Spring into Summer in the Pensacola Bay Area
Spring into Summer in the Pensacola Bay Area
Pensacola, Fla. – April 23, 2012 – The Pensacola Bay Area is already experiencing a vibrant and fun-filled spring with warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine to go around. Travelers are invited to spring into a summer filled with sandcastles, fishing rodeos, bushwackers, festivals and events, celebrating everything from food and music to art and history. These include the ever-anticipated annual Blue Angels Air Show on Pensacola Beach and Rosamond Johnson Day on Johnson Beach, where the Korean War Purple Heart recipient is honored for his bravery and valiance.
Thanks to increased air service to and from Pensacola International Airport, it’s now easier than ever before to head to the Pensacola Bay Area’s sugar-white sand beaches and experience all that this “Destination on the Rise” (as recognized by TripAdvisor in 2012) has to offer. Whether you’re visiting with family, friends or a significant other, there is lots to love in Pensacola.
Memorable Family Vacations
The Pensacola Bay Area offers numerous activities for families with children of all ages – from floating in the pool, building sandcastles in the powder-white sand and enjoying dolphin cruise excursions to learning about history first-hand at various museums, including one of the largest air and space museums in the world, the National Naval Aviation Museum, featuring more than 140 aircraft and an IMAX theatre. From now until November, families also have the unique opportunity to see the world-famous Blue Angels practice on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings behind the museum. On Wednesdays, families have the chance to have their photos taken with the pilots, who are also at hand to sign autographs and answer questions. Admission is free.
Beginning in June, the National Flight Academy will welcome students from around the country for an unforgettable summer camp experience, complete with hands-on missions and virtual reality simulators designed to teach science, technology, engineering and math skills. The five-day, overnight camp was designed theatrically to simulate a modern aircraft carrier named Ambition and is open to students in the seventh through twelfth grades.
Additionally, sports enthusiasts can have a ball watching the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, play at the brand-new Maritime Park, located bay front at the heart of downtown Pensacola.
Escape from your daily routine and experience all there is to fall in love with along the Pensacola Bay Area, where you can enjoy time with your loved one exploring galleries, shops and nearly 500 years of history in the quaint, historic downtown district. Spend your time together tasting superb culinary offerings that showcase Pensacola’s deep-seated Southern flair with modern twists, strolling along hand-in-hand on the white-sand beaches of Perdido Key or Pensacola Beach at sunset or jumping on a few stand-up paddleboards and cruising through the Santa Rosa Sound.
Savor the Flavors
Experience the freshest Gulf seafood, Southern flair, creative food pairings and exquisite flavors at any one of the Pensacola Bay Area’s numerous fine-dining restaurants, in downtown Pensacola or at a laid-back restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key. Visitors may also order signature cocktails – the bushwacker is a local favorite – or locally brewed beers at a wide variety of waterfront watering holes and lively pubs
Also, be sure to visit the Pensacola Celebrity Chefs at their respective restaurants, as they each incorporate their own distinct finesse to their meals, having just returned from their second appearance at the acclaimed James Beard House. Visit www.PensacolaCelebrityChefs.com to learn more.
Back To Nature
Bring yourself back to nature in the Pensacola Bay Area along the Gulf Islands National Seashore, the largest stretch of protected seashore in the country. Visit the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center, Fort Pickens and Johnson Beach to swim, bike, snorkel, fish, hike, comb the beach, bird-watch, camp or take in a stunning Gulf Coast sunset.
Pensacola Beach’s Fort Pickens provides a picturesque bike trail lined with miles of powder-white sand dunes and emerald-green water. Spend the day on a stand-up paddleboard on the Santa Rosa Sound or kayaking through the dense marshlands of Perdido Key’s Big Lagoon State Park, where visitors can climb to the top of the park’s three-story observation tower to spot a variety of bird species and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
For travelers craving a nature-filled adventure, kayak and canoe excursions abound in Coldwater Creek and Blackwater River, and an exciting zipline at Adventures Unlimited allows guests to soar above the treetops, catching a rare glimpse of the forest and creek trickling below.
Spring and Summer Festivals and Events
The Pensacola Bay Area hosts a wide variety of year-round festivals and events suitable for every taste and budget. Spring and summer are ideal times to enjoy some of the destination’s most notable celebrations, from the beach to the key and everywhere in between. Mark your calendars and join the fun!
- Bands on the Beach. Tuesdays May-Oct. Attend this popular summer evening concert series with local musical favorites playing at Gulfside Pavilion. (850) 932-2257, www.visitpensacolabeach.com
- 28th Annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival. May 4-6. Head downtown and treat yourself to spicy crawfish and authentic bayou country entertainment along the waterfront at one of the largest crawfish boils in Florida. (850) 433-6512, www.fiestaoffiveflags.org
- Rosamond Johnson Day Ceremony. May 5. Share in a special remembrance of Korean War Hero and Purple Heart recipient, Rosamond Johnson, who was killed during war at the age of 15 while bravely attempting to save fellow soldiers. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com
- Evenings in Olde Seville Square. Mid May-Mid Aug. This summer concert series features a variety of musical styles from big band to jazz and from Broadway to modern dance. (850) 438-6505, www.pensacolaheritage.org
- Gallery Night. May 18. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries, open at 5 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com
- Shallow Water Slam. June. Redfish, flounder and speckled trout are the game in this tournament, with Flounder’s Chowder House serving as headquarters. www.pensacolakingmack.com
- Pensacola Fishing Rodeo. June. See some of the biggest king mackerel and cobia caught at the largest two-day boat event in the Gulf of Mexico. www.pensacolakingmack.com
- Fiesta Days Celebration. June 2-10. Celebrate the founding of Pensacola with a boat parade, street parade, parties, sand-sculpting contest and more. (850) 433-6512, www.fiestaoffiveflags.org
- Sounds of Summer. June-Aug. The beat goes on in Pensacola Beach with this free concert series most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the boardwalk amphitheatre. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com
- 42nd Annual Bill Hargreaves Fishing Rodeo. June 14-17. Enjoy great fishing from the Grand Lagoon Yacht Club. (850) 607-7569, www.glycpensacola.com.
- 4th of July Celebration. July 4. The family-oriented, patriotic event held downtown is the largest on the Gulf Coast. Fireworks displays are also on Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach. (850) 434-1234, www.visitpensacola.com
- Red, White and Blues Week. July 4-14. This week-long celebration on Pensacola Beach kicks off with a huge fireworks extravaganza and ends with the Blue Angels show. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com
- 42nd Annual Pensacola International Billfish Tournament. July 5-8. The Pensacola Big Game Fishing Club hosts one of the country’s largest billfish tournaments at NAS Pensacola, which attracts around 600 anglers from all over the Southeast. (850) 453-4638, www.pbgfc.com
- Pensacola Beach Air Show. July 13-14. This must-see event features a show by the world-famous Blue Angels. (850) 932-2257, www.visitpensacolabeach.com
- Gallery Night. July 20. Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open at 5 p.m. (850) 434-5371, www.downtownpensacola.com
- Seville Quarter Running of the Bulls. July 21. Participate in Pensacola’s wacky version of the running of the bulls, where roller derby enthusiasts with wiffle bats chase you around the streets of downtown. (850) 434-6211, www.sevillequarter.com
- Bushwacker Festival and 5K. Aug. 3-5. This festival is centered on Pensacola’s favorite adult beverage: the chocolaty bushwacker. Enjoy a fun run and celebration on the boardwalk. (850) 434-1234, www.visitpensacola.com
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For more information on the Pensacola Bay Area, contact Visit Pensacola at (850) 434-1234, toll-free at (800) 874-1234 or visit www.VisitPensacola.com. You can also stay informed of Pensacola Bay Area happenings at www.Facebook.com/VisitPensacola.