When you think of the ideal summer vacation, a cloudless sky, sunny beach and your favorite drink in hand might come to mind. If so, visiting Pensacola, Florida should be added to your list of places to visit. Although there are many places to visit in Pensacola, here are a few that are a must!
Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum
Are you ready for the climb of your life? The Pensacola Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, built in 1859 and now a museum, is one of Pensacola’s favorite attractions. After you climb up the 177 steps to the top of the lighthouse, you will have a breath-taking panoramic view of the Gulf Coast. Once you make it to the top, take a deep breath in and embrace the beautiful view and moment. Standing at the top of history is a glorious feeling.
As soon as you walk enter the lighthouse, you will feel the energy of history take over you. From the historical exhibits of women, the Coast Guard, and oil – this Lighthouse will make you appreciate the ones before you and the history behind Pensacola.
When visiting the museum, make sure to:
- Purchase tickets ahead of time and bring a proper ID
- Wear shoes with a secured back
- Must be 44” tall or be seven years or older
Palafox Street is Ideal for Summer in Pensacola
The heart of Pensacola, Palafox Street, has been shaped over the last 250 years by British, Spanish, and American cultures. This street attracts up to 50,000 people at a time for seasonal celebrations, according to the American Planning Association.
This beautiful, tree-lined street is perfect for enjoying the outdoors, boutique shops, cafés, and art galleries. Take a stroll to the Palafox Market for baked goods, fresh produce, and a classic antique find. You can make Palafox Street a whole day trip. End your day at the 122-year-old masonic building, Vinyl Music Hall, for a premiere live performance. From classic, 80’s and rock, this music hall has all the genres you can imagine. It is hard to have a lousy time surrounded by unique vintage and excellent music.
Big Lagoon State Park
First acquired in 1977, the Big Lagoon State Park is a spot for you to take in Florida’s nature and wildlife. From fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, and camping, this 705-acre scenic park on the coast will be your own pinewood heaven. Enjoy finding the different ecosystems and exploring the marshes.
The Big Lagoon is home to 23 different species. You will want to pack your binoculars and go on an adventure to scope out all of the sandpipers and other unique birds. During your adventure around the park, be on the lookout for alligators and sea turtles.
While the sun starts to set, set up camp! Each of the 75 campsites has:
- Picnic table
Falling asleep under the Florida stars and to the sound of nature will put you right to sleep.
McGuire’s Irish Pub
If you are a fan of tradition, self-brewed beer, and flavorful Irish food, then McGuire’s Irish Pub will need to be on your places to visit. This New York Irish Saloon is filled with its own character and stands out and makes its mark on you. They are known for their most famous tradition, which is pinning dollar bills over every square inch of this pub's ceiling. This tradition started from the very first dollar bill Mrs. McGuire received when they opened in 1977.
If you are feeling risky, order their Terrible Garbage Burger. This burger will contain every topping they have on hand in the restaurant—olives, ice cream, and more. They even claim right on the menu that it is absolutely disgusting. Their Happy Hour runs every day from 4 to 6 p.m. and then 11 p.m. to closing. Good beer for half off—there's no wonder nobody leaves here disappointed! After visiting McGuire’s, you will want to come back the next day for more.
When you make it back from your vacation to Pensacola, you will catch yourself already anticipating your next stay there. Stay safe, healthy, and enjoy the best vacation you have ever taken.
Danielle K. Roberts is the Vice President and co-founder at Boomer Benefits, where her team of experts helps baby boomers with their Medicare decisions nationwide.
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