Choose the RIGHT Hotel
My recommendation is that if you are going to spend the money to go to Spring Break in Panama City Beach do it right the first time and STAY in Panama City Beach.... DON'T stay in Panama City. If you stay in a hotel/motel in Panama City Beach everything is within walking distance.... the clubs, places to eat, places to shop. You WILL pay more at night to stay there but it is worth it for convenience.
Unique Suggestions: No information to offer up here........
Fun Alternatives: Note that there are 3 Howard Johnson’s in the area: the first and most famous is located on 9600 S. Thomas Drive, this Hojo is the best choice for spring breakers as it is close to the nightclubs and souvenir/gift shops – everything you need is within walking distance but with convenience there comes a price – higher nightly rates. The second Howard Johnson is located on West Highway 98 in Panama City and is the one I am reviewing here at VT, and the third is located in Panama City as well but is located very far to the east on West 23rd Street (about 45 minute drive- 1.5 hour drive during Spring Break) from the Ocean and Front Beach Road where all the “action” is.
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Forgot Your Beach Clothes! Oh NO!!!
The biggest rip-off are the numerous beach clothing stores located along the strip. They are very indistiguishable from one another which makes me think they are all owned by the same, very rich person. They sell the EXACT same shirts and are all the same price. No, it was not deja vu! This place should be the last resort when you have... left your entire suitcase at home or something.
Alvin's was the biggest store that I can think of.
Just remember, this entire place is a tourist trap. But thats also kind of the point. A bunch of drunk idiots looking to make friends with a bunch of drunker idiots! If everyone one visiting is drunk, you can be sure that everyone working is looking to rip you off. So have fun, just don't come looking for Prada.
Be careful with the VIP pass
The VIP Pass at Club La Vela sounds like a great deal. Free beer, no entry-fee, t-shirt and so on. But when you want to use it, you will recognize that others without the pass get the free beer, too. The free entry is only for specific times (we once had to pay 20 bucks to get in with our VIP Pass!!!!!). Better go there early at night (around 8-9 pm) to get a stamp on your hand when the entry fee is 5 bucks only. The prices are higher late at night.
But even with the ***ty prices it´s still the BEST and BIGGEST CLUB I´ve ever seen. 14 DANCEFLOORS and 5 STAGES for live bands. Great people, great fun. Pool parties, wet t-shirt contests during daytime.
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