Pensacola, Florida
Sunday August 31st 2014

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My Pensacola—Michelle Henderson

Name: Michelle Henderson
Day Job: Director of Marketing Management, University of West Florida
Pensacola Resident Since: July 2003

Good Eats: If I’m craving good “bar food,” then Sidelines on Pensacola Beach is my favorite! It’s consistently good and I can usually catch a LSU game on one of their gazillion TV screens—Geaux Tigers! The Monte Cristo sandwich is fried deliciousness at its best! Peg Leg Pete’s also has great food and a nice laid-back atmosphere. The Key West salad is yummy and it’s a terrific place to spend a happy hour… or two or three.

Retail Therapy: I now have a four-month-old baby, so the shopping priorities have changed. Funny how that happens! If I’m shopping for me, it’s usually at Dillard’s or TJ Maxx. However, I now find the Toys “R” Us or Target babies section much more interesting and fun-filled. Who knew a wall of pacifiers could be so intriguing?

Watering Holes: I enjoy meeting my friends at The Wine Bar or Jaco’s. They’re more laid back—you can have a conversation—and at Jaco’s you get a beautiful view as well.

Nightlife: With a new baby, my “nightlife” seems to consist of two a.m. feedings and diaper changes instead of two a.m. “last calls.”

Outdoors: I love riding bikes on Pensacola Beach or hanging out at Ft. Pickens. A good source to find new and different ways to explore the outdoors is Shawn Brown’s website, OutdoorGulfCoast.com. I’ve found some pretty fun bike paths and canoeing trips that way—all with pretty scenery and a bit off the beaten path.

Arts & Culture: I love musicals, so the Broadway series at the Saenger Theatre is always a treat. Plus, the theatre is a beautiful setting since the renovations. Also, since I started working at UWF, I now realize how many of the museums and historical places in our area are operated by the university. It’s been eye-opening to visit the T.T. Wentworth Museum or take a tour of the Historic Pensacola Village. We have some wonderful history here in Pensacola and it’s nice to see it being preserved.

Never Miss Events/Festivals: I’m the chairman of the Pensacola Christmas Parade, so I think that’s one of the best events in Pensacola each year. It’s a wonderful family event and draws over 50,000 people downtown each December. This year, December 8 at 5:15 pm in downtown Pensacola, to be exact. Besides that, I love the Junior League’s Marketbasket. You can get ready for Christmas shopping for fun and unusual gifts, and the Junior Leaguers are always so helpful and friendly!