Samuel Levine, a junior at the University of Southern California, died in an accident while he was on spring break in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the university announced Wednesday. He was 22.
According to KTLA 5, the USC student died Tuesday after falling from the sixth-floor balcony of his hotel room. Mexican police said Levine died of severe head trauma, ABC affiliate KABC reports.
Steven Kay, the dean of USC's Dornsife College, addressed Levine's tragic passing in a statement:
Our deepest sympathies are with Sam’s parents and family members, with his close friends in the Sigma Chi fraternity and around campus, and with each of you in the psychology department. Sam touched so many of us here at USC with his talents and ambition, and we all grieve for his incredibly promising life that was tragically cut short.
During his time at USC, Levine majored in psychology and participated in Greek life as a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated from Southern California's Oak Park High School in 2009, where he played on the basketball team for four years.
Levine's former coach Tim Chevalier said the USC junior was expected to graduate in May, according the Acorn.
"He was a pretty dynamic guy," Chevalier said. "The greatest memories I have of Sam is the smile that he wore — it would light up a room."
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Panama City Beach, Florida
The king of spring break cities also reigns high with families. Activities to enjoy include fishing from the city's two 1,500 foot fishing piers, hanging out at Pier Park, being a <a href="http://www.gulfworldmarinepark.com/?programs=trainer-for-a-day">dolphin trainer for the day at Gulf World</a> and, of course, playing in the famous emerald-green Gulf water. (P.S. Have you ever been on a <a href="http://www.watersportspc.com/banana-boat-rides-in-panama-city-beach-florida">banana boat ride</a>?) There's no need to leave the pooch behind, either, as Panama City boasts a 400-foot long Doggie Beach located across from Pier Park. Panama City has been ranked America's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/best-restaurant-cities_n_2545499.html">fourth most restaurant-crazy city</a>, so there should be something for everyone (<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/23/picky-eaters-how-to-travel-with-kids_n_2165665.html">even those picky eaters</a>) to happily eat. Check out <a href="http://www.urbanspoon.com/lb/255/best-restaurants-Panama-City">what Urbanspoon has to say</a> about the city's best restaurants.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
If you grew up in the Southeast, chances are you spent at least a couple of spring breaks or summers at coastal Carolina's beachside playground. Aside from the obvious activities on the sand, Myrtle Beach is home to a handful of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/04/amusement-parks-in-myrtle-beach_n_1075950.html">amusement parks</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/22/water-parks-in-myrtle-beach_n_907194.html">water parks</a> (Myrtle Waves is a favorite) that are good for all ages. Younger kids might enjoy a day at the <a href="http://www.cmsckids.org/">Children's Museum of SC</a>, while an older crew might take to <a href="http://mbziplines.com/adrenaline-adventures/">Myrtle Beach Zipline Adventures</a>. Or, hop in the car to spend an evening at <a href="http://www.broadwayatthebeach.com/">Broadway at the Beach</a>, a massive dining, shopping and entertainment area, with attractions like Ripley's Aquarium and WonderWorks. Myrtle Beach is another great place to head if you like to eat out, as it is also one of the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/best-restaurant-cities_n_2545499.html">most restaurant-abundant cities in the U.S</a>.
Daytona Beach, Florida
Aside from spring break, Daytona is best known as home to the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/daytona-500/">Superbowl of racing</a> and a raging <a href="http://www.officialbikeweek.com/">Bike Week</a>. Epic party city status aside, there's still plenty to do. An obvious activity for race fans would be to take a track tour of the <a href="http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/Tours/Tour-Page.aspx">Daytona International Speedway</a>, where the daring can get behind the wheel of a real NASCAR race car with the <a href="http://www.drivepetty.com/race-tracks/daytona-international-speedway">Richard Petty Driving Experience</a>. To dial back on the intensity, try spending a day at the <a href="http://www.daytonalagoon.com/index.cfm">Daytona Lagoon</a> waterpark or enjoying the <a href="http://www.daytonabeachboardwalk.com/">rides and games on the boardwalk</a>. An awesome perk of Daytona's location is its proximity to two other popular Florida destinations: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/walt-disney-world">Walt Disney World</a> (maybe you've heard of it?) and <a href="http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/">Kennedy Space Center</a>, which are both about an hour's drive away.
South Padre Island, Texas
Escape the Texas heat, or the winter cold, with a trip to subtropical South Padre island. Deep sea fishing is a popular pastime off South Padre, and companies like <a href="http://www.captmurphys.com/">Captain Murphy's</a> and <a href="http://ospreycruises.com/osprey-fishing-trips/">Ospey Cruises</a> offer chartered fishing excursions (as well as dolphin watch tours.) After an excursion, take your catch to one of the many local restaurants which will cook it up for you to enjoy on the spot. Back on land, cool off at <a href="http://www.schlitterbahn.com/spi/">Schlitterbahn South Padre Island</a>, an offshoot of the famous Schlitterbahn water park (often regarded as the country's best.) Or, take a <a href="http://www.allamericansandcastle.com/">sand castle class</a> to learn how to make the perfect sand structure. Or, for a different view of the beach, <a href="http://www.horsesonthebeach.com/adventures.php?action=1&aid=1">see it from horseback</a>. At some point, head back across the bridge to tour the historic <a href="http://portisabellighthouse.com/lighthouse/">Port Isabel lighthouse</a>.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
A bit different from the previous destinations, Lake Havasu is a prime spring break destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Relax on the<a href="http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/beaches.aspx">lake's beaches</a>, which, as the local tourism authority points out, are free of "dangerous currents or sea critters." Head out on the lake to fish, go boating and go jet skiing, or stay on dry land to rent an ATV or go hiking. We're particularly fascinated by the idea of going for a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Havasujetpack">"water jetpack" ride</a> ourselves. Fun fact: Lake Havasu City is <a href="http://www.golakehavasu.com/activities/more_to_do/london_bridge.aspx">home to the London Bridge</a> (yes, that one). Turns out it was falling down, so Lake Havasu founder Robert P. McCulloch bought the bride and had it shipped over brick by brick.
Key West, Florida
You may not want to take the kids to Key West during <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/fantasy-fest-kicks-off-in_n_2001421.html">Fantasyfest</a>, but at any other time of year the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kraig-becker/a-perfect-day-in-key-west_b_674939.html">land of Jimmy Buffet and Ernest Hemingway</a> is decidedly more chill. It's good to note that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-renzi/the-best-of-key-west_b_1887091.html">most of Key West's shores are rocky with little sand</a>. But, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park has a "traditional" beach plus a few spots for snorkeling and fishing. Fort Jefferson, at just a 45-minute sea plane ride from the island, is another good snorkeling spot. Also of interest are the <a href="http://www.hemingwayhome.com/">Ernest Hemingway Home and Museu</a>m (which may be most notable for its six-toed cats), the <a href="http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/">Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary</a>, as well as the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/09/family-vacations-in-key-west_n_915465.html">Key West Aquarium, Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, and The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory</a>. For an overview of the town, consider a ride on the <a href="http://www.conchtourtrain.com/index.htm">Conch Tour Train</a>. Yahoo has the scoop on <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/top-10-restaurants-florida-keys-826473.html?cat=22">where to eat</a>.
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Just north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale is also home to beautiful beaches and plenty of culture. For an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-lubin/ft-lauderdale-grows-up_b_1616925.html">overview of the city</a>, hop on the Waterboat Taxi and ride through the miles of canals. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dwight-brown/the-new-fort-lauderdale-1_b_845310.html">Cultural highlights include</a> The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, Riverwalk jazz festivals, and small art galleries. <a href="http://www.lasolasboulevard.com/">Las Olas Boulevard</a> is the place to eat, shop, and generally be seen. The Orlando Sentinel has some advice on <a href="http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/orl-travel-zagat-top-restaurants-ft-lauderdale,0,5236549.photogallery">where to eat</a> in town. Just outside of town, check out <a href="http://www.flamingogardens.org/">Flamingo Gardens</a> for a peek at the Florida Everglades. And, there's <a href="http://www.butterflyworld.com/start.html">Butterfly World</a>, because who doesn't want to hang out with butterflies? Families might be happy to hear that the city is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/19/fort-lauderdale-may-allow_n_2508712.html">considering banning alcohol on the beach</a>.
Though it's often just a way point for those embarking on cruises, Galveston still has much to offer those who stay in town. Like South Padre, Galveston also has an indoor-outdoor <a href="http://www.schlitterbahn.com/gal/">Schlitterbahn park</a>. For more dry fun, visit the <a href="http://www.pleasurepier.com/">Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier</a>, which is newly restored and is a hub for rides, games, shops and restaurants. Or, check out <a href="http://blogs.houstonpress.com/eating/2010/06/top_10_restaurants_in_galvesto.php">these restaurants</a> recommended by the Houston Press. For some history, stroll <a href="http://www.thestrand.com/">The Strand</a> downtown or take a cruise on the <a href="http://www.moodygardens.com/attractions/colonel_paddlewheel_boat/">Colonel Paddlewheel Boat</a>. Or, you can explore the deep sea or the rainforest at <a href="http://www.moodygardens.org/">Moody Gardens</a>.