My husband and I recently enjoyed a long weekend in Pensacola Beach, Florida. We went to this lovely city on the Gulf coast to visit our oldest daughter, Lauren. She moved to Pensacola last September to work as a florist in the wedding industry. She absolutely loves the city and its relaxed beachy vibe. We were extremely lucky to have her as our tour guide. Since we were only there for five days she helped make a few of these recommendations.
Visiting the beach during the winter is a totally different experience than visiting during the summer. The weather was a little shaky when we first arrived with lots of fog. Once the fog cleared out the weather was beautiful with highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s and lows in the 50s. Pensacola is one of those cities that always has a breeze so the lows were definitely a bit chilly.
Where to Stay–
We decided to stay at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel this trip. It’s located right on the beach in Gulf Breeze on Pensacola Beach.
The Margaritaville is a full-service hotel with a nice restaurant overlooking the Gulf. We enjoyed breakfast several days and a few cocktails in their bar in the evenings.
Once the weather warms up, the Margaritaville also has a beach bar called The Landshark next door.
Where to Eat & Drink–
There are so many restaurants in Pensacola that there is no way to enjoy them all.
At the Beach-
A few restaurants at the beach that we enjoy are Peg Leg Pete’s, Hemingway’s Island Grill, and Paradise Bar & Grill. A little more upscale dining at the beach, located on the Pensacola Boardwalk is Lucas’. For drinks, everyone that goes to Pensacola has to have a Bushwacker at The Sandshaker–it’s an institution.
What to Do–
Of course, you have to visit the beach when in Pensacola. They boast the “World’s Whitest Beaches” and they are not lying. The beaches are white and the sand is soft like powdered sugar. They are absolutely beautiful.
If you are looking for an adventure you can explore Ft. Pickens. It’s a historic landmark built from 1829-1834 used during the Civil War. They have tours and reenactments daily.
(Wardrobe hint–don’t make the same mistake I made and wear a dress to Ft. Pickens on a windy day!)
Another fun adventure to tour is the Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum. It’s located on the opposite end of Pensacola from Ft. Pickens on the Naval Air Station near the National Naval Aviation Museum which is also a wonderful museum to visit and it’s completely free.
Pensacola also has a monthly Gallery Night in the downtown area. We were lucky enough to be there during one of the celebrations and really enjoyed it. The gallery night features lots of food trucks, live music, and street vendors down popular Palafax St. and the surrounding area.
I hope that a few of these recommendations come in handy if you visit Pensacola and I would love to hear your favorites.