Category Panama City

What happens to a Spring Break town when it cracks down on Spring Break? – The New York Times

Panama City Beach, stung from the party-hard reputation it has gained, is now finding that a move to tone things down might have been bad for business.

Source: In a Florida Party Town, Last Call Leaves a Financial Hangover – The New York Times

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Beach of the Week: Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach

The good people of Panama City Beach, Florida, like to say they have the most beautiful beaches in the world. And while that may be a bit of an exaggeration, they have a good point that the wide expanses of soft white sand stretching 27 miles along the Gulf Coast are a beach lover’s dream. Do you like beaches with lots of resorts, bars, restaurants, shops and sports activities? This is the place for you. Do you like more quiet stretches where you can relax and get away from it all? Well, yes, PCB offers lots of that as well. What it all has in common in the sand. The beautiful, seemingly endless sand that reflects the sun, brightens your spirits and provides nature’s soothing foot massage.

If you’re a college student, of course, there is no better place to spend spring break. If you’re a young family or an older couple, you will probably want to stay far, far away in the spring. But any other time of year, PCB is the place to be.

My wife, Diane, and I just got back from a few days in Panama City Beach – our “Fall Break” – where we enjoyed walks along the beach, beautiful views from our balcony at the Holiday Inn Resort and an evening of entertainment at the Chasin’ the Sun Musical Festival at Aaron Bessant Park. Chasing’ the Sun was just one of many outdoor concerts throughout the year at the park, which features perhaps the best outdoor sound system I have ever experienced. And the huge Pier Park next door offers a great place to shop – and some great ice cream – just ac...

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Beaches to avoid this spring if you are over 24

south-padre_party_610pxIf you are in your early twenties, there is nothing like Spring Break. Crowded beaches, loud music, splashing beer, bikini clad women and buff men. Parties early, parties late and parties in between. beach_maniac_blog_100pxBut if you’re a little older and looking for a quieter spring break vacation, or maybe a family vacation, that scene may be one you desperately want to avoid. Fortunately, you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding a beach vacation without leaving the United States. But in March and April, be careful which beach you choose, or you may end up in the middle of a wild Spring Break Blowout. This article from the ABC Good Morning America website lists beaches you will want to avoid if the wild college-age Spring Break frenzy is not on your agenda. Note that some of the beaches are on both the list of beaches to avoid and the list of family-oriented beaches, so don’t just pick a beach, find out where on that beach the party never ends and where it never begins.

Beaches to Avoid This Month if You’re Older Than 24

The Beach Maniac Blog by Bill Hurley

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USA Today searches for the Best Beach in Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

What is the best beach in Florida? There is no shortage of beautiful beaches lining the shores of the Sunshine State, and they offer something for everyone, from quiet serene escapes to those packed with restaurants, resorts and plenty of tourists. Everyone has their own opinion of what makes a great beach, and USA Today is asking its readers to help identify Florida’s best beaches. So they first turned to Dr. Beach, the famous Florida International University professor Stephen P. Leatherman, who is well known for visiting and analyzing beaches every year to determine which are the best. Leatherman provided USA Today with a list of 10 beaches to start with, based on his extensive research. Every one of these beaches is great in its own way, although I know I personally would like to add Fort Myers Beach and Daytona Beach to the list. Do you agree with this list (in alphabetical order below), and which beach – whether it’s on this list or not – would you say is the Best Beach in Florida?

  • Clearwater Beach
  • Cocoa Beach
  • Delray Beach
  • Key West
  • New Smyrna Beach
  • Pensacola Beach
  • Sanibel Island
  • Seaside
  • Siesta Key
  • South Beach

Vote on USA Today  or – if voting is completed – find out the results here.

Check out traveler reviews of the best beach hotels in Florida – and compare prices – on TripAdvisor.

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Panama City Beach sets new bikini parade record

Photo Credit: Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau

It’s official. Panama City Beach has set a new World Record for the World’s Largest Bikini Parade, with 450 women participating!

Lining up on the sugar-white sands of the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City Beach, 450 women broke the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Bikini Parade. The March 6 event successfully shattered the current record held by Gold Coast, Australia, where 357 women paraded last year, and also benefitted local charity Beach Care Services.

Registration began at 9:00 a.m. at Harpoon Harry’s Gulf front restaurant, where spring breakers and locals signed up for the parade. Participants were given official Bikini Parade hats to wear that signaled to officials which women were part of the march. The hats were in compliance with the rules of the event, which stated that bikinis of all colors and design were welcome, but tankinis, one-piece suits, shorts or cover-ups would not make the count. Additionally, event organizers provided complimentary SoBe beverages, admission to the celebration event and a memento T-shirt in appreciation of participants’ efforts to bring the record stateside.

Following the one-mile march, an official Guinness World Record adjudicator announced that the record had been broken at 1:30 p.m.

“We are thrilled to have challenged and broken the record for the World’s Largest Bikini Parade” said Dan Rowe, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bu...

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Cancun tops list of Top 10 Spring Break Destinations

Spring break, Cancun

Cancun is the top spring break destination for college students and others looking for a wild, warm getaway from studies and chilly weather, based on a Beach Maniac analysis of rankings from major travel websites, magazines and student resources, combined with our own experiences.

The shores of Cancun, on the Yucatan Peninsula, are lined with all-inclusive resorts that turn spring break into a seemingly endless party featuring bikinis, beach volleyball, music, crowded resort-style swimming pools and, of course, lots of tequila. Not to mention that the Cancun area has some of the most beautiful clear waters of the Caribbean, with soft white sand and lots of sunshine. Travel agencies (online and otherwise) know college students love Cancun and put together spring break packages that are convenient and affordable. (But be careful to deal with a website or travel agency with a solid reputation; it’s not unusual for spring breakers to be victims of travel scams.)

If you want to stay in the continental United States, Panama City, Florida, ranks as the top spring break beach. For one thing, it is accessible by car for many Midwest and East Coast spring breakers, it welcomes them with open arms, is affordable, has plenty of beachside resorts, and has some of the widest, whitest, most beautiful beaches in the country.

Here is the complete Beach Maniac Top 10 List of Spring Break Destinations. For each destination we provide a link to information...

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Strange clouds form spectacular sight over Panama City Beach

Photo by Panhandle Helicopter

This spectacular photo of clouds rolling over condos on Panama City Beach has gone viral after being posted by Panhandle Helicopter on its Facebook page. The weird cloud formation is the result of moist air flowing inland and condensing as it rises into cooler air. Meteorologist Dan Satterfield, of the American Geophysical Union, describes the process on Dan’s Wild Wild Science Journal blog:

“Cool air offshore was very nearly at the saturation point, with a temperature near 20ºC and a dew point of about 19.5 degrees C. The air at this temperature can only hold a certain amount of water vapor, and how much it can hold depends heavily on the temperature. Drop the temperature, and it can no long hold as much water vapor, so some of it will condense out and a cloud will form.

“In this case, the air was cooled by lifting it about 50 meters over the top of the condos,” Satterfield continues. “A parcel of unsaturated air will cool when lifted at a rate of 1 degree C per 100 meters. In this case, it probably cooled about 0.5 degrees C, but that was all it took! On the back side of the condos, the air slowly sinks back down and warms at the same rate. As it warms the air can hold more water vapor and the cloud evaporates and disappears!”

The video below includes a visual explanation of the phenomenon from the Weather Channel:

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Photographer captures unusual sight of deer resting on a Gulf Coast beach

Photo by Craig Carper

No it’s not a reindeer, but it sure is an unusual site.

Craig Carper caught this beautiful shot of a deer resting on the sand at Inlet Beach near Panama City, Florida, on the Gulf Coast. After the picture made an appearance on Facebook, some people were speculating that it was Photoshoped, but Craig assures us it absolutely was not.

Beach Maniac spoke with a ranger at Camp Helen State Park, where the picture was taken, who said it’s not unusual to see deer on the beach or even swimming in the water there. He said it’s possible this deer had just come in from the water and was a little worn out.

“This was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen,” Craig wrote on his Flickr page.

He said he was just was walking along the beach when he saw the deer ahead and slowly made his way closer. Surprisingly, the deer did not scamper away. “I’m using my 24-70mm lens so this is already at a relatively close distance,” Craig wrote.

“A bunch of people started coming up and taking pictures and a few us were worried about him because he was shivering. I got very close and saw that he didn’t appear to be injured. My Dad went down to the park ranger’s office and they said the deer had been in and out of the water all day, each time going for a very vigorous swim. I imagine now that it’s getting dark he’ll make his way back to the woods.”

Craig got such a good response to this and other photos he took of the deer that he created Christmas cards, which are available at: ww...

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Panama City Beach opens its arms to spring breakers

Related story: Panama City Beach seeks to set new bikini parade record.

While some other traditional spring break locations have downplayed their appeal to college students in recent years, Panama City Beach, Florida, is apparently going all out to attract as many of the often raucous migrators as possible.

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about Panama City Beach hotels, resorts, B&Bs, restaurants and more.

According to a news release, Collegiate Marketing Group, LLC (CMG) and a group of over 40 local businesses that consist of hotels, nightclubs and attractions, are teaming up to market Spring Break 2012 in Panama City Beach. Although spring breakers are not always the best behaved of vacationers and bring with them a whole set of unique challenges for a community, they provide an enormous boost to the local economy.

The group, spearheaded by CMG’s marketing team, says it is planning a massive internet campaign that will feature Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social networking sites all promoting and relaying news and updates about Spring Break. The group has also recently updated its website that features current Spring Break news and area information on “Where to Stay” and “Where to Party” and other local attractions.

Spring Break 2011 in Panama City Beach was an incredible season, hosting over half a million students and featured top recording artists singing at beach front concerts...

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Vote on your favorite Florida beaches!

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach


Let’s build a list of your Top 10 Florida beaches!

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Is there a Florida beach you think should be added to the list? Tell us in the “Comment” box below.

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