By Charleigh Kennedy

For many, summer is the time to work on one’s tan or take road trips with friends. But if you’re anything like me, the warmer months are all about spending time with family.

From afternoons on the water to evenings spent chowing down at our favorite restaurants, we never miss an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. Of course, just because we value our time together doesn’t mean we always agree on where to spend it. Trying to decide on a good dinner spot or the right movie to watch can turn into an all-night affair.

One thing we can always agree on, though, is our love of music. Give us a nice patch of grass, some fresh air and a good band, and all the disagreements fade away into a symphony of familial harmony. Fortunately, the Pensacola Bay Area boasts plenty of opportunities to enjoy live music and waterfront views.

On any given Tuesday night from April through October, you can find my family at Bands on the Beach. This popular summer concert series, which takes place at the Gulfside Pavilion on Casino Beach, features a wide variety of musical acts performing just steps from the sugar-white sand and turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the perfect setting for family-friendly fun. I can keep a close eye on my nieces playing in the sand while still enjoying the music, sipping on a cold beverage and taking in the beautiful views.

Another favorite concert series is Blues on the Bay, held at 6 p.m. on select Sundays at the Community Maritime Park’s Hunter Amphitheater, in Downtown Pensacola. Overlooking beautiful Pensacola Bay, the park is the perfect place to relax and relish the final hours of the weekend. One of the event sponsors, Blues Angel Music, gives away prizes each night and holds a Grand Raffle at the end of the series to raise funds for music education. Concessions are available, but concert goers are also welcome to bring their own coolers, lawn chairs and blankets. Pets and glass containers are prohibited at both events.

Being outdoors, listening to great music, and spending time with family is what I look forward to most during the summer. My sun tan will fade by the time fall rolls around, but the memories I make with loved ones will last forever.