Category Panama City Beach

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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Top 9 spring break party destinations to enjoy, or avoid

BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxNo matter your age, if you are traveling during spring, you definitely want to know where the top spring break party destinations are. Why? Well, either you want to be where the party never stops, or – if you’re over 25 – you may want to stop being where the party is. With that in mind, here are 9 top spring break party destinations to enjoy, or avoid, as ranked by Fox News Travel (we link to TripAdvisor for more information about these beach destinations and so you can compare hotel prices):

  1. Panama City Beach, Florida
  2. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Miami Beach, Florida
  6. Cancun, Mexico
  7. South Padre Island, Texas
  8. Lake Havasu City, Arizona
  9. New Orleans, Louisiana


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Siesta Beach does it again: Named America’s best beach


TripAdvisor traveler photo

TripAdvisor traveler photo

BeachManiacBlogWithText_150pxThis kind of attention is nothing new for Siesta Beach, with its pristine, sugary white sand and wide expanse, but this Florida Gulf Coast slice of paradise has been named the best beach in America by the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards.

“I was totally blown away by how fine, soft, clean and uncrowded the beach was. My feet were in heaven,” wrote on recent traveler.

And while the sand is the main attraction at Siesta Beach, the island that serves as its home is also a big draw. The beaches of Siesta Key, just south of Sarasota, are lined with condos and hotels, but the island nonetheless has retained a quiet get-away atmosphere. You won’t find a lot of restaurants and bars on the beaches of Siesta Key, but that keeps it quiet and family-fun oriented.

The other top 10 American beaches in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, in order, are:

The Beach Maniac Blog by Bill Hurley

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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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Featured Beach Resort: Palmetto Inn & Suites, Panama City Beach, Florida

The Palmetto Inn & Suites is TripAdvisor’s top-rated beach resort in Panama City Beach, Florida. What TripAdvisor travelers are saying: “Extended our stay! Exactly what we expected based on the prior reviews. Clean, fairly priced, good location, outdoor amenities easily accommodate a lot of people. Beach amenities/rentals are available at the bottom of the steps to the beach.” … “Wonderful beach views! Nice stay end of march. The pool was heated so the kids could still swim and we could also use the pool at the other part of the hotel (across the road), plenty of parking available. All in all a nice stay with great value for money.” Read more and compare prices.

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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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Key West most expensive place to celebrate spring break; Cancun most affordable

College students who are watching their every penny better steer clear of Key West, Florida, if they’ve waited until the last minute to book their spring break vacation. According to a new survey compiled by, the continental United States’ southernmost city is, by far, the most expensive among the most popular spring break destinations in terms of its lodging cost.

On average, the cheapest available room in Key West during the three principal spring break weeks of March 5 through March 25 will cost as much as $204 per night. And those coeds whose vacation time happens to fall during the March 5 to 11 time frame will be paying even more. In fact, according the survey, they won’t find a room below $250.

Other destinations in Florida are more welcoming to spring breakers in terms of affordability. In Miami South Beach, for example, the cheapest available room will cost vacationers $155 on average. Further north, Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach are slightly less costly still with their lowest available nightly rates coming in at $129 and $110 respectively.

One way for budget-conscious spring breakers to score a bargain is to venture out of Florida altogether. Myrtle Beach, Negril and Cancun are much less pricey options with room rates of around $30 per night.

The following table shows the most important spring break destinations along with their daily average rates for the cheapest available room during the period spanning March 5 through 25.

  1. Key West (Flori...
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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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