Cancun, Padre Island, and Florida's Panama City Beach regularly draw hundreds of thousands of spring breakers each year, but there are other good options that might be cheaper, less crowded, and just as awesome.  And some of them are a lot closer to home.

The most popular Spring Break destinations are always near water it seems.  Spring breakers are the ones who launch bathing suit season, and as unprepared as the rest of us may be, they'll break out the bikinis and trunks again this year, and they won't mind if they get a little beer spilled on them.  Comes right off in the pool.

Panama City Beach in Florida draws more than half a million visitors each year for Spring Break, and it's one of the top destinations in the country.  In Texas, South Padre Island is regularly voted #1.

But if you're in the mood for something that might be less crowded and a little more of a hidden gem, check out the Best Texas Spring Break Destinations, and feel free to add to the list.

1.  Tubing on the San Marcos River.  The water in March is usually a nice, cool 72 degrees, and tubers hit the one-mile stretch of the river with festive beverages in hand.  Alcoholic beverages are allowed, and most tubing outfitters make the cooler part of the tube rental.  It's quiet and serene.  San Marcos is the home of Texas State University.

2.  Tubing on the Guadalupe River.  It's similar to tubing on the San Marcos River, but the stretch of river used for tubing is a lot longer, and drinking alcohol is allowed as you don't use disposable containers.  It's scenic and beautiful, and the most popular spot for tubing is the stretch between New Braunfels and Canyon Lake.

3.  Lake Texoma.  It's one of the largest artificial lakes in the US, and if Spring Break involves fishing, this might be your favorite new spot.  If the smallmouth bass aren't biting, it will still be fun to cruise the lake with friends and a cooler, and you can rent a boat or take your own.  Lake Texoma has the paddlewheel boat called the Texoma Bell Riverboat at Durant, OK too.

4.  Galveston Island.  The fun stretches on for 27 miles, and it's an area full of bars and shops, places to play sand volleyball, hop on the Zip Line, and visit quirky mansions like Moody Mansion and Bishop’s Palace.  Moody Gardens is right there too.  Thousands head that way for Spring Break every year.

5.  South Padre Island.  This is probably the most popular Spring Break destination in Texas, for live music, drinks, and a whole lot of fresh seafood.  The Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center can take you on a boat tour to see dolphins, and the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center has a five-story-high watchtower for the times that you're not partying on the beach.

And if you feel like sticking around East Texas, there's always Tyler State Park for fishing, swimming, mountain biking, camping, and geocaching.  (That's a treasure hunt using a smartphone app to find the coordinates of the geocaches.)

Spring Break is coming up fast, and we'll keep the ideas coming to help you plan.  Texas has plenty to offer.

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