At Palafox and Government Street, the large building with green and white striped awnings is the old Escambia County Courthouse, which now houses Artel Gallery, a non-profit contemporary art gallery run by volunteers. The Pensacola Saenger Theater is another landmark you cannot miss. This Spanish Baroque gem, opened in 1925, continues to host Broadway plays and popular music acts, as well as a classic movie series.
One block east at Intendencia and South Jefferson streets, the area known as Southtowne features condos, the Bear Levin Studer Family YMCA, Angelena’s, a restaurant opened by Celebrity Chef James Briscione and wife Brooke Parkhurst, and shops like the Bodacious Bookstore and Properly Posh Baby.
Back on Palafox Street, shops such as Indigeaux Denim Bar & Boutique and Rusted Arrow Mercantile, which sells furniture, décor and gifts, join eateries like Dog House Deli and The Wine Bar dotting the east side of the street. Old Hickory Whiskey Bar, Global Grill and Blue Mountain Gallery are favorite stops on the west side of the street. This area, known as Palafox Place, covers the blocks from Government Street to Garden Street, where the bright lights of Vinyl Music Hall’s marquee sign provide a recognizable landmark. Pensacola Pelican statues representing the branches of the armed forces are located at the intersection of Palafox and Garden, as well.
To the north, you find Martin Luther King, Jr. Plaza, where a monument and bust of the Civil Rights leader stands. It is also the site of the bustling Palafox Market, a collection of dozens of vendors selling everything from fresh produce, live plants, baked goods, fine art, antiques, craft items and more every Saturday morning. Also north of Palafox is Union Public House, an intimate restaurant known for its gourmet specials and cocktails. Reservations are highly recommended if you plan to come back here.
At the Wright Street and Palafox intersection you’ll find a statue of General Bernardo de Gálvez, who, on behalf of Spain, a U.S. ally in the American Revolution, delivered Pensacola from British rule in 1781. Surrounding this intersection are shops and restaurants such as Polonza Bistro, plus some of the cities oldest churches and houses of worship.