From the Emerald Coast to the Redneck Riviera, the beaches of Northwest Florida are the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches. Looking through a box of old photographs, I was pleasantly surprised to find pictures of Jack’s West Virginia parents frolicking along the beach there. They must have heard about the emerald greens waters and white sandy beaches, something you have to see for yourself to appreciate the beauty of the area.
Today, driving along the shores of 30A past the evenly spaced tropical palms, the perfectly manicured greenway and sculptured podocarpus hedge at Ayls Beach, to the bustling beach community of Seaside, it’s hard to imagine a time over 8000 years ago when Archaic people began to settle in the area. With tools fabricated from bones, stones and wood these first Floridians, some 5000 years later, began making fired clay pottery, tempered with sand, shells, moss and fibers. As regional tribes were expanding across the state the Choctaw and Creeks were making the panhandle area of Northwest Florida their home. Agriculture and corn had been around for hundreds of years by the time advanced trade networks were established. Traveling from the Gulf Coast all the way to the Great Lakes region and stopping along the way explains how baskets, fish bones, and shells from Northwest Florida appear in places like Logan County, West Virginia.
Later, (1633) the Spanish completed the 2260 mile long Old Spanish Trail connecting Mexico City with St. Augustine and this became the supply and trading route.
Today, the emerald green shores of the snow-white sandy beaches, such as those found at Perdidio Key, are among the most beautiful in the world. It’s home to the Flora-Bama Bar, famous for it’s yearly mullet toss competition. We were there with an eclectic mix of motorcycle gangs and gospel songwriters.
Pensacola and Pensacola Beach each have their own special charm. The beaches are home to hotels, restaurants and Fort Pickens, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Using over 21 million bricks to construct it, a self-guided tour allows you to see the intricate details of this massive fort. Camping and picnic areas allow you to enjoy the beaches as well.
Inland, historic downtown Pensacola, is emerging as a revitalized downtown area welcoming such eateries as alFRESCO’S.
Pensacola, another great historic city in the Sunshine State, has so much to offer: from the welcome sign at Pensacola Beach to the Museums and Arts district and historic Pensacola Village, it’s a town with a past looking toward the future.
At Palafox and Main Streets you will find “Fun, Urban, Dining” at alFRESCO’S.
Jerry’s Cajun Café is nesteled away behind the four vintage Airstream trailers:
Z Taco Fresh Mex
Gouda Stuff Gourmet Melts
Greenhouse-Wraps, Smoothies and Salads
With a courtyard full of tables and Palm trees, this food truck environment features different food vendors making the dining options varied and the atmosphere inviting.