Ahh, Spring Break, that time of the year where college and high school students unwind with perhaps some good books, a game of charades, or maybe a stroll on the promenade.
Made famous by MTV’s Spring Break series, it was and is an annual time of the year to get out and have way too much fun. People all over the US traveled to the beach or to the mountains and many places in between to hang out. Sales tax is probably the least of the average spring breaker’s worries, past or present, but when you got to stretch a buck to get the swimsuit or the snowboard, where is the cheapest (and most expensive) spring break destination when it comes to sales tax?
Top Spring Break Destinations
We did some research, and polled friends, family and strangers for their favorite or frequent spring break destinations, and this is what we came up with. Is your college haunt on the list? And are you in for a cheap and easy time or will you be filling the state’s coffers with your hard earned dollars?
Using TaxJar’s Sales Tax Calculator, we determined where you can get the most bang for your buck in you week away.
From the lowest, friendliest sales tax rate to the highest we have:
#7: Warren, VT – 6% Sales Tax
You can hit the slopes in Warren and visit the top ranked ski resort, Sugarbush! Back in the 1960’s Sugarbush was so popular with the Kennedy’s jet set crowd, that it was known as Mascara Mountain. It’s much more laid back nowadays and while you are there, pay just a mere 6% sales tax on most purchases.
#6: Provincetown, Mass – 6.25% Sales Tax
Get a lobster roll and watch the waves roll onto the shore in Provincetown. P-town, as it is called, keeps the sales tax rate low at just 6.25%.
#5: Panama City, FL – 6.5% Sales Tax
Panama City is the iconic spring break destination south of the Mason Dixon line. Thousands upon thousands pack the beaches for free concerts, foot long drinks, and fun in the sun. Stop in for a party at Sharky’s or Club La Vela though. And you will only pay 6.5% sales tax on most purchases.
#4: Pensacola, FL – 7.5% Sales Tax
Two hours west of Panama City is Pensacola or ‘The City of Five Flags,’ a reference to the five governments that at one point had control of the area. Spring breakers like Pensacola for it’s slightly quieter atmosphere, although there are still plenty of places to have a great time, like Seville Quarter. The sales tax rate is slightly higher than it’s neighbors on the Gulf at 7.5%.
#3: San Francisco, CA- 8.75%
Weird and wonderful San Francisco calls to travelers who want to see the world in one city. San Francisco not only has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, but is well known for cuisine from all over the world. Visitors can also check out the Golden Gate Bridge or the infamous island prison, Alcatraz. The sales tax rate climbs for this West Coast City at 8.75%.
#2: Nashville, TN- 9.25%
Nashville is more than big hair and line dancing. The nation’s Music City has long been home to world class artists and is widely known as the Song Writing Capitol of the World. While on spring break, visit Robert’s Western World or Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge and catch that Nashville vibe. Be sure to save your pennies for this trip though, Nashville’s sales tax rate is one of the highest in the country at 9.25%
#1: Aspen, CO- 9.3%
Lastly, our most expensive sales tax spring break destination is Aspen, CO with a rate of 9.3%. But don’t let that stop you from hitting the slopes or taking in the three weekends long Bud Light Spring Jam with ski/snowboard competitions and free concerts! Don’t fret if you’re not into skiing. Aspen also has great restaurants and nightlife too
Of the list of spring break destinations, the place to get the most bang for your buck, sales tax wise, is Warren, Vermont, the home of Sugarbush Resort. If you are planning to head to Nashville or Aspen, be prepared to pay quite a bit more in sales tax.
Don’t think we covered the right places? Tell us where you head to for a little r&r in the comments.