Travel With Me: Spring Break in Panama City Beach

Remember when you didn't even realize that spring break was "THE TIME" to go on vacation with your friends? That changed as soon as I became a freshman in college. Everyone would ask me what my plans were for spring break. At the time, I was barely working and also just trying to get the hang of living on my own, in another state. It wasn't until I moved back home my junior year of college and started working more that I was able to enjoy my first spring break in a real college spring break destination.

Welcome to Spring Break week! This marks the first of two posts I will have with some ideas on how to have a great spring break. One will be a crazy college spring break and one will be more of a family friendly option!

Panama City Beach

I remember this trip well because it was the first official trip I went on with friends that I paid for on my own! It was like my adult rite of passage.

Now, why the heck would I choose Panama City beach for spring break? Well, remember that post on my summer at UH Hilo (link)? One of my roommates happened to be living in PCB at the time and let my friend and I stay with her for a few days! I didn't know until we arrived, but PCB is a spring break and summer destination for people living on the east half of the United States!

Panama City Beach is also a relatively inexpensive vacation spot if you can find some good flight prices. I was a broke college student and managed to be able to afford this trip.

Where is Panama City Beach, Florida?

PCB is actually on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida right in between Pensacola and Tallahassee. Panama City Beach also isn't the most convenient place to get to. We took a flight to Miami then took a tiny little plan to Panama City. The whole trip took about 7.5 hours.


There are miles and miles of beach front along Panama City Beach. If you have never been to a Gulf beach, than you are in for a treat. I am used to rocky "beaches" in the PNW or have to travel to Hawaii or California for some good beach time. I was spoiled with some pretty great sand at PCB.


Ready for some insane nightlife? Sure, there is Vegas nightlife, but this is spring break Panama City Beach nightlife. Be sure to go to a La Vela day party where the pool and party area spills onto the beach. If you are spending several nights there, also check out:

- Spinnaker

- Coyote Ugly Saloon

- Hammerhead Fred’s

- Schooners, Boatyard

- Sharky’s

- Harpoon Harry’s

I visited them all!

Site Seeing

Panama City Beach isn't all about the crazy parties, there are some fun things to see and do while you are here:

  • Shell Island

  • Take a small boat ride out to shell island where you can spend the whole day relaxing or exploring. The island got its name from the amazing tiny shells that have washed up on shore!

  • Gulf World Marine Park

  • My friend was working here at the time so we got to watch her with the dolphins! Don't forget to pet the sting rays.

  • Pier Park

  • This outdoor shopping mall was pretty new when I was here but if you like shopping, this is a great place to check out!

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