Experience Authentic Pensacola (& Pensacola Beach)

Pensacola

Located on the Gulf coast about halfway between Tallahassee and New Orleans is Pensacola, Florida’s westernmost city, where you can spend your day relaxing on a sugar-white sand beach, strolling around a charming downtown area or roaming through a pre-Civil War fort. This is Florida’s southern town with a creole vibe.

If you happen to be a foodie, Pensacola will not disappoint! The signature dishes include barbecued shrimp, fried green tomatoes, spicy grits and bread pudding. This is where Southern meets Creole, with a dash of spicy Cajun. Are you feeling a Mardi Gras vibe yet?

Yes, Mardi Gras is celebrated here, Florida style. While New Orleans gets most of the Mardi Gras hype, it has been a tradition in Pensacola since 1874 … Pensacola lights up with hometown parades, fancy costumes, fantastic food and plenty of parties.

This “City of Five Flags” has been governed over time by Spain, France, England, the United States and the Confederacy. Its multi-cultural history provides a wealth of new things to enjoy while still celebrating its old world past.

Here are some suggestions to make your Pensacola trip an Authentic Florida experience:

Climb a Fort

Start with a little history. At the entrance to Pensacola Bay, the pre-Civil War era Fort Pickens guards the western tip of Santa Rosa Island, one of two nearby barrier islands. Visitors can climb tower bastions or through fort chambers below. Park rangers provide free daily tours.

Fort Pickens was the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola after the War of 1812 when the United States fortified all major harbors. Named after American Revolutionary War hero Andrew Pickens, the fort was completed in 1834 and protected Pensacola during the Spanish-American War and both World Wars before being decommissioned in 1947.

AuthenticFlorida, excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, July 6, 2019

A Florida resident since 1974, Melanie Lentz-Janney is the owner/CXO of AuthenticFlorida.com, a travel and lifestyle blog devoted to the Sunshine State's most unique and quirkiest treasures. Authentic Florida is intended to inspire discovery of the accessible, yet under-appreciated areas of the state as well as celebrating good old-fashioned Florida kitsch. Lentz-Janney’s lifelong passion has been discovering Florida’s genuine side – some old, some new – with a focus on “fun and affordable.” Authentic Florida has been recognized as the BEST Blog of the Year, the BEST Travel Blog (twice), and BEST Food Blog at the Florida Sunshine Awards. Lentz-Janney is a member of Florida Outdoor Writers Association and the Society of American Travel Writers. She is also a well-respected marketing expert and an award-winning filmmaker.

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