Visit Pensacola has come up with three vacation itineraries that can fit the budgets of just about any family:
If you are looking for a high-end, elegant getaway, Portofino Island Resort and Beach Club on Pensacola Beach and Eden Condominiums on Perdido Key are luxurious accommodations. 10 Portofino Dr., portofinoisland.com, from $665 per night; 18 Via De Luna Dr., beachclublife.com, from $465 per night; 16281 Perdido Key Dr., edencondominiums.com, from $330 per night.
Day 1: Spend the day relaxing by the pool and receiving poolside massages and rejuvenating spa services. For dinner, visit thenationally renowned Jackson’s Steakhouse for a savory, artistically prepared steak and a glass of fine wine. 400 S. Palafox Place, jacksons.goodgrits.com, from $86 for two.
Day 2: Set sail on Chulamar charter boat for a private deep-sea fishing adventure on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. A few local restaurants on the beach will even cook your prize catch to your order. 701 Pensacola Beach Blvd., chulamar.com, $110-$125 per person.
Day 3: Board the Portofino I for a quick cruise to the Portofino Boardwalk where you can find various island shops and restaurants. Envie Boutique is a new shop featuring designer clothing. For even more shopping, historic downtown Pensacola is only a short drive away. Afterwards, go out for a gourmet meal at Global Grill in the heart of downtown Pensacola. 400 Quietwater Beach Rd., visitpensacolabeach.com; 27 S. Palafox Place, dineglobalgrill.com, from $65 for two.
The Holiday Inn Resort and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Beach Hotel on Pensacola Beach are family-friendly accommodations with incredible views of the Gulf of Mexico. 14 Via De Luna Dr., holidayinnresorts.com, from $245 per night; 165 Fort Pickens Rd., margaritavillehotel.com, from $239 per night.
Day 1: Enjoy a day swimming in the sparkling water and basking in the warm sand. For a taste of our fresh seafood, try The Grand Marlin on Pensacola Beach. 400 Pensacola Beach Blvd., thegrandmarlin.com, from $15-$30 per person.
Day 2: For an exhilarating rush, go parasailing over Santa Rosa Sound or rent a jet ski for the afternoon. Spot some of the area’s wildlife on a dolphin cruise in Pensacola Bay. Also, Fitness Onboard at Margaritaville offers paddleboard rentals and lessons. McGuire’s Irish Pub, serving deliciously hearty dishes, is a popular restaurant in Pensacola. Parasailing: $85 for two people, $125 for three people; Dolphin cruise: $25 adult, $15 child; 600 E. Gregory St., mcguiresirishpub.com, from $11-$30 per person.
Day 3: Sam’s Surf City is fun for the whole family with four large slides, a lazy river, a children’s pool and a sand volleyball court. For dinner, soak in the view from the deck at The Fish House while enjoying one of the area’s favorite dishes, Grits á Ya Ya. 6709 Pensacola Blvd., samsfuncity.com, $23.95 per ticket; 600 S. Barracks St., goodgrits.com, from $15-$30 per person.
If you’re looking to vacation, but have a tight budget, the area has a variety of reasonably priced places to stay and free activities to do while you are here. Solé Inn and Suites in downtown Pensacola and Paradise Inn on Pensacola Beach are both affordable and comfortable accommodations. 200 N. Palafox St., soleinnandsuites.com, from $89 per night; 21 Via De Luna Dr., paradiseinn-pb.com, from $149 per night.
Day 1: Pack a picnic and enjoy a full day swimming, relaxing and playing on the beach. Tuesday nights on Pensacola Beach, you can watch live, outdoor entertainment at Bands on the Beach. For dinner, make a trip to Joe Patti’s Seafood market where you can buy fresh, local seafood at wholesale prices. 524 S. B St., joepattis.com.
Day 2: Take a trip to the National Naval Aviation Museum for a free guided or self-guided tour of the incredible museum. While you are there, you can also watch the world-famous Blue Angels soar and perform incredible stunts as they practice for their show. Marina Oyster Barn is a great local spot to enjoy a plateful of delicious seafood for dinner. 1750 Radford Blvd., navalaviationmuseum.org, free admission; 505 Bayou Blvd., marinaoysterbarn.com, from $7-$13 per person.
Day 3: Take a stroll in downtown Pensacola and visit Historic Pensacola Village for an entertaining glimpse of Pensacola’s history. For lunch, head to Cottage Café for a delightful, home-style meal. To experience one of the best views of Perdido Key, go to Big Lagoon Sate Park’s lookout tower. 205 E. Zaragoza St., historicpensacola.org, $6 adult ticket, $4 child ticket; 203 W. Gregory St., pensacolavictorian.com, under $10 per person; 12301 Gulf Breach Hwy., floridastateparks.com/biglagoon, $6 per vehicle.
For more information about the Pensacola Bay Area, or to request a Visitor Guide, contact Visit Pensacola at (800) 874-1234, (850) 434-1234 or visit www.VisitPensacola.com. You can also stay informed of Pensacola Bay Area happenings through www.VisitPensacola.Blogspot.com.