Beach

My Top Things to Do in Pensacola Florida by JD Andrews

My first trip to Pensacola was last November while doing research on an article for Visit Florida. (confession: when I was a kid, I thought it was pronounced pepsi-cola) On my second day in town I was contacted by Visit Pensacola asking if I'd like to be shown around. After a few hours seeing the sights, I couldn't believe how much there was to do and see in this town that's only 45 minutes away from Alabama. My surprise and excitement was over whelming and I kept on saying "this place is great, more people need to know about Pensacola" After the trip, I contacted Visit Pensacola hoping we could work together and a few months later, I was back in town exploring and sharing more of my new favorite destination. 


THE NATIONAL NAVAL AVIATION MUSEUM

Admission is FREE! It's the world's largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. With over 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. Plus the world-famous Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola, and can be seen practicing over the Museum most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November.

Open Daily 9am - 5pm

http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org
1750 Radford Blvd., NAS Pensacola, FL 32508


BEACHES

I live in South Florida, we have beaches, parking is expensive, they are crowded and in the shadow of massive condos. If you like big, beautiful, un-crowed beaches with FREE parking - Pensacola should be your next destination.

Another thing you won't see in South Florida (unless there's a hurricane) is surfing! Also these beaches have been ranked among the best in the country by USA Today, TripAdvisor and the Travel Channel.


PARKS

Big Lagoon State Park - A 705-acre Florida State Park located approximately 10 miles southwest of Pensacola.

Perdido Key State Park - A 290-acre Florida State Park located on a barrier island 15 miles southwest of Pensacola.

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park - A 4,290-acre Florida State Park preserve located 10 miles southwest of Pensacola.

Fort Pickens - Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore - Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay during the American Civil War. Great beaches here as well!


HISTORY

Historic Pensacola - Come explore the 8 1/2 acres and 28 properties, eleven are open to the public.

Pensacola Lighthouse - Built in 1859, climb 177 steps up for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast. Open Daily 10am - 5:30pm

Downtown - More and more chic shops and trendy restaurants are  showing up around historic Palafox Street, the city’s award-winning main street.  


WATER SPORTS

Aquatic Charters - Dolphin Cruise onboard Chase-N-Fins - A 2 hour Dolphin adventures in Pensacola Bay and surrounding waters. Learn about dolphins and the history of the area.

I didn't have enough time but there is tons more to do:

Parasailing, fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddle-boarding, sailing, wind-surfing, jet-skiing, kayaking, etc.


EATS

There are so many great bars, coffee shops and restaurants in Pensacola, below are the ones I had a chance to visit.

The Drowsy Poet - Great coffee shop, where the locals go.

McGuire's Irish Pub  - Estimated, over a million dollar bills hang from the ceiling and walls.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club - Right on the border, great food and views.

Native Cafe - My favorite B-fast place, get there early, always a line.

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar - mmmmmm whiskey

Five Sisters Blues Café - historic and delicious!

The Grand Marlin - Amazing location on the water with great seafood.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Visit Pensacola but as always, all opinions photographs and text are all mine.

Nevis - Much More than the Birthplace of Alexander Hamilton by JD Andrews

Where is Nevis?

Nevis is located in the Caribbean Sea, West Indies, and is the sister island of the more 'well-known' Saint Kitts. But both islands make up one country: the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Island groups: AntillesLesser AntillesLeeward Islands - Area: 35.91 sq miles (getting very technical)

Most arrive by plane in Saint Kitts and will take the quick seven-minute boat ride, crossing the two-mile Narrows, to Nevis.

Nevis is known for its many beautiful beaches and rich history. More recently it's becoming more famous as the birthplace and early childhood home of Alexander Hamilton.

A statesman and one of the founding fathers of the United States and the subject of the Broadway Musical, Hamilton.

The Museum of Nevis History located in Charlestown, is a restored Georgian building where Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1757.

Visit The Hamilton Estate

Nevis is the place where Horatio Nelson was stationed as a young sea captain, and is where he met and married a Nevisian, Frances Nisbet, the young widow of a plantation-owner.

Nevis was at one time was the highest-producing colony for sugar in the entire West Indies

What's in a Name? I was told: Christopher Columbus named the island Nevis because it looked like a snow capped mountain (Due to the low clouds surrounding the volcano known as Nevis Peak at its center - (985 m / 3,232 ft) and the Spanish word for snow is nieves.

According to the internet: "The island was named Oualie ("Land of Beautiful Waters") by the Caribs and Dulcina - "Sweet Island" by the early British settlers. The name, Nevis, is derived from the Spanish, Nuestra Señora de las Nieves (which means Our Lady of the Snows); the name first appears on maps in the 16th century."

One side of the island has black beaches while the other has white.  Due to a mixture of white coral sand with brown and black sand which is eroded and washed down from the volcanic rocks that make up the island.

Very Wild - There are more monkeys on this island than people and lots of wild Donkeys, Horses
and Goats

You can visit the famous Volcanic hot springs, the Bath Spring near Bath village, just south of the capital Charlestown

Go See The Beautiful Botanical Gardens of Nevis

Visit Cottle Church

The island is known for “goat water,” a stew usually made from the neck bones and meat of goats which sounds interesting (terrible) but in fact is VERY good (I’m told)

Take a Funky Monkey Tour

I stayed at the historical Hermitage Plantation Inn

The unofficial flag of Nevis

More interesting Facts about Nevis:

Built in 1643, St. Thomas Church is the oldest active Anglican Church in the Caribbean

Nevis got its independence from Britain In 1983

Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)

People from Nevis are called Nevisians

Nevis has the Caribbean’s oldest colonized territories

Nevis is the smallest sovereign state in the Americas and smallest country in the America both in area and population

 

Disclosure: Nevis Tourism hosted my trip but as always, all of the opinions expressed here are my own.

Sandy Sea Lion in Galapagos by JD Andrews

Sea Lion covered in sand with International Expeditions M/V Evolution Ship in the background

Beautiful Sunset in Galapagos by JD Andrews

A Beautiful Day in The Ten Thousand Islands Florida by JD Andrews

The Ten Thousand Islands are a chain of islands and mangrove islets off the coast of southwest Florida, between the southern end of Marco Island and the mouth of Lostman's River.