by: Ann Redus (UTSA)
With spring break less than two months away for most universities, the party planning has already commenced. Groups of eager, young, college students are looking for the best place to get as incoherent as possible, but it may come with a hefty price. This year the top two party destinations in the United States are… (drum roll, please) South Padre Island, Texas and Panama City Beach, Florida. Now, the question is… Which one is worth your (parent’s) hard-earned money? I’ve done my fair share of research on both places to determine which beach party is right for YOU.
From personal experience, South Padre Island is a blast for anyone on a student-like budget. Most spring breakers that visit SPI opt to drive instead of fly because it’s a lot cheaper than flying. The night life there isn’t amazing, but it’s still fun – then again, though, isn’t everything fun after a few drinks? If you’re a minor you’re in luck because all the clubs on the Island are 18+. On the other hand, good luck drinking on the beach. Meet TABC… The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. They aren’t shy. Look at TABC like this… Have you seen Inglorious Basterds… Remember Lt. Aldo Raine? His hunt to kill Nazis is the equivalent to TABC looking for minors drinking alcohol. Keep that in mind. If you’re 21+, it’s a blast, and in most cases you’re within walking distance of anything you want to do. One of the biggest hotspots is Louie’s Backyard. It’s a multi-level, indoor/outdoor venue that is a restaurant by day and a club by night. I recommend their famous house drink – the Whammy. Students usually spend less than $500 for their stay entire on the Island. All in all, SPI is well worth the drive and the money.
Now, destination number 2… Panama City Beach. From what I hear, it’s the epitome of all spring break parties. PCB has been voted the #1 spring break destination for a decade now, and is considered the spring break capital of the nation. 2010 is supposed to be the year to go to PCB. The night life consists of clubs that can hold over 10,000 people, crazy drink specials, and tons of contests. The best places to go? Spinnaker Beach Club and Club La Vela. Spinnaker has 20 bars and the hottest entertainment lineup during spring break. Club La Vela is the largest club in the United States and known for hosting the most contests. This year, MTVu is, again, setting up an entertainment stage right on the beach to bring partiers the most celebrity appearances, the best concerts, and the sickest DJs from across the country to make sure you’re fist pumpin’ all day. If you’re seriously considering PCB for spring break, plan on spending at least $500+ on your trip. Airfare isn’t cheap and neither is gas, but hey, you can’t put a price on memories… right?