. (Geraldine Wilkins, Los Angeles Times)
Rosarito Beach
Rosarito Beach, Mexico

About 18 miles south of the California border in northernmost Baja, Rosarito beckons (in a loud, cheesy, dusty sort of way) with a drinking age of 18 and more than a dozen nightclubs featuring beer pong, foam parties and pimp-and-ho dress-up nights.

Surf class participants warm up for a session at Rosarito Beach. (Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles Times)
vegas
Las Vegas

Lively places for partiers abound in Las Vegas, and they include the Hard Rock Hotel, where a pool makes a splash with these guests. (Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times)
vegas
Las Vegas

There’s no shortage of revelers at a pool party at the Hard Rock Hotel -- and evening hasn’t even descended on this desert city of casinos and clubs. (Gina Ferazzi, Los Angeles Times)
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