I always get a chuckle when we plan a trip to Pensacola, Florida. My Dad would always call it “Pepsi-cola.” He just thought that was the funniest thing in the world.

I have tons of great memories in that wonderful town. The best part it only takes four and half hours to get there from Tuscaloosa.

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The Beach! Amazing! My favorite place is Perdido Key Beach, great for shell hunting. Other great finds are at Big Lagoon State Park, Opal Beach, and Gulf Islands National Seashore. My weekend trip tip is to eat somewhere local. Ask around where the locals go to spend time at the beach. Those are always the best spots.


I come from a family that loves trains, planes, and automobiles. If you love planes, Pensacola is for you. We are a United States Navy “Blue Angels” crew. Don’t get me wrong; we love the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the Golden Knights from the United States Army too. It’s just something about the speed of the Blue Angels that does it for us.

What makes Pensacola so cool, besides the beach fun, it’s the home base for the Blue Angels and the National Naval Aviation Museum. Be sure to budget several hours. Check out the museum, aircraft galleries, flight simulators, virtual flight deck, have lunch at the Cubi Bar Café, and take in a movie at the giant screen theatre.  Be sure to stroll down to the Atrium so that you can stand with the Blue Angel plans above you. Click here for the specific instructions on who and how you can visit the museum. Please check because it is VERY VERY VERY detailed. Click here for that information.

There are other spots to watch if you can’t make it to the National Naval Aviation Museum for practice viewing. I have found great views from the Pensacola Lighthouse, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola Bay, and Navy Point (a neighborhood park). Believe it or not, I’ve found great success in years past at the Wal-Mart on South Blue Angel Parkway.

Every time I visit Pensacola, I try a new restaurant and always pick up a new Blue Angels viewing location. I’ll have to do a rundown of Pensacola restaurants next. You can spend a weekend there, just by going to the beach and eating.

(Source) For more about the National Naval Aviation Museum, click here.

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

LOOK: Here are the best small towns to live in across America


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