PANAMA CITY, Fla. – With Miami Beach enforcing a strict curfew to curb a spike in spring break violence in one of the final weeks of the season, Panama City and other Florida beach towns are boasting of a more relaxed scene.
At Panama City Beach, vacationing college students flocked to the Gulf Coast on the panhandle.
Photos show spring breakers dancing, playing sports and tanning on the beach, then packing into cars after sundown to experience the local nightlife.
Beachgoers said they were happy to stretch their legs after two years of coronavirus lockdowns kept millions of Americans cooped up and avoiding travel.
Police broke up at least one large gathering, however, and police earlier this week announced more than 100 arrests for drinking alcohol on the beach this spring break season, which can last up to six weeks due to different schedules for colleges around the country.
But it was a mellower contrast to the other side of the state in Miami Beach, where city officials have blocked off parking in most of the South Beach entertainment district and ordered a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew for the final week of the busy spring break season. The crackdown there came after a pair of shootings left five people injured in two days in the heart of a waterfront neighborhood that appeals to young travelers and other visitors.
More than 600 people have been arrested there in connection with spring break – and not just for open containers. Police seized more than 100 firearms and were still on the hunt for at least two shooting suspects.
Fox News Joshua Comins contributed to this report.