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Old 12-05-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Fort Pickens and NAS, Pensacola, Fl.

We're planning a stay at Fort Pickens campground early in January...maybe 2 weeks if the weather is cooperating.

I'm generally looking for some tourist/ dining information and recommendations in the area but specifically looking for information on a tour of the naval base or museum in Pensacola. Does anyone have information on it or a source for brochures? I couldn't find too much on the website.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:04 PM   #2
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Lots of great places to eat in Pensacola you will be in the Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach areas both are replete with great places to eat. Facing Fort Pickens across the water in Pensacola is the Pensacola Fish House it too is a great place to eat.

While there could be private tours of NAS I'm not aware of them but you are allowed to self tour, off limits places are usually well marked and very few in number. When you check in at the gate they will be happy to direct you to the Museum which is well worth the visit be sure to plan the whole day for it.

Good luck.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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Below is the official website for the museum. They're open everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's (I think those are the ones). Admission to the museum is free. IMAX has a fee. Also a great old lighthouse on the base. National Naval Aviation Museum - Welcome Main Page

I live on the Island and for years watched people going by in their RVs to Fort Pickens. Now we've joined their ranks. Don't know if you've chosen your site at the campground yet, but 1 and 3 in Loop "C" are very nicely shaded and seemed roomy.

Restaurants we like on the Island:
Peg Leg Pete's - (about a block from my house on the way to Ft. Pickens) for their raw oysters, and grouper sandwiches and nuggets. Other tasty things on the menu, those are just our favorites.
All these others are in the "core" area of the Island which will make sense to you once you get here.
Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill - (same owner as Peg's) excellent hamburgers and better nachos than Peg's. Tom likes the wings.
Grand Marlin - more upscale, but not over-priced. Only about a year and a half old so I haven't tried all that many dishes but the the ones we've had were very good. Great view.
Flounders - long time restaurant on the beach. Excellent steaks, burgers and seafood. Tasty desserts, too. Huge portions.
Native Cafe - just to the east, outside the main core is one of the few places on the Island to get breakfast as well as lunch. Good breakfast and people rave about their fish tacos.

Just across the bridge in Gulf Breeze are:
Aegean Breeze - fresh, fresh seafood and nothing bad on the menu. We eat there about once a week.
Shan Kishi - near the Publix grocery - my husband (who makes excellent sushi) loves theirs, also have hibachi tables.

As Dadeaux mentioned, The Fish House/Atlas Oyster/The Deck complex is across the 3 Mile bridge in Pensacola and has a wide variety of very good food. Very close to them is an Italian place - Tre Fratelle - some of the best Italian I've ever eaten. Also nearby is McGuire's - good food, generous portions and most tourists consider it a "must see" for all the dollar bills people have stapled to every available surface. I love their shepherd's pie. They also have their own micro brewery on site.

That should get you started. Happy to tell you anything else I can. I love this place enough to endure the occasional hurricane to live in paradise the rest of the time. Can you tell?

Have a safe trip down.

Fran
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:05 PM   #4
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on most wednesday morning, you can go to the flight line by the NAS museum and get a great show by the Blue Angels, then they come over and talk to everyone. this is when they do their practice at home, never crowded. check their web site if going on at that time.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Floridafran View Post
site at the campground yet, but 1 and 3 in Loop "C" are very nicely shaded and seemed roomy
Fran,

Any recommendations for full sun!!! We are in Gulfport and Ft. Pickens is our next stop. Sites are all first come, first served this time of year.

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Old 12-06-2010, 07:59 AM   #6
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gulf breeze on the left when you arrive eat at Flounders about the best i have had just watch out for diesel fuel (its a drink)
dave
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Thanks for all your responses folks. Looks like we're eating out every day!!!!
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:57 PM   #8
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Bob and Inga,

Since we live on the Island, we've camped at Ft. Pickens only once. When we first got the Vista we took it down there for 2 nights for our shakedown outing. It was still pretty hot so we wanted as much shade as we could find. That's why I know more about the shady sites.

Most of the spots are only partial shade since hurricane Ivan in 2004 took out so many beautiful trees. Since it's first come, first serve anyway, your best bet is to ask when you check in at the ranger station. They're great and very helpful. Just tell them what kind of site you're looking for and they can advise you.

Flounder's is actually on the Island, not in Gulf Breeze, but I can see how whemfish could get the two mixed up. If not for the toll bridge between them they'd just be one big place. For those of us who live out here, when we say we're going across the bridge everybody knows we mean the 3 Mile Bridge to Pensacola, not the toll bridge to Gulf Breeze.

In addition to being careful about the Diesel Fuel, watch out for Bush Whackers. Basically an alcohol loaded, chocolate milk shake. Doesn't taste like you're drinking so it sneaks up on people.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:37 PM   #9
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Don't miss Maguire's on the way out to the beach. Best burger in the world and great steaks. 9 cent bean soup and they have been brewing their own beer since forever.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:57 PM   #10
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now i remember never had a deisel fuel butwife did i would drink next door at bamboo willies forgot what it was called but they are like icee's it was orange with 151 last time i was there the cups were smaller
ill be there in august after wi go to the boat races in gulf shores
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Old 12-07-2010, 03:17 PM   #11
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Blue Angel Atrium by Curb Crusher, on Flickr
You have to visit the museum, it's a must stop for me anytime I find myself back home in Pensacola. I also read that they just opened a big addition in the past couple of weeks.
Ft. Barancas is also aboard the NAS, a part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and open to the public, along with the lighthouse and the National Cemetery.
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