Pen­sacola’s whim­si­cal en­ergy

The Week (US) - - Leisure -

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.

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