My family and I will possibly be traveling to Pensacola Beach Florida from late August to mid-Sept. If anyone can help, I would like some information on this area. Info. such as beachfront condos to stay at (we're considering Emerald Isle Condo), any local restaurants, and local attractions. I would also welcome any negative feedback as to where not to go or just any bad experiences in this part of the county.
Thanks in advance.
I live in New Orleans and drive to that area quite a bit. In fact we joke that during Easter break and most of August, half of New Orleans has left the city for destinations on the Alabama and Florida gulf coast.
I usually rent a house so I don't have any accommodation recommendations to help you.
Pensacola Beach is very built up and touristy IMO. Are you committed to Pensacola or would you consider someplace a bit farther east or west? Destin just to the east is very nice, and Alabama just west has Orange and Perdido beaches and Fort Morgan. However, if you're taking a bunch of kids, they will probably like all the touristy stuff in Pensacola.
Here are the only "bad" experiences I can conceive of in any of these beach towns:
-the spring break influx of college students
-you will be there in hurricane season. You should ask when you book the condo/hotel what their refund policy/practice is in case a storm warning goes up. In the rare event that happens, monitor the news and listen to what the authorities are saying. If they say leave, LEAVE!
-occasionally when it's very calm and still, you get annoying horseflies and/or gnats on the beach. Insect repellent does not deter these bugs. Go inside for a nap or lunch, and the bugs will probably be gone by the time you venure back out to the beach.
-sometimes you see jellyfish. In over 20 years of visiting this area, I have never been bitten by a jellyfish but I have heard of it happening and in many stores you will see jellyfish sting remedies.
- Above all, DON'T GET SUNBURNED! You can ruin a vacation this way. It seems especially to happen to people from Canada and the northern US who don't realize how intense the sun is, especially with the glare caused by water and sand.
There are some attractions like the Pensacola Zoo, water parks, and all that beachy stuff like mini golf. I don't do real golf, but I recall there are some nice courses in the area. If you like to shop, there is a large factory outlet mall just north of Gulf Shores, Alabama. While I don't find the food compares to what I'm used to in New Orleans restaurants, there are tons of places that are casual, nicely situated on the beach or with beach views, and serve up darned good fried seafood platters as well as grilled fish and your basic hamburgers/pizza.
Writing this is giving me a yen to head for the coast myself. Have a great trip!
Thank you for responding. We vacationed in Destin last year and loved it. We went in Sept., trying to avoid the summer crowds and had a very nice time. We were hoping to go somewhere different this year, but along the area of the Gulf Coast since it is so pretty.
My husband likes the touristy places, I prefer a more quiet vacation, and our son is really too young to care where we go.
I'm not sure if it was just bad luck, but I went there 3 times and each time at LEAST one of us got stung by a jellyfish. We usually go and take the kids and one year we had 5 stings in a single day. Maybe I was in a bad spot. The upside is that it usually isn't as bad as it's made out to be, and the beach is really nice there.