Pensacola, Florida
Sunday November 23rd 2014

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My Pensacola: Melissa Howard


Name: Melissa Howard
Day Job: Associate Content Producer for Sky Publishers
Pensacola Resident Since: 1989

Good Eats: My favorite place to eat in Pensacola is the restaurant I work for on the weekends, Mellow Mushroom. This place feeds me almost daily, and I’ve never gotten tired of the food in more than two years. Stone-baked pizza with fresh veggies and cheese just can’t be beat!

One of the best places to eat in the area is Sluggo’s. As a vegetarian, I love the option to eat a full meal at a restaurant without ordering off the menu to accommodate my diet. The food is delicious and full of flavor. Try the famous Culture Club or Nachos next time you’re downtown.

Retail Therapy: Truthfully, I do most of my shopping online. But I must admit that nothing can beat the sales found at places like Dillard’s, PacSun, and a handful of other stores in Cordova Mall. Cotton On has some nice quality, simple clothing too. Something about walking around that mall just makes me want to spend money.

Watering Holes: My nightlife centers around my work schedule. But, as a girl who loves craft beer, I like going out to places with a nice selection of different draft beers and good specials. This means hanging out after-hours on the patio with my co-workers at Mellow Mushroom or meeting up with friends at Hopjacks downtown.

I spend most of my weekends downtown. Sometimes we start at Intermission and work our way down Palafox to Hopjacks, sometimes it’s the other way around. One of my favorite stops is Play. Nowhere else in town offers that novelty experience of partying in an arcade, and the jukebox also makes for a good time. I used to be Mayor of Play on Foursquare, but someone ousted me. Sounds like it’s time for another visit…

Nightlife: I don’t really get fancy and go out on the town, but sometimes it’s fun if there’s a big show or performer. I enjoy hanging out at End o’ the Alley at Seville Quarter and watching the music back there, and sometimes my liquid courage pulls me into Phineas Phogg’s to get wild with some friends in a completely foreign environment. We don’t club, we party!

Outdoors: Nothing beats going to Blackwater or Styx River with a big crew of buddies. Whether you go to a outfitter like Adventures Unlimited or just drive a truck down there yourself, floating down these rivers for a few hours is a blast. Tubing is the most relaxing activity on the river, while kayaking will involve a little more maneuvering through the shallow waters.

Living in such close proximity to natural beauty that is found nowhere else is one of my favorite things about Pensacola. I regularly go out to the beach, down near Fort Pickens, and just lay out on the sand, listening to music, until the sun sets. The beach has an influence on my mood every visit, and I don’t think there’s any other place that helps me clear my head more.

Arts & Culture: While Vinyl has drawn several bigger names to Pensacola since the venue opened, some of the best music experiences I’ve experienced in Pensacola take place at houses. The old 309 punk house on Wright Street books touring bands every so often, and informal settings like this allow the crowd to really make a connection with the musicians.

Never Miss Events/Festivals: Gallery Night is one of the most fun events in Pensacola, and I can’t even dream of missing it since I’m so close to the action. I like that the city decided to close Palafox down until around midnight or a little later on these Fridays, since the walking-in-the-street part is part of the draw.