2022 Guide to Spring Break in Panama City Beach: Where to Go & Where to Party

February 9, 2022

Stock up on SPF and pull that bikini out of storage because it’s time for spring break! Every March thousands upon thousands of college students flock to northwest Florida to participate in the age-old ritual known as the ‘spring break party.’

Panama City Beach, Florida, has long been deemed a mecca for spring breakers due to its dazzling 27 miles of soft, sugar sand beaches, bountiful waterfront bars, and premier theme parties. Read on to discover everything you need to know about spring break in Panama City Beach.

This dazzling oasis of seafood, saltwater, and NSFW fun is the perfect destination for those seeking to let loose in the sunshine state.

From getting groovy with the latest in live musical Tik Tok acts at Harpoon Harry's to experience the thrill and iridescent excitement of gallons of neon paint at the world-famous Glow Paint Party there are endless ways to commemorate your spring break in the panhandle.

Panama City Beach

Sparkling emerald waters, miles and miles of soft quartz sand beaches, and balmy year-round temperatures make Panama City Beach an ideal destination any time of year. Located in northwest Florida and bordered by the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is equally blessed by stunning natural beauty and rowdy nightlife.

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Conveniently located just 14 miles from the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, PCB is just a short flight from most major U.S. cities. 

Panama City Beach Hotels

Yearning for those perfect spring break lodgings? Whether your top priority is proximity to the party, waterfront views, or walking distance to the beach, we have got you covered.

Our favorite spring break Panama City Beach Hotels marry location, convenience, and amenities to deliver you a sensational sunshine state experience that won't break the bank.

Casa Loma

Easy beach access, dazzling Gulf of Mexico views, and walking distance to Harpoon Harrys? Yes, yes, and yes! Try as we might, we can never grow tired of the verdant tropical scenery, spellbinding sunsets, and spacious gulf front pool on display at Casa Loma.

Their property is a mere 5 minutes from Pier Park and just steps away from the beckoning beach. So book anything from a standard room to a suite and celebrate your PCB spring break in style.

View looking down over Casa Loma and their pool and beach area on a sunny day with a bright blue ocean in Panama City, Florida, USA

photo credit: Casa Loma Panama City Beach, Florida via Facebook

Springhill Suites by Mariott

Luxury resort amenities, well-appointed rooms, and daily delicious (and free) breakfast make snagging a reservation at Springhill Suites a spring break no-brainer.

This student-friendly waterfront reprieve is a new addition to the Panama City Beachfront. It allows guests easy access to the area's famous beaches and popular attractions. Shipwreck Island Waterpark, Pier Park, Panama City Beach, and Shell Island, just to name a few. 

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Their curvaceous and spacious pool is the perfect place to cool off midday, and busy spring breakers will appreciate their fitness gym and mini market, which are open 24/7.

Laketown Wharf

Looking to level up your spring break lodgings? Spring for sky-high condo living when you choose to relax in the heart of Panama City Beach at Laketown Wharf. Located between a shimmering private lake and the Gulf of Mexico, Laketown Wharf is the largest single-building condominium vacation resort in the Panama City area.

Depending on your budget and the size of your spring break crew, choose to stay anywhere from a 1 to 3 bedroom bunk room. Then, explore over 52,000 sq ft of lakefront boardwalk, splash around any of their five pools, or soak in the glittering lights of the Wharf's massive daily fountain show. 

Days Inn

Are you ready to party? Prime yourself for plenty of pirate adventure, gorgeous sunsets, and refreshing poolside dips when you stay at the Days Inn.

This modern resort property is brimming with ingenious amenities and perks, including a real pirate ship, multiple cascading pool waterfalls, and direct beach access. So cozy up in your classically decorated room, or wake up with the sun and enjoy your complimentary continental breakfast.

Savor that ocean breeze as you sip your mai tai poolside before heading out to Harpoon Harry's on foot. 

What to Pack for Spring Break:

  • Sunscreen and Aloe Vera 
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Fanny pack and/or mini backpack
  • Bug spray
  • Light jacket or sweater
  • Waterproof speaker
  • Keychain bottle opener
  • Large beach towel
  • Sun hat 
  • Sunglasses (multiple pairs)
  • Swimsuits 
  • Party Outfits, plus fun additional items for any theme parties you may attend
  • Flip flops
  • Student ID card

Where to Eat & Drink

Captain Anderson's Restaurant

While Captain Anderson's Restaurant is a far cry from the hole-in-the-wall eateries frequented by most spring breakers, we firmly believe this family-owned restaurant is a must-visit for any Panama City Beach itinerary. For 55 years, Anderson's has been serving up mouthwateringly succulent seafood in their esteemed waterfront location.

The ideal combination of quality, excellence, and tradition, a meal at Anderson's is one to remember. Feast on their famous grilled bay shrimp or oven broiled stuffed Florida Lobster. Wash it all down with a specialty drink, such as their potent Rum Runner, and don't forget to keep the commemorative souvenir glass it's served in.

Back Beach Barbecue

Panama City Beach may be known as the 'Seafood Capital of the South,' but that doesn't mean their Southern-inspired BBQ doesn't slay. So take a break from the crustaceans and fill up on slow, smoked goodness when you stop by Back Beach Barbecue.

Specializing in 12 hour cooked meats, fresh homemade sides, and sauces, this casual beach haunt is the perfect place to refuel before a night of serious imbibing. Sample their tender Texas-style brisket, spare ribs, or delectable pulled pork sandwich served with pickles and slaw. 

Pineapple Willy's

Sand in your toes, some delicious rum drinks, and N'awlins style Po'boys make Pineapple Willy's a premier Panama City Beach bar destination. This world-famous institution of live music, seafood, and sublime beach scenery has been wowing tourists since 1984.

Grab that sunblock and settle in on their open-air patio for a Pineapple Willy, featuring Myers Platinum Rum, gold rum, Hawaiian pineapple juice, and cream of coconut before diving into their tantalizing eats. Start with the heavily smoked tuna dip and then opt for a shrimp po'boy and a one-pound bucket of their renowned ribs to share. 

Close up of a guy and girl sitting at a bar with a bucket of beer branded Pineapple Willy's and a basket of wings next to them at Pineapple Willy's in Panama City, Florida, USA

photo credit: Pineapple Willy's Restaurant via Facebook

Schooners Last Local Beach Club

Lap up every second of Florida sunshine when you choose to eat, drink, and be merry at Schooners. This long-heralded Panama City Beach watering hole delivers plenty of local flavor, live music, and beach-soaked fun.

Jump into a pickup beach volleyball game, build a majestic sandcastle creation, or just watch the waves roll in. Then, stick around after the sun goes down for evening entertainment, including their daily 'sunset celebration,' which they honor by firing off an old cannon as the sun slips below the horizon.

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The fare here is nothing fancy, but it hits the spot. Devour Gulf fresh grouper, seared crab cakes, and fish tacos, and be sure to save room for a big slice of key lime pie. 

Close up of the cannon with people on the beach and a bright orange sunset in the background at Sunset Celebration Cannon at Schooners Beach Club in Panama City, Florida, USA

photo credit: Schooners via Facebook

Where to Party

World-class musical acts, beachfront festivities, and themed parties are just a few of the special events on deck at Panama City Spring Break. From foam parties to electronic DJ sets at Beach Bash, follow along as we lay out all the Panama City Beach offers:

Beach Bash Music Fest

Welcome to the biggest party of your spring break career, aka Beach Bash Music Fest. Pulsating beats, the biggest names in music, and throngs of sweaty and sunkissed college coeds come together to create a festival experience that Rolling Stone deemed the 'biggest daytime beach party in the USA.'

This year's Bash looks to be as rollicking and rowdy as ever and highlights a stellar lineup of Tik Tok sensation Cooper Alan (March 9th, 2022), Steve Aoki (March 16th, 2022), and Afroman (March 24th, 2022), all of whom will be performing at Harpoon Harrys. Lights, special effects, and crazy beach antics are sure to follow, so purchase your tickets now before they sell out.

A large cowd of people in their swim suits on spring break looking up at the stage at Beach Bash Music Fest with a building and palm trees in the back ground in Panama City, Florida, USA

photo credit: Beach Bash Music Fest via Facebook

Panama City Beach Spring Break VIP Cards

Hey, there, hotshot! Are you looking high and low to score the best deals, discounts, and perks on spring break special events and parties? VIP cards** are your entry point into a world of first-class worthy services and perks.

**Must be 18 or older to purchase a VIP card, 21 and older to drink

Maniac VIP Card 2022

Ring in your Spring Break with exceptional flair and finesse when you purchase Panama City Beach's most talked-about VIP Card. The savings achieved with a Maniac card are pure madness and include:

  • No cover charges at the most popular Spring Break beach clubs 
  • Complimentary beverages during select times
  • Discounts for the Beach Bash Music Fest Concert 
  • Savings at the areas best restaurants and retail
  • No cover charge to Hammerhead Fred's famous Glow Paint Party
  • No cover charge to Hammerhead Fred's famous Wet & Wild Foam Party

Longboard Spring Break 2022 VIP Card

Surf that party wave when you get down and dirty with all the discounts offered on the Longboard Spring Break VIP card. Lucky cardholders will be cruising like celebrities at Panama City's only nightclub when they enjoy privileges like:

  • Free cover all night long
  • VIP entry - no pesky waiting in line!
  • Access to VIP room & VIP drink prices
  • 10% off all Longboard merchandise
  • Incredible discounts on concerts and special live events**

**Longboard VIP Cards are valid for all of 2022

Harpoon Harry's

All of the collegiate vibes, party spirit, and down-home fun of your favorite campus bar back home, but on the beach! Harpoon Harry's is a Panama City Beach mainstay, and we can see why. This quintessential Florida beach bar is always buzzing with hungry patrons during daylight hours.

However, boneless Buffalo wings and seafood platters are traded in for some epic Gulf of Mexico partying at nightfall. So grab yourself a Harry-cane or vibrant Bahama-Mama and prime yourself for some first-rate raging this March. Of course, Harry's is also the annual blowout Beach Bash Music Fest site.

Wide shot of the deck and beach at Harpoon Harry's during spring break filled with people partying in Panama City Beach, Florida, USA

photo credit: Harpoon Harry's via Facebook

Hammerhead Freds

Party like an apex predator at Hammerhead Freds. A popular haunt of tourists and locals alike, Fred's has made a name for themselves on the Spring Break scene with their lineups of top-tier DJs, musical acts, and celebrities. Sample over 50 beers on tap and chow down on seafood specialties with a Cajun kick as you wait for the evening's festivities to begin. 

2022 promises to be a banner year of debauchery and decadence, so steel yourself for sweaty nights of:

  • Glow Paint Party - light up the night like never before when you immerse yourself in a world of neon paint, amazing special effects, and exhilarating electronic beats. Bring your A-game as you won't want to miss this glowing explosion of dance, music, and scantily clad coeds. 
  • Foam Party - foamy, wet, and wild, things are sure to get crazy at Fred's annual escapade of the exhibition. So lather up as you experience 5,000 square feet of the thick, fluffy stuff at the biggest foam party in America.

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events in Panama City Beach

Every year like clockwork, harried college students slam shut their textbooks and pack their bags for brighter and sunnier pastures. This timeless tradition of partying and beach bumming has brought spring breakers to the crown jewel of the panhandle for decades. 

Between the swaying palm trees, the intoxicating rum drinks, and the tropical Gulf of Mexico views, there truly is no better place to spring break than Panama City Beach.

Whether you choose to get down and dirty in a foam pit, stuff yourself silly with seafood at Schooners. Or shimmy all night at the Beach Bash Music Fest. You are in for one insatiable spring break. 

So stop dreaming and make your Panama City Beach spring break fantasies a reality today!

How Will You Be Spending Your Panama City Beach Spring Break?

Leave us a comment below!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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