Postcards From The South: Pensacola, Florida

When I am home, I am there totally entrenched in my most natural culture. When I ‘m away, I think of her, longing for the next time home. What’s not to like? Sugar white sandy beaches, lazy surf, grouper sandwiches that make you want to eat 10 ! Americas oldest settlement is my hometown, Pensacola.

There are some that would say she’s a better mistress than a wife. That my longing is what makes her appeal so strong. There are those that would remind me of days hot enough to fry an egg even before it hits the proverbial pavement. It is the buckle of the Bible belt, yes I know, and sometimes the thinking is a bit too, well, maybe I should just say, not where my thinking is. Conservative, slow, but soulful, growing and well home is just home. It’s an easy place to love !

I write not only to share my town with readers, but to encourage those that might be planning a vacation, to come to our shores. With the hurricanes of the last several years and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, Pensacola has taken a hit in more ways than one. Already reeling from a current lack of industry, then the economic downturn, the hurricanes and oil, well, times are tough. But Pensacola is beautiful and resilient.

Our beaches are without oil and the hotels, restaurants, bars, musicians, and retail stores would love to have a little of your money. In return we will give you a little slice of the Gulf Coast to take home in your heart.

Our downtown is right in its stride of redevelopment, with new restaurants, clubs and music venues right downtown on famed Palafox street. There is an energy that is building there in part with new, young mayor Ashton Hayward. I believe Hayward can be the spark that Pensacola has needed for a long time. They are approaching growth with a “build it and they will come” attitude.

The new Maritime Park with AA baseball team, the Carolina Mudcats which is a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds, promises to be a great addition to a host of things to do in Pensacola.

Here’s a few places to eat that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Best Breakfast: The Coffee Cup– Cervantes St

Best grouper sandwich- Jerry’s Drive in– Cervantes St

Best Burger- Paradise Inn– Pensacola Beach

Best Seafood- Marina Oyster Barn-Bayou Blvd and Peg Leg Pete’s on Pensacola Beach

McGuires Irish Pub is still an awesome place for dinner. Check out the new music venue Vinyl for your favorite bands. Check out the cross on Pensacola Beach marking this countries first Catholic ceremony. The Naval Museum is always a great place to take the family.

So, there ya go, book your flights and reservations. Come to Pensacola, discover its history, bask in its charm, take a little bit of heaven home with you. If you do, I think you will be booking next years trip before you leave this year. Please remember to leave only your footprints on our beaches so they will be beautiful for everyone else.