Pensacola, FL is a very special place to me. Not only does it have some of the best beaches in the world, but it’s also my hometown! Last month I had the opportunity to go home with some of my girlfriends for a weekend and act like a tourist. We had the best time! Pensacola really is such a great destination for family-friendly vacations as well as adult getaways!
We chose to spend our weekend at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel, located right on the water with a private beach. I’m pretty picky when it comes to resorts, and I absolutely loved it! The room was large and comfortable (I just wish it had included ceiling fans), and the service was very friendly and prompt. The staff was working with COVID-19 restrictions and did a fantastic job of making sure everything was clean and safe.
Typically, there are several restaurants inside and next to the resort, including the Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Cafe and Landshark Landing with a beach bar. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, everything was served at the Frank & Lola bar, but both the food and drinks were excellent!
Another big perk of staying at Margaritaville Beach Hotel is that they boast their own private beach on the Gulf of Mexico, which many hotels on the island don’t offer. It gave us plenty of room to spread out, social distance, and swim!
We also really enjoyed the zero-entry pool with a great view of the Gulf! There is usually a pool bar open, but again, it was closed for COVID-19 restrictions. No worries, as it’s just a few steps away from the Frank & Lola bar!
Of course, if you know me and my friends, our #1 priority is always food! My favorite restaurants on the island include Peg Leg Pete’s (best oysters in town), Red Fish Blue Fish, and Flounders (save room for the Key Lime Pie dessert!). We also tried Shaggy’s Harbor Bar & Grill on a fluke during this visit, and we loved it. It instantly became one of my favorites thanks to the delicious food and drinks, friendly service, and gorgeous view! I got fried shrimp and oysters at this meal, and they were perfectly fresh and fried.
If you’re traveling with kids or want a change of pace, I highly recommend the National Naval Aviation Museum. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent there while my boys have had the time of their lives. The museum is very interactive and fun for families – and free! If you go on Tuesdays, you have a good chance of getting to watch the Blue Angels practice! One downside is that the only food options at the museum are very underwhelming and expensive, so I’d recommend scheduling this around mealtimes.
We also went on a dolphin cruise with Chase-N-Fins Dolphin Tours, who I highly recommend! Bring your own snacks, drinks, and sunscreen, and get ready to see the sights from a new perspective. You do sail past Fort Pickens, which is worth a drive to spend some time all on its own. The highlight of the tour, of course is the dolphins! The cruise sails in the mornings and afternoons, and I’ve been told that the dolphins are typically more active in the afternoon.
Interested in a vacation to Pensacola or any of the other Margaritaville resort locations? I’d be happy to help you out with booking and planning your vacation! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. My services are always complimentary!