My friend was stationed in Panama City, Florida for a bout a year with the Air Force and asked us to come down to visit for his birthday. So, we jumped on a flight down as soon as we possible could. Now, if you are planning to fly down, be careful of the pilots from Atlanta to Panama City. All of the pilots in training man these flights and the experience is scary. Our pilot actually landed NOSE FIRST! That’s right, nose first. And then he proceeded to bounce around the runway as if it were covered in ice and the wheels couldn’t grip. After our near death experience, we got picked up and headed straight to the beach. My friend was living with three of his friends in a four-bedroom house right on the beach, so the location was perfect. He unfortunately had to work on the base that day, so he dropped us off and went back to work, so we explored.
The first place on the beach that we hit up was a place Pineapple Willies (www.pineapplewillies.com). This place has the strongest drinks around. There was one called 180 Octane which was basically frozen orange juice and grain alcohol served in slushy sized cups. These are so bad because they taste great and you CAN"T taste the alcohol. We made the mistake of finishing TWO of these drinks and then relaxing on the beach. Immediately, we both passed out and woke up resembling lobsters (a terrible way to start a vacation).
So after coating ourselves in Aloe Vera lotion, we felt we should head out to dinner. Now the food in Panama City is unbelievable. Just like every city situated on the waterfront, the seafood here was great. We went to a place called Hammerhead Fred’s (www.hammerheadfreds.com). We had this tuna dip and some alligator dish that was phenomenal. After dinner, we were off to the clubs that Panama City has to offer. We started at a place call Spinnaker (www.spinnakerbeachclub.com). This is a place that was featured on MTV’s Spring break and is an all-around party palace. Also, since you are in an Air Force run town, everyone party’s all of the time.
The next day we awoke with an inkling to go race some go carts. In Panama City, there are a plethora of go cart tracks, giving you the impression that NASCAR really has an influence. This was so much fun. I mean, these tracks go up in a spiral to the top of a three- or four-story tower and then drop straight down for an added rush. And the price was so cheap, I think it was around $10 or so and there was an indoor arcade full of fun, cheap games. Also, outside, there are large human slingshots and tons of bungee jumping areas. So, be prepared, it's awesome.
We then headed off for the beach to tan and swim and relax. That evening, we got ready and headed back out to another MTV hotspot called Club La Vela (www.clublavela.com). Here, there was a large stage in the center of a staggered, multi leveled club overlooking both the beach and the stage. Inside, there is a full dance floor with nonstop music and free flowing drinks. Also, as an added bonus, Spinnaker is right next door.
So, for your next Spring Break outing, I would HIGHLY recommend a stop over in Panama City, Florida for a 180 Octane, a Spinnaker dance, a Club La Vela concert and a tan on the endless beaches. So pack you suntan lotion, bring your prophylactics (and plenty of them) and bring a barf bag on your flight form Atlanta and have a kick ass time.