What to do in Pensacola?

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Ted DuPuis, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We're heading to Pensacola for vacation at the end of the week. Other than the beach and the Naval Air Museum, any recommendations for family-friendly activities? We're going to have the kids (almost 5 and almost 3) in tow.
     
  2. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    McGuires Pub. If you like seafood, Atlas Oyster House is excellent. I'd recommend going to a Blue Angel practice show from the lighthouse if you're there after the 6th.
     
  3. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    If you're a runner, there used to be a decent chip trail that paralleled the beach on base. Nothing exciting but a safe quiet place to get a run in. The museum and run would be about the extent of my plans there.
     
  4. Goofy

    Goofy Line Up and Wait

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    That museum is SO cool!
    And the pub and running trail should be good for the 3 yr. old.....
     
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  5. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Really good auto and truck recycling yard there, Butler's recycling.
     
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  6. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    I really enjoyed my visit to Fort Pickens, and the Pensacola Lighthouse is just a block or so down the street from the Naval Air museum. Not sure how compatible either of those is with kids that small, though. If I'd had more time, I would have checked this place out, but then I'm partial to parrots. https://macawbirdpark.org/
     
  7. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    Yes. Ft. Pickens is worth the visit. It's across the bay from the Naval Air Station. Very impressive and cool brickwork and such. And the beaches are so cool.
     
  8. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    My visits to Pensacola are usually of the boating type, I charter a sailboat and go into Big Lagoon[1] or the opposite way into Santa Rosa Sound. Or I did :-(

    Once I get my medical back, I'm going there again and chartering. Visiting the barrier islands by boat is awesome. No cars can get there, it's pristine beauty.

    [1] Sometimes you can catch the BAs on practice days from Big Lagoon.
     
  9. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! That bird sanctuary looks like a lot of fun, and also the lighthouse. We were already planning on the naval air museum. At this point, I'm mostly hoping that the remnants of Harvey don't cause a bunch of problems for us.

    @Bill Jennings we've thought about a boat charter as well. Do you charter just the boat or get it with the captain? Any recommendations on places you've used? I like the idea of getting to the barrier islands by boat.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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  11. AKBill

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    Boy I was stationed there some 35 years ago and enjoyed it. There may be 1 or 2 amusement parks to take the kids to, the 5 year old my enjoy that.
     
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  12. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  13. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    Was going to suggest 5 Flags Speedway but I just checked and no racing this weekend...
     
  14. Mike Smith

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    Fast Eddies go-karts. Mcguires as someone else said. A hidden gem if you like Filipino food is Ruby-Gin, I haven't been to their new location, but I understand the food is excellent still.
     
  15. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    @Bill Jennings we've thought about a boat charter as well. Do you charter just the boat or get it with the captain? Any recommendations on places you've used? I like the idea of getting to the barrier islands by boat.[/QUOTE]

    Damn, looks like the guys i used to charter from are out of business :frown:
     
  16. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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  17. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Back from our vacation and (sadly) back to the real world. Pensacola was a great destination, though, and we had a wonderful trip.

    We stayed in Perdido Key rather than Pensacola beach proper. The prices were significantly cheaper and there seemed to be fewer people. The condo we stayed in was right on the beach (AirBNB).

    We ended up not doing a lot of the activities, but we did go to the Naval Air Station on 3 separate days. With the small kids we couldn't do everything there was to do in a single day. One thing to note is that the lighthouse requires kids to be taller than any of our kids are. I forget the exact height, but I think it was something around 48". Our son is about to turn 5 and he's not short for his age, so I'd think if you plan to do that, kids should be 6 or older.

    Watching the Blue Angels practice was great. They also do autograph sessions so you get to meet them and they'll sign whatever you want. Nice guys and they put on what I thought was a much better show than I've seen at Oshkosh. The one solo pilot flew over the crowd at probably around 300 knots, complete surprise and an awesome display. Also did a 700 knot flyby over the runway. Really a fun show.

    We also did a dolphin tour, which was a great deal of fun. Got to see dolphins playing around, as well as be a bit further out. That's very worth doing.

    Going into KJKA and Platinum Air Center was a breeze and definitely what I'd recommend. Aside from having the cheapest fuel on field in the first place, Platinum gives a 50 cent/gallon discount if you're a first time visitor. The FBO itself is basically a ramp, a few double-wides and a couple fuel trucks, but we had free parking for the whole week, they brought the car right up to the plane, and the facility includes free coffee and soda (with a soda fountain that had Dr. Pepper). Definitely a 5 star rating for them.

    We liked the area enough that we want to go back next year. Beautiful beaches, great place to just spend a week relaxing, which is exactly what we did. It was the first family vacation we've done since the girls were born, other than quick trips to see other family members or hopping around a lot. Very worthwhile.
     
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  18. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Destin is probably more kid friendly. They'd enjoy Wonderworks in Panama City
     
  19. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We found the Pensacola/Gulf Shores area to be very kid friendly. Plenty of restaurants with big play areas for kids. Great beach access and lots to do.

    The only thing(s) we didn't do that I would've liked to do were parasailing and renting jet skis. But we didn't find ourselves wanting for more to do, so it was fine.
     
  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  21. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    We drove past FloraBama a bunch of times - it was on the same road about 5 miles from our condo. Even on a Tuesday night the crowd was surprisingly large.
     
  22. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It gets rowdy. They have a mullet toss every year lol.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    The police were there every time we drove by. So obviously it gets attention...
     
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  24. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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