Panama City Spring Break for the College Crowd

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In the first few months of the new year, college students are getting back into gear after the holiday break by hitting the books, studying hard and looking ahead to end-of-semester finals. Just kidding. Most of them are making spring break plans, and a lot of them will be hitting the sugar-sand beaches of Florida's Panhandle for Panama City spring break. Panama City Beach remains a popular spring break destination not only because of those beautiful beaches but also because of its proximity to many Southern, Midwestern and Northern colleges and universities.

Panama City Spring Break: What to expect
Panama City throws its doors wide open for the spring break crowd, with loads of concerts, contests and other special events. Expect a lot of celebrity appearances, late-night parties and all-you-can-eat seafood specials along the community's 27 miles of beachfront and at its nightclubs. Of course, as with any popular spring break destination, there will be lots of traffic and big crowds everywhere. But since college spring breaks are spread out from late February to early April, there should be periods where the madness is not so concentrated.

Panama City Spring Break: Where to crash
Plenty of hotels and resorts for all budgets line the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City Beach, and many offer special deals for spring break visitors. If you honor the longstanding tradition of splitting the cost of a room or suite between several members of your crew, a Panama City spring break can be quite a bargain for the college-student budget. Be sure to research the location and amenities offered to make sure your choice of lodging dovetails with your spring break plans.

Panama City Spring Break: Things to Do (Besides Partying)
Panama City Beach offers myriad options for water-based spring break fun, from sunning on the beach or at poolside to fishing, boating, parasailing or jumping the waves with a personal watercraft. You and your friends can hit the cheesy tourist attractions like the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum or play a few rounds at Barnacle Bay Mini Golf. If you think Florida is all beaches and theme parks, you might want to take a day trip an hour north to check out the natural underground beauty of Florida Caverns State Park.

Panama City Spring Break: Staying Safe
You've heard the lectures from your parents and your school counselors, but don't shrug them off. Bad things can happen on spring break, and you must always remain aware of your situation and surroundings to keep them from spoiling your fun. Be sure to always travel in groups, drink responsibly, follow all the rules posted at the beach and pool, and secure your valuables. Law enforcement officers are there to help protect you, but they are also extra-vigilant about underage drinking and drunken driving violations during spring break. Trust us: you'll be much more comfortable sleeping in your hotel room bed than a cot in the county jail.

Photo by Ray Devlin on Flickr
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