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Options for beach vacation with group of friends - Feb. 2010

Peoria, Illinois
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185 posts
736 reviews
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Options for beach vacation with group of friends - Feb. 2010

We are starting to plan our one week winter get-a-way trip for February 2010. This is a group of friends that love the beach and prefer to stay (lodging) on the beach. We tend to be beach bums for a week. We also look for places that offer us several “local” dining options, preferably within walking distance. We are not into the large resorts or all inclusives. Some beach bars offering afternoon happy hour is a plus, along with some nightlife (local music appreciated). Don’t need the total all out party scene however, based on our age. We are laid back and far from high maintenance travelers, so we like to mingle with the locals. Our group size will range from 10 to 16 people. We look for moderate ($$) lodging options – clean and safe are the main objectives, since we spend minimal time in our rooms. Do you have any recommendations in Panama?

Panama City, Panama
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for Panama
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1. Re: Options for beach vacation with group of friends - Feb. 2010

There are really only two or three places I can think of that will give you most of what you are looking for...

Santa Catalina - rustic but decent accommodations, close to beach - surfing, diving, snorkeling all available - selection of local eateries and bars - very local scene.

Bocas del Toro - lots of accommodation options from $$$ to rustic - lots of restaurants and nightlife to choose from - you just have to look for the beach aspect - there is no beach right by Bocas town but there are options that are on beaches either on the main island of Colon or on the outlying islands - nightlife and restaurant choice is then much more limited on these more remote beaches.

You could also look at the Coronado/San Carlos area - in addition to hotel possibilities - you might find a house (or two) that you could rent in this area that would accommodate the group (on a per person basis this might be the most economical) - there's quite a few restaurants and bars in this area now.

Hope this helps you narrow your search.

Cheers,

Andrew

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Options for beach vacation with group of friends - Feb. 2010

Please check out and consider, if "moderate" involves $90-100 a night for a room, double bed or even 2 beds per room, the Azuero Peninsula area. Casita Margartia B&B in Pedasi is wonderful. We just got back last week for a couple of weeks in Panama. Local beach or about 45 minute drive to very good surf, maybe best beaches in Panama for raw beach. Advisors that live there are better informed than me but this is what I have been told....VERY few other people...no facilities to speak of other than one little cabana bar. Pedasi is about 800 people and walking to the 2-3 totally local restaurants is what it is all about. It's only about 3-4 blocks to anywhere, then you are out of town! The night sky is incredible. I forgot what the Milky Way looked like until we went for a short walk the first night! There is NO party scene but a GREAT front porch for drinks and conversation. EXCELLENT digs to stay in. No long pants or shirts needed at all. No shoes other than flip-flops or sandals either.....underwear is optional! LOL. Enjoy!

3. Re: Options for beach vacation with group of friends - Feb. 2010

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