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Old 07-29-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
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Pensacola questions

Questions for any Floridians or others who have knowledge of Pensacola and FL panhandle:

We're considering late winter/early spring destinations for next year and I'd love to see the Naval air museum at Pensacola. To make that a worthwhile trip from VA, have a few questions:

1. thinking of March as a possibility, how early in March would we need to go to miss any spring break crowds?

2. other than Pensacola, what other cool destinations are there in the general area? We traveled from Alligator Point to Biloxi pulling a TT many years ago ('89) but just don't remember much about it.

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Old 07-29-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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It's really hard to guess about spring breaks, different parts of the country take different weeks. Pensacola is not as bad as panama city, destin, or fort Walton beach in my opinion but will have it's share of breakers. Try Orange Beach or Gulf Shores Al if you want a calmer more family oriented area but still close to Pensacola NAS, less bars and hotels so less spring breakers. As for places to visit/ eat , Tacky Jacks in orange beach, food is good but atmosphere is great, lunch at Sea and Suds in GS on the beach, visit Fort Morgan and maybe take the ferry to Daulphin Island, the town of Fairhope on Mobile Bay is cool and if you make over to Ms, the tree trunk sculptures along hwy 90 are really something to see. The huge oaks destroyed by Katrina were carved by some artist into all kinds of sea creatures, some of the scuptures started putting on leaves years after the hurricane. Contrary to what the national media will lead you to believe, Katrina hit the Ms coast, not New Orleans. As far as spring break, the earlier you go, the less breakers you will have to contend with.

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Old 07-30-2011, 10:16 AM   #3
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I live in Ft Walton and early Mar is not very busy in our area. Destin and Panama City get most of the spring break folks. The beaches are much nicer from East of Gulf Shores Al to Panama City. Lots of Great sea food from Gulf Shores east.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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You might want to look into Blackwater River State Park, which is nearby. It's far enough away from the beaches to be of little interest to Spring Breakers, but close enough to the NAS for a nice day at the museum.

If you like seafood, there are many good restaurants in the City of Pensacola. We like to take lunch at about 2PM after the locals have gone back to work, but before the pricier dinner menu kicks in.

Our favorite is Crab Trap. If you want to pick up some great fresh seafood to take back for dinner try Joe Patti nearby.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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As mentioned, most of the heavy break activity takes place east of Pensacola. Pensacola prides itself on staying out of the typical tourist trash activities (except for the Memorial Day rainbow weekend)
If you have a military ID card or ret civil service you can stay in the CG aboard NAS Pensacola and be within walking distance of the best air museum in the country. The Museum has lots of hands on activity and IMAX and trainer things for kids to do. Eat lunch in the Cubi Bar, brought over intact from the Phillipines.
Note my avatar, Blue Angels, they are based at Sherman Field next to the Museum, but I don't think they'll be there in March. I believe they be practicing for their new season in Yuma Az
Ft Pickens on Pensacola Beach is another secret beautiful CG open to the public.
Nearby Foley Al has one of the largest collections of luxury RV sites in the country...Bella Terra, Lake Osprey, Luxury Rv and a very nice medium priced CG Anchors Aweigh.
Nearby Eglin AFB has the Armament Museum and over in Mobile you have Battleship Pkwy, with many WWll displays including a submarine and a battleship for touring.
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Old 07-30-2011, 01:12 PM   #6
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fort pickens!

I'm from the area, and we just stayed for red, white and blues week at fort pickens campground on the beach....GREAT is the only word for it! (it combines fourth of july and the blue angels flying over the beach daily!) You'd be fine staying there in March'12. As others have said, we don't get the crowd that other beaches get, and the best part of ft. pickens is that it's down at the west end of the island, so not many venture there unless they're at the campground loops. Book loop A for sure!!! Closest walk to the gulf side, larger camp areas...we had site 41 but when we return it'll be in site 7 or 9 or 26 or 27 they had more shade. You may get a chance to see the blues fly at the museum - they start their show schedule on march 10 in california which means they practice the week of each show at home, on tues and wed. mornings at 8am or so.....and wednesdays they usually go into the museum to sign autographs!!! If you are there any other week during the show schedule, they're always practicing on tues & wed. then fly to the show location on thurs. (yeah, I grew up watching them alot!)

good luck & throw out any other questions!! You gotta get seafood at Crabs on the beach, and visit peg leg petes also to eat while there!

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