Every January, we count down the days until spring break. Why? Nothing beats dancing the night away to Drake songs, tanning by the pool and competing for the beer pong title with college hotties from all across America. Start booking, start shopping and road trip down to Panama City Beach for a week filled with more dancing than sleeping. I mean, turn down for what?
1. It’s the Sunshine State
Students who road trip to PCB want to get figgity figgity f’d up in the one place where the sun is always up. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach, Florida gives northeastern college students a chance to catch a tan since the last time they were exposed to some sunlight was in November. Put away that North Face and prepare to run on the beach, Babe Watch style.
2. The Clubs Turn Up All Night
In PCB, you’ll find awesome night life. You’ll experience performances by tops acts such as Diplo and Kascade and dance so hard you won’t be able to walk. It’s the Las Vegas for college students—except with better deals, awesome happy hours and beachside partying like Harpoon Harry’s and the Sandpiper Tiki bar.
3. Transportation is Always Available
Whenever we want McDonald’s at 3 a.m., our Uber driver comes to the rescue. In PCB, you purchase the Panamaniac card for just $60, which gives you rides to all the bars and clubs via dedicated party buses. But if you decide to ditch the club for skinning dipping, make sure to avoid getting a ride with a cop on the way home. As FSU junior Maggie Bibb said, “If you do see cops, casually walk away in a straight line.”
4. Your Hotel is on the Beach
Gather six of your closest friends and book a condo with a view of the beach. You’ll probably find yourself shouting at those hot guys drinking beer on their balconies. Before you know it, you’ll all be playing Cards Against Humanity (or strip poker). “You’ll meet people from all over the country, even if it’s on the elevator,” said FSU junior Kelsey Lewis. After you exchange room numbers with fellow spring-breakers and get invited to five pre-games, you won’t be upset that your condo is on the 21st floor of the hotel.
5. You Can Explore Like a Tourist
If you’re tired of drowning in beer or had enough keg stands, you can opt for a (gasp!) sober experience. PCB offers other tourist activities such as Shipwreck Water Park, Wonderworks and even Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. You can snorkel, swim with the dolphins, fish, scuba dive and sail.
6. You Can Party All Day
As college students, we only go out after 5 p.m. when the clock strikes happy hour, but at PCB you don’t have to wait until sundown to party. In fact, most college students get up at noon and are already playing beach volleyball, swimming or burying themselves in the sand. Oglethorpe University sophomore Josh Hoeft said, “You wake up, drink, go to the beach and drink, go meet people (mostly hot girls) or go and find people who are in the same fraternity as you and party with them.” PCB: Where you decide when the party begins and stops.
7. It’s a Bachelor’s Paradise
PCB works as a magnet that attracts college students from all over the country to meet relationship goals. Lewis said, “My favorite part of PCB is day drinking with a bunch of strangers or meeting students from our rival school adds in some fun as we argue over who is a better football team.” You might kiss more people in a week than you have your entire life, but it can also be the place where you meet the love of your life. Forget Tinder—the best place to meet a significant other is by throwing a Frisbee in a girl’s direction and hoping that it’s not just the Frisbee that returns.
8. There’s Always Celebrity Appearances
PCB hosts the Beach Bash Music Fest with some of music’s top performing acts. Don’t sit at home playing Call of Duty; instead, dig out your vintage American flag tee and prepare yourself for the concert that throws free cups and t-shirts to the crowd. In the past, Florida Georgia Line, Diplo and Kascade made appearances, and even T-Pain asked college students to appear in his music video shoot at Fred’s.
9. It’s Affordable
PCB condos start at $30 a night per person and accommodate about six people. Most of these resorts include a full kitchen for cooking so you don’t have to waste money or time waiting at restaurants when you could be soaking up the sun. Also, PCB is aware it’s flooded with college students, so there are plenty of drink specials. The Panamaniac Card gives you complimentary drinks during select times, free entry to the Hammerhead Fred’s Glow Paint Party and free coverage charge at all the popular bars and beach parties. You save money and avoid longer lines at the club.
10. The Holy Land for Spring Break
From waking up on the beach with a red solo cup in your hand, covered with 3 wristbands, PCB is the only city where it’s socially (un)acceptable to be sober. Missouri Western State University graduate Wes Apple said, “PCB, to me is the promise land because that’s just its reputation of where people go to have fun for a week. Too many crazy memories are created, like meeting new people and doing things you’ve never done before.” Think of PCB as the only chance you’ll ever have in college to get drunk without having to attend class the next, after all the person twerking next to you is probably even crazier than you are.