Mile after stunning mile of silver-white sand is just one facet of Pensacola—a Gulf Coast jewel where Florida history and Southern charm beautifully intertwine.
When Spanish explorer Tristán de Luna sailed up what is now called Pensacola Bay in 1559, he was just the first of many to discover the beauty of this serene marine locale. Though a hurricane crashed the coast just weeks later, dismantling his new settlement and costing Pensacola its claim as America’s oldest city, it wasn’t long before others found their way to the beautiful bay area and development began in earnest. Over the years, five flags have flown over the city, reflecting the importance of this strategic and desirable location.
Today, the town still bears the imprint of its storied past. Streets are lined with houses trimmed in Spanish-style stucco and French-inspired ironwork; venerable live oaks bend their branches to shelter neighborhoods with names like Seville Square and Belmont-DeVilliers. And while this beloved coastal community reveres its past, it also embraces its here and now. From perusing the wares in local shops to feasting on fresh Gulf seafood in area restaurants to watching breathtaking aerial performances of the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels to leaving footprints in the sand of the sugar-white beaches, visitors are sure to depart Pensacola with memories that will last for many years to come.
Bring your tote and load up at Pensacola’s marvelous array of stores. Don’t miss the eclectic wares at Duh—every nook and cranny holds fabulous finds from around the world—and at Artesana, where their collection of wooden dinnerware is unrivaled. Be sure to visit Blue Morning Gallery, a local-artist co-op that features everything from paintings and sculptures to baskets and beadwork. Artist Sonja Griffin Evans’s Gumbo Gallery spotlights multicultural art and serves as her studio as well.
Bluesy tunes and comfort food pair up for a unique dining experience at Five Sisters Blues Café, located in the Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood. The Fish House, along with Jackson’s Steakhouse and the Atlas Oyster House, completes the Great Southern Restaurant Group’s trifecta of culinary goodness. Indulge your sweet tooth with artisan gelato and sorbet as well as luscious handcrafted chocolates at Dolce!
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