Weekend In Pensacola
This 450-year-old city on Florida's Gulf Coast is feeling brand-new, with a walkable downtown, great theaters, and up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Anchored by the recently renovated and expanded 1925 Spanish Baroque Saenger Theatre, this street in studded with restaurants, bars, and clubs.
North Hill, East Hill, Old East Hill
A dense collection of early-20th century bungalows attracts families to the historic residential neighborhoods.
Santa Rosa Island
Pensacola looks across the bay to the town of Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach, located on this razor-thin barrier island. You can get from downtown to the beach in eight minutes by car (paying a dollar toll on the bridge).
There are plenty of beaches to choose from, but Fort Pickens—located on the western edge of Santa Rosa Island, and part of the protected Gulf Islands National Seashore—features silky-smooth sand and secluded, undeveloped dunes.
Hit this retro-styled spot for expresso or brunch (pictured). 126 Palafox Place, 850/912-4229 or theleisureclub.net.
Jaco's Bayfront Bar & Grille
With views of Pensacola Bay and the Palafox Pier Marina, Jaco's is the spot for sunset dining. 997 S. Palafox St., 850/432-5226 or jacosbayfrontbarandgrille.com.
A local favorite for for surf-and-turf fare, such as steak topped with fried green tomatoes and crabmeat. 400 S. Palafox St., 850/469-9898 or jacksons.goodgrits.com.
Try the fresh shrimp scampi pizza. 304 S. Alcaniz St., 850/438-3663 or trefratelli.biz.
The inn is located in the shell of an old roadside motel (with the pool in the parking lot), but the building has been updated with sleek interiors. Rooms start at $89/night, 888/470-9298 or soleinnandsuites.com.
Lee House Bed & Breakfast
Recently built in the historic district in the Old Florida style, with two levels and wraparound porches, the inn features eight suites with chic European linens, WiFi, and iHome audio systems. Rates start at $195/night, 850/912-8770 or leehousepensacola.com.