When I say I live in Pensacola, Florida, I get a few odd looks. Most of them are from people who know we’re an Army family and this is very clearly a Navy place. But others can’t seem to understand why it makes me so happy. I was hesitant when we moved here, not sure how I’d like it. But now that we’ve been here awhile, I absolutely love it.
I guess this is a given, but it’s quite a luxury for me to be living a few minutes from the beach. The sand here is so beautiful! You can get your first taste of the gulf while staying at Navy Lodging, and I know it will be bittersweet to walk along the beach when we stay in the lodge again upon our departure. From the activities on Pensacola Beach to the calm of Johnson’s Beach, there is plenty of room for everyone, and their beach chair.
Ok, so we aren’t talking major league sports, but I really like that Pensacola has a minor league baseball team and a minor league hockey team. Family friendly games, local sponsors, and a great hometown feel for a fraction of the major league price. Definitely something worth checking out, even if you’re only in town for a little bit.
I still can’t get over how much I love that Pensacola has a mascot. The Pelicans are everywhere! There are several sporting the colors of the five military branches, one in front of the newspaper, and several more scattered throughout downtown. It’s one of those things that tie the area together, and makes for an easy “Pensacola themed gift.”
The Blue Angels
Before I start sounding like a fan girl, let me just say that this military wife still thinks it is cool when jets fly overhead. Knowing that they are flown by some of the top pilots in the military and also do really cool stunts, makes it even more fun. Even when it seems they are landing in my backyard during nap time. But I also really like how this town embraces them as their own. The Blues are local celebrities, and this town couldn’t be more proud.
I’m a sucker for a bustling downtown area. Pensacola has it! Brick sidewalks like Palafox leading up to the market that is held every Saturday morning. Gorgeous, old churches with bells that ring on the hour. A beautiful park in the middle of town, with a fountain. Restaurants galore. And the wonderful historic district of Pensacola. From the art galleries to the children’s museum, there is something for everyone, and an annual membership is really affordable.
I’m writing this bundled up on the couch with the heat going, but really, the weather is a pretty phenomenal part of being stationed in the panhandle of Florida. We moved here in June, and it was hot and humid. But throughout the fall and the early winter, the nice temperatures more than made up for it.
Sun almost all the time. Mild temperatures. Lots of outdoor activities. What’s not to love about being stationed in Pensacola?
PCSgrades Author: Rebecca Alwine is a freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSgrades, ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. You can follow her online at www.whatrebeccathinks.com.