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Photo Courtesy Of Visit Pensacola

Featured Article

Angels Heard On High:

The Way to Beach in Pensacola, Florida

Known as “The Cradle of Naval Aviation” thanks to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola has long been a quick weekend getaway for Nashvillians with non-stop Southwest Airline flights offered daily for a steal. From catching a US Navy Blue Angels practice to dining at some of the Southeastern region’s top restaurants you’ll swear that angels are indeed echoing their joyous strains this holiday season upon the sugar-white beaches and emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

A short 10-mile drive from Pensacola Airport, you’ll find plenty of beach accommodations. For family-friendly beachside options, the newly renovated Springhill Suites Pensacola Beach offers a series of heated pools banked by a full bar, beachfront volleyball, and private beach access to name a few amenities. Overlooking both the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound, Portofino Island Resort and Beach Club features five tennis courts, two full adventure centers, several restaurants, and a full spa. And for an urban oasis, boutique-hotel lovers can cross the bay into downtown Pensacola where Oyster Bay Boutique Hotel features eight rooms with unmatched interiors and an adults-only vibe. 

As eating your weight in seafood is a given, this isn’t your old-school childhood memories of baskets of fried seafood. Though, there are these gladsome tidings if that’s your thing at joints like Flounder’s Chowder House where seafood nachos and flounder tenders coexist with a full sushi bar. While you’re at it, belly up at the Sandshaker where the infamous bushwhacker was born – maybe not in Bethlehem, but you just may find yourself following the north star after a couple of stiff ones.  

The fine dining side of Pensacola’s culinary scene is as simple as driving over the bay into downtown where breakfast at Bodacious Brew and lunch at Carmen’s Lunch Bar are musts, as so is Pearl & Horn serving up gourmet eats in The Garden at Palafox. Dinner at Jackson’s Steakhouse offers a traditional award-winning steakhouse experience along with some of its popular seafood dishes like blue crab beignets and Gulf Coast Lionfish – a delicacy in these parts. Restaurant Iron expresses locally-sourced Southern fare with a contemporary accent. But, if you still can’t decide, hit up Seville Savories Food Tour to learn the complete culinary history of America’s oldest settlement all while savoring local bites. And, look no further than The Kennedy and Old Hickory Whiskey Bar which are well within walking distance of one another for the best downtown nightcaps.

When it comes to long walks on the beach, angels couldn’t even drag you from the eight miles of sugary white shoreline. But, if you tire of wasting the day away, book a surf lesson with Gulf Coast Surf School, or a beachside sound bath with Swan Michelle who uses sound therapy for a holistic approach to healing your nervous system. 

Watching the US Navy Blue Angels aboard Pensacola Bay Cruises will surely inspire a heavenly song. Tuesday and Wednesday morning practice flights happen mid-March through early-January yearly. You can also watch them practice by heading over to the Gulf Islands National Seashore where historic Fort Pickens still stands as a massive brick fortress. 

But, before you belt out a final “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” make time for last-minute holiday shopping at the numerous local art galleries, boutiques, and confectioners along Palafox Street, and beyond.

  • Photo Courtesy Of Visit Pensacola
  • Photo Courtesy Of Visit Pensacola
  • Photo Courtesy Of Visit Pensacola
  • Portofino Island Resort, Pensacola Beach FL
  • Seville Historic Quarter