Hotspot Panama City Beach, Fla.

March 08, 2009|By Liz Atwood

This is where the boys are. And girls, too. Once again, mtvU, the media network for college kids and a subsidiary of MTV, the music network, is celebrating spring break in this Florida Panhandle city. The action starts today and is expected to draw thousands of students who will be flocking to the beach for fun, games, music and swag. While nonspring-breakers may want to postpone their visit until after the party is over, there is lots to do for students and nonstudents alike.

1

: Take a dive : Thanks to an abundance of natural, historical and artificial reefs, Panama City Beach is known as the "Wreck Capital of the South." Historic wrecks include a World War II Liberty ship, a coastal freighter and several tugboats. The warm waters also boast abundant sea life, including turtles, giant manta rays, puffer fish and blue marlin.

2

Party with thousands : Club La Vela bills itself as the largest nightclub in the U.S. With 11 theme rooms, 48 bar stations and a 6,000-plus capacity, this is definitely not your intimate little dining spot. Daytime activities include bikini and hard body contests; at night, there are foam parties and musical performances.

3

Swim with dolphins : Gulf World Marine Park offers visitors the chance to get up close to these magnificent creatures. The park also has musical performances, magic acts, a reptile show and a parrot show.

4

Believe It Or Not : OK, so lots of towns have a Ripley's Believe It Or Not. But what better place for some silly fun if you feel like taking a break from the beach and booze? This one features a shipwreck, 4-D theater and lots of nautical oddities.

5

Get beached : While the bars and clubs might get the most notice during spring break, Panama City Beach also has beautiful white beaches overlooking emerald waters.

More information:

visitpanamacitybeach.com

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