• Pensacola On My Mind

    A Great Summer Vacation Destination For Your Traveling Clan

    By Nancy Ryerson

    We stopped in at the James
    Beard House earlier this week for their Pensacola Celebrity Chefs
    foodie event promoting the Florida coastal town and its restaurants, chefs and seafood. Turns out, Pensacola isn’t just about fresh fish – it also prides itself
    on being a great place for families, with a water park, amusement centers,
    museums and, of course, the beach.

    Your first stop, no doubt,
    should be the beach. Head to Pensacola Beach or Perdido
    Key
    for well preserved shores and fun in the waves. Pensacola also boasts one of the longest boardwalks on the Gulf of Mexico, with 1,471 feet of shops, restaurants, free summertime
    concerts and shallow water for kids to play in. For really little ones, Santa Rosa Sound at Portofino Boardwalk is considered the
    perfect “baby beach.” With its calm waters, even tiny tots can splash and play
    safely.

    For the family that loves
    adventure, Pensacola also features plenty of opportunities for canoeing
    and kayaking. Check out Adventures
    Unlimited
    for canoe and kayak rentals and an outdoor ropes course. Or, head
    out on the open waves with Lanier
    Sailing
    or Condor Sailing Adventures. They
    both offer classes for all ages.

    If your fun in the sun leaves you
    sunburned, escape inside to the National
    Naval Aviation Museum
    , a perfect pick for kiddos who love to fly. Or climb
    to the top of the Pensacola
    Lighthouse
    for great views and a little bit of history. But be warned–the
    lighthouse is supposedly haunted!

    The beach town also features
    several great amusement centers. Sam’s
    Fun City
    is an amusement and water park, with more than 20 rides. Tiki Island, located on the beach, has
    a putt-putt course and an indoor arcade.

    For dinner, head
    to Pensacola’s downtown for its famous restaurants. The Gulf Coast boasts fresh seafood cooked up with Southern flair,
    and even a little kick of Spanish flavor from its colonial days. Don’t miss out on the crab cakes
    or red snapper! For something extra special, try the fare at restaurants
    the Pensacola Celebrity Chefs call home, like Jackson’s Steakhouse, where you can dine on creamy crab cakes, crispy fried oysters and tender scallops.

    And, perhaps most important of all, your trip can be
    affordable. Hotels on the beach are available for as low as $120 a night during
    the summer season. Click here for a helpful
    Pensacola lodging guide.

    But before taking off for all
    that Pensacola has to offer, the low-key beach
    village wants you to know that the Gulf and its
    seafood are safe for visitors and diners! Scientists, government
    agencies and
    universities, have tested the seafood from the Gulf Coast and everything
    has come up negative for dangerous
    chemicals. After the BP oil spill in the Gulf last summer, Gulf beaches
    took a
    big hit – Pensacola alone lost $10 million in lodging revenue last
    summer. And now the city is happy to announce that things are back in full
    swing this summer!

    So no matter what you find
    to do in the sunshine state’s Pensacola, remember to slow down your New York style for some southern living.

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