Pensacola’s whimsical energy
Florida’s westernmost city currently exists in a “magical” in-between state, said Sarah Kaufman in The Washington Post. Juiced by a recent youth influx but still small-scale and easygoing, Pensacola makes a nice alternative to the typical Florida winter retreat: “This is Deep South Florida, not spring-break Florida.” Though it’s slower paced, it’s filled with friendly folks who “like to live it up and share the fun.” Think 11 a.m. happy hours and cheese grits around the clock. When my husband and I visited recently, “just about everywhere we turned—whether poking into galleries or strolling the beach—we felt a buzz of creativity, whimsy, and high spirits.” Pensacola Beach is “breathtakingly beautiful,” with sugar-white sand and dolphins often seen playing offshore. Swim up to Paradise Bar &
Grill after a day in the sun, and you can dance in the sand to a live band, or hang a hammock and sip a rum milkshake the locals call a bushwacker.