United States

March 27, 2016

Western Gate to the Sunshine State

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So let’s make my first traveling post on Urban Hallucination about somewhere not so known for its cities, the wonderful Sunshine State a.k.a. FLORIDA. Yes, I’m sure you’re all familiar with Miami, Orlando (Disney World!), maybe even Tampa. Buuuuut I’ll tell you about a little more modest part, somewhere I’ve been visiting ever since I was little: Pensacola. This is a beautiful city with the whitest beaches you’ve ever dug your toes into. Because it’s so close, to Alabama, it’s got a few nicknames including my favorite: “The Western Gate to the Sunshine State.”

I usually end up at Pensacola beach, the most popular (and most crowded) beach in Escambia County. You’ll know you’re at the right spot when you see a huge beach ball water tower in the parking lot. The pier is great to walk on, and if you want some shade, but forgot your umbrella, underneath the pier is always a great place to take a nap, hey you can even bring a hammock like the people behind me in this picture.

Plus+, there’s this little thing New Yorkers are very wary about: Southern kindness. Often, I leave my chairs, beach bag, towels, and anything else I brought along with me on the beach while I go behind the beach to Crabs or the Casino Bar & Grille for a bite. I especially love Crabs’ crab (duhh) nachos. I can return, or stay up at the restaurants for hours, confident my belongings will remain as untouched as the green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. If you want to drive a little further from the beach, Peg Leg Pete’s has amazing oysters and sandwiches.

For activities, my favorite thing to do is probably parasailing, but for a more relaxing activity, paddle boarding out of Innerlight is a great time. Paddle boarding is also a great workout, but if you want a little easier time, go across the street to Quietwater beach. I just hope you have better luck carrying the boards than my friends and I usually do. Once you get the board out into the water, if you’re trying to get some color, you’ll tan much better with the reflection of the water.

Pensacola is also known for its regular UFO sightings, so this house is always fun to go check out, just down the road from the beach. This is Wayne Donaldson’s Idyllis Futuro. It’s actually only one of a total of 96 Futuros designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen as an easy to heat ski cabin. There’s still others around, and some are even available for rent. A couple currently owns this particular one as their beach house, and it’s also headquarters of Pensacola Beach Preservation & Historical Society. It’s tough to see in my picture, but in a few of the windows and doors below, there’s a few aliens peeking through the curtains.
Pensacola Beach overall is a stunning place, and if nothing else, you can always find some great shells or even a sand dollar to take super cute pictures with!

 

All pictures with me shown were taken by Larissa Nagrowski on this trip.

 

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