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Bold Exploration Podcast

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Shanda – Bold Exploration Podcast: Today’s episode is all about Pensacola. So grab your snorkel and let’s get to it.

So Pensacola, Florida is on the panhandle of Florida and it’s on the coast that’s called the Emerald Coast. It has gorgeous white sand beaches, quiet little beach towns all up and along the coast, and Pensacola it’s kind of like a little gem in that area. So it’s right below Alabama. It’s very close to Orange Beach, and it is a cute little vacation town.

It can get a little wild, so there’s a party scene that’s there for some people. And then for those of you who just really love the crystal blue ocean and the beautiful white sand beaches, there’s plenty of shoreline for great Chair rentals and umbrella rentals and lots of water sports in the area.

So what I want to highlight for you today are some of the top picks that I have for Pensacola. And if you [00:01:00] notice in our show notes or down below, if you’re watching on YouTube, you’ll see that there is a link for you to be able to download a Pensacola City Guide so that you’ll have all this information at your fingertips.

So the weather in Pensacola is really nice. Like, would you expect for the coast summer season that June to August season, it’s going to be warm. You’ve got your shoulder seasons in the spring that start about spring break and go all the way to schools out. And then obviously the shoulder season in the fall.

It’s going to go from September to just past fall break. Now, the ocean does stay warmer longer in the spring, and it takes a little bit longer to heat up in fall. I’m sorry. It stays a little warmer in the fall. So you can usually get to get in the water still till about November. And in the spring, it takes a little bit longer to warm up.

So you aren’t going to see most people unless they’re wearing a wetsuit get in the water until about April or I should say stay in the water. There’s a lot [00:02:00] of kite surfers down there. So even when we were down there and it was super cold There were, there were dudes out there in their in their wetsuits enjoying that really icy water.

Now, the beaches are beautiful. They have the tides are great and we just came back in January and it was a, we had a great time. One reason that we like the off season, which is about the beginning of November all the way till the end of February, is because it’s quieter. We’re not really swimming in the ocean and there’s plenty of heated pools down there.

So you still get to have a little bit of pool time. So let’s move on to talking a little bit about where to stay. Okay. There are lots of great resorts, hotels condo rentals down there. There are lots of options. One of the ones that. We have stayed at recently is the Portofino Island Resort. These are two and three bedroom condos.

They have beautiful balconies that overlook the ocean or the bay and there’s a restaurant on site. There’s a spa [00:03:00] on site. They have multiple pools and hot tubs and you’re a very short walk from the beach. I mean, really, really short. Really short walk from the beach. They have lots of opportunity for water sports, and it’s just a nice cozy place to stay.

And because they have these three bedroom villas, you do have lots of room to kind of stretch out with your family. So like, we’re a three bed family now. You know, my My son and my daughter, they prefer their own room and me and my husband can have a master suite there. This, this rental resort really just kind of like accommodates having a little room to spread out.

So if you check in the summertime and it’s just a little out of your price, look in the, look in the off season. There are great off season options at the island resort, the Portofino Island Resort. Okay, another nice upscale option. It’s a little bit more of a hotel vibe, is the Pensacola Beach Resort.

I’ve also stayed at this location. It is, it’s nice. There’s a nice little [00:04:00] restaurant, a little shop there. They’ve got a great pool. It’s right on the beach. It’s more of like a boutique hotel, hotel feel. I think you would like it. It used to be Margaritaville resort if I remember correctly. And so it really has that laid back coastal Bahamas vibe.

Another great family resort that I have been able to stay at, several clients go, is the Holiday Inn Resort. And I know that it doesn’t, I mean you think Holiday Inn Resort, it’s, it’s a hotel. It’s tall. It’s very close to Portofino Island Resort. They have a great lazy river. They have a great zero entry pool.

They typically have pirate shows, mermaid shows. The beach is right there. You do not have to cross a road to get to the beach. We loved it. We loved it there. Lots of activities, lots of things for the kids to do. It’s just got a really cool vibe. Now it is a hotel. Hotels are big enough, or some of the hotel rooms are big enough that you could put a roll away in.

But, you know, [00:05:00] It’s really, it’s just a standard hotel room and it’s holiday resort. I really like the holiday in. It’s always a sometimes, you know, some people sleep on the holiday and resort, but it’s an awesome option for your family, especially if you have a little kids. This is, this has been my favorite one for little kids to have plenty to do, but.

If you don’t want to stay at a hotel or resort, that’s fine. There are tons of vacation rentals up and along the beach, on the coastal side, on the, on the bay side. Lots and lots of options there for a rental. So if you’ve got a big group, They’ve got some big places there for you to stay. Now, there’s also lots to do there, okay?

Like, the beach is gorgeous. Miles and miles of white sand beaches. Plus, there’s a national seashore there if you’re looking for something a little more, I don’t know if deserted is the word, is the word I’m looking for, but something just a little quieter. There’s lots and lots of space between [00:06:00] Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach.

That’s, it, it’s just a beautiful drive. Take some time to do that. The Naval Aviation Museum is down there. That is a history buff’s dream. They have so many beautiful planes, so many points in history. It’s really worth your time. And of course, there’s Fort Pickens. Which is a National Park Service property.

They have camping that’s down there. It’s it’s just a great little afternoon walk around and you get to check another National Park property off your list. And then if you’re lucky check with the Blue Angels practice schedule. You may get to see the Blue Angels practicing and flying their planes around.

It’s a little loud, but it’s a great experience. And if you’re an adrenaline junkie, check out the Laguna’s Adventure Park. It’s, it is a ropes course. They have some climbing walls, they have go karts, and they have this little bar and grill, so you can get food and something to drink, and you’re overlooking the water, and [00:07:00] your kids can have a great time.

Time. So lots of activities to do there. There’s also some fantastic dining in the area. I was really pleased. New Orleans has my heart, but several of the coastal cities do have some amazing food that really does hit the spot when it comes to great eats. And so there’s a lovely restaurant there named Grand Marlin.

We have eaten at it several times. They were really good with food allergies, stunning views, great food, everything tasted great. There’s another eatery, the, the, kind of the opposite direction from Grand Marlin, and that’s Peg Leg Pete’s. It’s fun, it’s rustic, and they do seafood so well, and my kids for years, they loved their Peg Leg Pete’s buckets that their kids meals came in, and it was just a great, It was a great memory for us, and you know it’s good food when the kids really remember it.

There’s a great taco restaurant there if you [00:08:00] are looking, if you’re looking for something that’s not seafood, and that restaurant is called Taco Rock, and I have to say those tacos were delicious. Fantastic. So go to Taco Rock if you get the chance. And then there was a Kilwin’s ice cream there, which we love because they have a great allergy menu.

And they’re really good about opening a fresh ice cream. If just to make sure there’s not any cross contamination issues for like our food allergies. So it was a perfect end to our shopping and beach day was to go down and get some ice cream at Kilwin’s. And my last honorable mention that was a fantastic that was a fantastic place to eat in Pensacola is Flounder’s Chowder House.

Now, this, this, everything we ate was delicious. It was friendly. It was fun. They had live music. They had quiet parts in the restaurant. It was great. And there was, there was nothing we didn’t enjoy at Flounder’s Chowder House. [00:09:00] So there’s lots of things to do there with, you know, just be chopping up and down the coast.

You can enjoy the water sports. You can lounge on the beaches. You can go to the National Park or the museums. They’re just there’s a lot to do in the Pensacola area. I want to know from you now, have you ever been to Pensacola? What was your experience? Good? Bad? Great? What? What was it? Tell me all about Pensacola.

Now, if you’ve never been, you’ve never been to Pensacola, download my guide below. Let me know what you think. And let’s work together to plan you a little vacation to the Emerald Coast.

Thank you so much for listening!

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