Pensacola, Florida
Monday October 20th 2014

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My Penscola—Ashley Wilkinson Meyer

Name: Ashley Wilkinson Meyer
Day Job: Director, United Ministries
Pensacola Resident Since: 2010, but I was born here and spent the first 18 years of my life in this great community

Good Eats: Cactus Flower Café has the best fish tacos and Mike Hope, the manager, always makes sure you have a great experience. After a few hours at the beach, nothing beats oysters on the half-shell and a grouper supreme sandwich from Peg Leg’s. Sluggo’s is a favorite lunch locale—they take vegetarian cuisine to an unbelievable level and they are so affordable. Horizen has great outside seating and the sushi is always excellent

Retail Therapy: I love running. I could do some major damage to my bank account at Running Wild. They have awesome opportunities for folks interested in running: triathlons, etc. Beginners or experienced, all are welcome to their training programs—and they just plain rock.

Watering Holes: The Fish House, The Wine Bar, and Jaco’s all have great atmosphere.

Nightlife: My all-time favorite is watching my brother’s band, Honey Island Swamp Band, play at the Paradise Bar & Grill on Pensacola Beach, at Seville, etc. Shameless plug: Honey Island plays Seville August 30, Casino Beach September 15, Paradise September 15 and 16, and DeLuna Fest September 21. Check out their website and hit up some shows! honeyislandswampband.com

Outdoors: If my husband and I could drive out to Ft. Pickens for the quiet beaches and fishing every day we would—it’s just beautiful out there. We recently went paddleboarding with Innerlight and they were awesome. We love hitting up the Blue Wahoos games—food is great, service is great, and the way the team brings together the community is pretty awesome, too

Arts & Culture: “The Nutcracker” and other events by Ballet Pensacola are always a favorite. I hope the community can find someone to take on Evenings in Olde Seville—great family atmosphere! It’s always fun to go to Gallery Nights—I love walking around and seeing people, and visiting unique shops and restaurants downtown. The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival wonderfully provides community organizations and artists with the chance to share their gifts.

Never Miss Events/Festivals: The Greek Festival; each year they provide amazing food and entertainment. They also donate a portion of proceeds to local non-profits—United Ministries was honored to be selected in 2011, and the folks at Annunciation Church are just incredible. Pick-a-Bowl/Fill-a-Bowl for Manna Food Pantries—great local artists and chefs, and all for a good cause! Also, the Double Bridge Run, the Crawfish Festival, and DeLuna Fest—did I mention Honey Island Swamp Band is playing there September 21?