Photo by @hiltonpensacolabeach

Forget the flowers, jewelry and chocolate for Mother’s Day. If you want to do something special for Mom, take her to the beach.

The Pensacola area is the perfect destination for moms looking to relax. Whether Mom visits with her whole family, significant other or a fun group of girlfriends, she’ll find plenty of ways to have a good time.

With white sand and sparkling emerald waters, the beaches alone make Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key inviting. I’ve often taken a beach chair and a good book to Pensacola Beach just to sit and enjoy the peacefulness the Gulf of Mexico provides. That carefree time alone is golden, but there’s so much to do here, too (in a good way!).

Sweat your stress 

Leave your worries and responsibilities behind, and get ready to feel great! Moms can enjoy Sunset Beach Yoga, offered Sunday nights at sunset from May through October behind the Pensacola Beach Hilton. Bring a sheet, towel or mat and a bottle of water. URU Yoga, the provider of Sunset Beach Yoga, also offers a variety of classes year-round at their studios in nearby Gulf Breeze and Downtown Pensacola. Pensacola Barre periodically offers tuck, pulse and shake sessions at Casino Beach Bar & Grille in addition to its regular schedule of classes in studio. This workout is the real deal, and afterward you can enjoy brunch overlooking the Gulf and the Pensacola Beach Pier.

Relax at the spa

As a mom, I have to say one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts over the years has been a trip to the spa. The Pensacola area has many good providers to help moms relieve stress and look their best. At Pensacola Beach, try Spa Portofino or Fusion Spa Salon. Escape Wellness Spa on the east side of Pensacola is a local favorite for massages and facials. I can’t wait to go back (hint, hint, family!). Still Waters Day & Medical Spa is also a good choice in Downtown Pensacola. A great mani-pedi has never been more convenient for those in the city center.

Hunch....for brunch

If you’re looking to treat Mom to a special meal downtown, try brunch at The Ruby Slipper Cafe. Norma’s at Duh offers one of the girliest (read: light and delicious) lunches around, with their signature chicken salads, soups and famous bread pudding. The restaurant itself looks like Joanna Gaines put her special touches on the place. It is so charming!

Video by @_katherinebutch

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Enjoy the great outdoors 

Round out a special day for Mom by enjoying the great outdoors. Near Perdido Key is Big Lagoon State Park, an ideal setting for a picnic or an afternoon of hiking or biking. You can see a variety of birds and other wildlife among the saltwater marshes and woodlands. Bring your sunscreen and bug spray (but if you forget, Mom usually has some). At Pensacola Beach, treat moms to one of the most popular outdoor activities on the coast, stand-up paddle boarding, or SUP.  Coastal Paddle Company offers board rentals, as well as private or groups lessons in Little Sabine Bay. The whole family can participate in the fun.

With so many options, any mom can have an unforgettable visit to Pensacola.

What else can a Mom enjoy in Pensacola? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.