Back in 1947, when LIFE accompanied 10,000 young men and women to Balboa Beach in Southern California for spring break, the shenanigans wouldn’t have scored any higher than a PG rating. Daylight brought beachside dancing, boat races, beauty pageants and sunbathing. The evening hours found students aglow in the warmth of bonfires as portable radios churned out the tunes of the day.
These fascinating vintage photographs, taken by Peter Stackpole, that show what spring break looked like in Southern California in the 1940s.
(Photos:Peter Stackpole—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)