By Bailey Porch
Ahhhh, sunny and 75, that's the Pensacola Bay Area's claim to fame. Now that spring has officially arrived, visitors and locals alike can be found enjoying the great outdoors. Be it hiking, biking, paddling or fishing one of our favorite things to do is to picnic. Below we've compiled a list of our favorite places to grab a bite while enjoying the Florida sunshine.
Bayview Park is the perfect picnic stop for families. This park caters to your family boasting a playground, picnic tables, restrooms, and a dog park for Fido. This park is so much more than its utility. Bayview sits on the edge of Bayou Texar which makes for beautiful sunsets across the water.
Meal tip: On your way to the park, I recommend going to Apple Market to pick up all the essentials. Apple Market is a small local shop with unique sodas, delicious sandwiches and many sides to choose from. This mom and pop style store is a one-stop-shop for all your picnic needs.
If you’re downtown and looking for a picnic that is a little more intimate, Seville Square is the place. Located in the heart of Pensacola’s historic district, Seville Square has a rustic charm that is sure to elevate your evening. Insider tip: Go at dusk. The pavilion has lights that you can turn on to make your evening magical. Double check before you go to see if any festivals have the park reserved.
Meal tip: At the corner of the park, you can grab a bite to eat at Lucy’s In The Square.The adorable cottage restaurant is perfect for the earthy taco and wine lover to grab something for to-go.
Johnson Beach - Gulf Islands National Seashore
Johnson Beach is the perfect hideaway for a quiet beach picnic. The park includes public restrooms and seven miles of beach for you to stretch out on. This beach is a national park, so if you don’t have a National Park pass already you can pick one up at the ranger’s station at the entrance of the park. The $15 pass is good for a week and will allow you to access the other national parks in the Pensacola Area.
Meal tip: Grab the chicken salad to go at Hub Stacey’s at The Point. This southern restaurant is sure to hit the spot if you’re craving a hardier sandwich.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos stadium boasts some of the best views in Pensacola. This high energy park accommodates families looking for a place for their kids to get out their energy. The Community Maritime Park is equipped with playgrounds, large grassy areas and covered picnic areas.
Meal tip: Just down the street from the park is Al Fresco and open dining area complete with food trucks. At Al Fresco there are four food trucks with a wide variety of cuisine. The trucks are perfect for the family of picky eaters who can’t decide on one restaurant to go to. Your options range from tacos, bbq, chicken& waffles, and Asian cuisine.
Pensacola Beach - Park East
Allow me to let you into a little secret, Park East is where the locals hide. This beach has a boardwalk, a huge parking lot and most importantly bathrooms. This beach is the simplified version of Casino Beach (the one with the beach ball water tower). If you are looking for a quieter beach to escape the crowds Park East is exactly what you need.
Have a favorite picnic spot we forgot to mention? Tell us in the comments below!