It’s an All-American Summer in the Pensacola Bay Area
Pensacola, Fla. –– June 25, 2012 – Fishing in numerous waterways, watching a Blue Wahoos baseball game at the brand-new Community Maritime Park, soaking up the sun, sipping on an icy beverage, exploring the deep-rooted military heritage and celebrating an iconic and patriotic holiday are the makings of an All-American summer along the Pensacola Bay Area.
This summer, enjoy a vacation filled with fun, family, friends and a touch of all things red, white and blue – set against the sugar-white sand and emerald-green water of Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast.
Soak Up the Sun and Chill Out with Family
Spend your time on the pristine beaches of Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, building sand castles, hunting for seashells and soaking up the sun. Let the kids splash in the waves, while chilling out with a frozen adult beverage or two. Be sure to toast to a good time with the Pensacola Bay Area's signature drink, the bushwacker, a frozen blend of milk-chocolaty goodness.
At the beach, you'll find no shortage of fun – from trying out the newest fad of stand-up paddle boarding to zooming across the waves in a jet ski or floating on a raft at Quietwater Beach – lovingly dubbed, “Baby Beach,” for its calm, cool waters – to chasing dolphins on one of many sunset dolphin cruises available.
While you're at the beach, be sure to hop aboard the Gulf Coast's first 360-degree observation wheel, 360 Pensacola Beach, located directly on Santa Rosa Island. The wheel, scheduled for a July 1 opening, will lift riders nearly 200 feet above the beach, encased in one of 42 climate-controlled gondolas that provide stunning views extending approximately 17 miles over a 10-12-minute ride. Additionally, more than one million LED lights outlining the entire wheel will provide a breathtaking addition to the Pensacola Beach skyline.
Dig in to Hotdogs, Hamburgers and Good Ol' Fashioned Baseball
There's nothing more All-American than baseball, and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, have been showcasing their skills during their inaugural season at the newly completed Community Maritime Park, which overlooks the Pensacola Bay.
Stand on one of the stadium's decks, soak in the warm bay breeze and enjoy a juicy hot dog, a bag of peanuts or the Wahoos' signature hamburger, known as the Heater, which includes cheddar cheese, peppered bacon, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, pickles and a specialty Wahoo sauce.
Salute the Blue Angels, Explore Military History and Spark Some Fireworks
Looking for an activity to get you out of the sun for a while? Explore more than 4,000 artifacts and 150 aircraft at the National Naval Aviation Museum, one of the largest air and space museums in the world, where hands-on learning is encouraged. Experience the thrill of an actual flight in the 3D Flight Simulators before catching a movie in the state-of-the-art IMAX™ Theater and grabbing a quick lunch at the authentic Cubi Bar Café.
Spend your day under the oaks of Seville Square and Fountain Park at the annual Fourth of July Celebration in downtown Pensacola. With local arts and crafts vendors, live performances, hands-on activities for kids and one of the largest fireworks displays along the Gulf Coast, there's no better place to celebrate our Independence Day. Spread out your blankets, unfold your lawn chairs and light your sparklers as you watch the sky light up over the Pensacola Bay. Those who prefer keeping their toes in the sand for the festivities can catch the spectacular fireworks shows on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, which will illuminate the powder-white sand and the Gulf of Mexico.
On July 14, pack a cooler and a lunch and head to Pensacola Beach, where you will witness the jaw-dropping stunts of the Navy's flight demonstration team, the world-famous Blue Angels, along with civilian and other military aircraft that perform aerial stunts over the Gulf of Mexico, at the Pensacola Beach Blue Angels Air Show.
Cast a Line and Reel in the Big Catch
Whether you're interested in fishing in freshwater or salt water, in the deep-sea or in the bay, the Pensacola Bay Area has the thrilling angler action you're looking for! Fisherman of all ages are invited to cast a line from the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier, where anglers have been known to reel in king mackerel, cobia, mahi mahi, red fish and even tarpon, or in the Pensacola Bay and Escambia Bay, which provide ample quantities of flounder, speckled trout, redfish and mullet.
Competitive anglers can test their luck at the 41st Annual International Billfish Tournament, taking place July 5-8. Winning anglers will receive an invitation to fish the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Offshore World Championship. Fishing aficionados also have the chance to win hundreds of dollars in prizes at the 42nd Annual Pensacola Fishing Rodeo, taking place on Pensacola Beach July 28-29.
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For more information about the Pensacola Bay Area, or to request a Visitor Guide, call Visit Pensacola at (800) 874-1234 toll-free, (850) 434-1234 or go to VisitPensacola.com. You can also stay informed of Pensacola Bay Area happenings through Facebook.com/VisitPensacola.