breaking news

Trump says he's coming to Florida 'very soon'

7 spring break road trips for college kids (inspired by movies)


Whether you're a genuine college kid taking a break from the books or you're a few years out and trying to recapture those carefree days, it's time for some spring break inspiration.

Why not take a cue from a cinematic adventure?

These seven road trip movies were all set or filmed across the U.S., and offer some reasonable regional spring break trip ideas for the party animal in all of us. Some are new(ish), others are from bygone eras (like the 80s) and all of them will put you in the mood to hit it:

Tybee Island, Georgia, inspired by “Dirty Grandpa”

Let's just start by getting “Dirty Grandpa”(2016), starring Robert De Niro and Zac Ephron, out of the way. If you haven't been introduced to the time-honored spring break goals of ridiculous amounts of alcohol, beach competitions and unrealistically gorgeous bikini-clad women, take a quick look at this one. What makes it extra-inspiring is that part of the filming happened on Tybee Island, Georgia, and in several Atlanta neighborhoods. While you might not want to bring your bucket-list-completing grandfather with you, you'll definitely be inspired by Ephron's, uh, cajones.

Miami, Florida, inspired by “Baywatch”

In the same vein, but on the other coast, is “Baywatch” (2017), in which the Rock (among others) jogs in slow-mo. What makes it relevant for Southerners is that it was cleverly filmed right here on Tybee Island and in Savannah, Georgia, along with Boca Raton and Miami, Florida. If the cast can make the journey to our fine Southern beaches, so can you. Other spring break goals from Baywatch include beach bodies, intrigue and realizing who on the trip is there just to make you laugh today and who's going to be a friend for life.

Los Angeles, inspired “Rain Man”

Getting back to actual get-in-the-car-and-take-off road trip movies, there's  “Rain Man” (1988). This classic features Dustin Hoffman as a man living with autism being driven from Cincinnati to L.A. by his brother,  played by Tom Cruise, for nefarious purposes. While that's too many miles for a Southern spring break, drink in the film's road trip message and remember that gambling on cards and on life is more fun when you bring along your sketchiest family member. If you want to see actual filming sights, head up to the Cinncinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport and check out Newport, Covington and Silver Grove, Kentucky.

Asheville, North Carolina, inspired by “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers”

If you prefer less sketchy family adventures, look to “May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers”. The Judd Apatow-directed documentary is fresh and hip and involves a series of mini-road trips, including one from Concord to South Hipster Central (aka Asheville) North Carolina. If nothing else, consider the album made during filming, "True Sadness," as the Rockabilly soundtrack for your travels.

Austin, Texas, inspired by Honeysuckle Rose”

For another musical spring break route, how about traveling like the characters in “Honeysuckle Rose” (1980)? No one's going to argue that this Willie Nelson vehicle is great art, but the 80s flick takes you to Country Western strongholds in a big bus with "The life I love is making music with my friends" playing in the background. It was filmed at Padre Island National Seashore and in Austin, Texas, which makes a super spring break itinerary. The movie features a love triangle, but experienced road trippers will tell you to leave that back at the dorm.

Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, inspired by “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”

While we're pondering Texas destinations, how about retracing Pee-Wee's steps as he strives to recover his stolen bike in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985). Diners, a truck driver named Large Marge and roadside attractions galore all lead the way to the Alamo. What's not to love?

New Orleans, inspired by “Easy Rider”

If Pee-Wee's antics are a bit childish for your taste, maybe the road trip from Easy Rider (1969) would be more your thing. Fine acting, very adult themes, critical thinking and an understated script made this cross-country trip movie a cult classic that stands the test of time. While the experiences of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda as counter-culture drug dealers/bikers making their way from L.A. to NOLA bear no resemblance to a frivolous spring break, there are some helpful takeaways. For one, the film reminds aspiring travelers that New Orleans is a splendid place to land at the end of the drive. 

Here’s how to catch these spring break flicks:

Watch Dirty Grandpa on Hulu, Amazon Prime or Epix.

Rent Baywatch at the PlayStation Store, from Verizon or on numerous other streaming services. It's also for sale on DVD.

Watch Rain Man on Cinemax. Rent or buy it from other sources.

Stream the Avett Brothers album True Sadness on Amazon Prime.

Rent Honeysuckle Rose on Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes.

See Pee-Wee's Big Adventure on Netflix. Rent or buy it from other sources.

Watch Easy Rider on Sundance or Doc Club. Rent or buy it from other sources.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community

Original 'Kiss Me, Kate' star Patricia Morison dead at 103
Original 'Kiss Me, Kate' star Patricia Morison dead at 103

Patricia Morison, who played the shrewish lead role in the 1948 Cole Porter Broadway musical “Kiss Me, Kate,” died Sunday, Variety reported. She was 103.  Morison also appeared on stage with Yul Brynner in “The King and I” and starred in films such as “The Song of Bernadette.” She also appeared as Basil...
Meghan Markle's rescue dog, Guy the beagle, goes from shelter pup to royal pet
Meghan Markle's rescue dog, Guy the beagle, goes from shelter pup to royal pet

A new member of the royal family is making headlines – and no, we're not talking about Meghan Markle. According to the Guardian, a beagle named Guy was in a Kentucky kill shelter until Ontario-based A Dog's Dream Rescue saved him and offered him for adoption at a 2015 event in Canada. That's where he met his new owner, Markle, who went on...
Royal wedding: Kitty Spencer stuns with resemblance to her aunt, Princess Diana
Royal wedding: Kitty Spencer stuns with resemblance to her aunt, Princess Diana

Bride Meghan Markle wasn't the only one turning heads at Saturday's royal wedding. Many fans of the royals said Lady Kitty Spencer, niece of the late Princess Diana and daughter of Earl Charles Spencer, Diana's brother, looked just like her famous aunt. According to the New York Daily News, the 27-year-old model wore a forest green Dolce & Gabbana...
Royal wedding: Meghan Markle wears Princess Diana's aquamarine ring to reception
Royal wedding: Meghan Markle wears Princess Diana's aquamarine ring to reception

After Saturday's royal wedding, Meghan Markle honored the late Princess Diana, Prince Harry's mother, with a little "something blue." According to "Today" and Vogue, the Duchess of Sussex wore Diana's emerald-cut aquamarine ring to the couple's evening wedding reception. >> Read more trending news  The ring wasn't...
T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper
T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper

Days after T.I. was arrested outside his gated community in Henry County, Georgia, an online petition has surfaced urging police to drop the charges against the Atlanta rapper.  On Wednesday, the artist, whose legal name is Clifford Harris Jr., was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, but the Care2...
More Stories