From a beachfront hotel balcony you can take in panoramic views of Panama City’s gulf coastline, a long stretch of sugar-white sand and emerald green waters. Located in the Florida Panhandle, Panama City Beach is bounded by West Bay, St. Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
I spent the first part of the summer morning walking along the beach, playing volleyball and mingling with other tourists. Almost everyone I met on the beach exuded a great amount of Southern friendliness. Being a Californian, I felt like an oddity among a group of visitors from nearby states like Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.
Just before noon, I boarded a charter boat for a five-hour deep-sea fishing trip. The trip netted some mackerel, mahi-mahi, grouper and red snapper. Afterwards, I spent the evening partying at Club La Vela on Thomas Drive, which is known as the "largest nightclub in the USA."
After some late-night swimming, I capped off a truly eventful day standing on a pier among friends and strangers enjoying the beach breeze and eagerly awaiting the sunrise. That was just the first day of a memorable weekend!