When it’s fall in Pensacola, you can gather the best of two worlds: Beach and Football. With LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Florida (sporting a mere nine national championships in the past 10 years) within a five-hour drive, football fandom is at a fever pitch here. Here are four ways you can enjoy your sand with a side of pigskin:
1. UWF Football
While the panhandle is just a short drive to a bevy of major Division I football, our home team, The University of West Florida, is in its first full season playing at the Division II level. Catch a game at the picturesque Blue Wahoos Stadium on the edge of Pensacola Bay. The Argos, who started the season 2-0, have four home games remaining: Oct. 22 at Noon, Oct. 29 at Noon and Nov. 12 at Noon.
2. Seville Quarter
Catch a watch party at one of Pensacola’s most famous bars. The Florida State Seminole and Florida Gator Booster Clubs meet here each week to cheer on their respective teams (don’t worry, Seville shrewdly keeps the bitter rivals separated). And with seven rooms to check out your favorite teams there’s plenty of room to explore.
3. Get a game on the beach
Want your own game? Visit the miles of white beachfront on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key where you can create your own sparking field of play. With the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze – a renowned hub of training and rehabilitation for the world’s top football players – you never know, a pro may jump in!
4. High School Football in action
Ready to see the stars of tomorrow? Pensacola is a hotbed of high school football talent, helping fill the coffers of talent at major programs throughout the nation. There is a rich history of talented football players coming from our area. Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith (Escambia High) and Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks lead that group. This season, you can catch former Florida State Heisman Trophy Winner Charlie Ward on a high school sideline, too; he is the head football coach at Washington High in Pensacola. Games are typically played on Friday nights. Check the Pensacola News Journal for a full schedule.