Not everyone has the chance to catch their own shrimp. I caught mine by mistake but I kept them anyway. My son and I were fishing on the old Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge at Pensacola, Florida. When the old concrete bridge that crossed the bay was replaced by a new and modern structure three miles long, the city made the old one into a recreational fishing bridge.
I understand that one
of the hurricanes of the past few years did her in and there’s nothing left
now. It’s sad because “the bridge” was my favorite night fishing spot
of the area, as it was for hundreds if not thousands of other fishermen.
Almost any warm
evening, especially in summer, fishermen of both sexes would be lined up on the
railing of the bridge with their lines cast as far out into Pensacola Bay
as possible. Every once in a while someone’s rod would jerk; the angler would
pull back and set the hook; then pull in everything from mullet to flounder.
Just about any fish was possible from that bridge.
Each time I fished at
the bridge, there was a festive mood with all that were fishing. Entire
families were there as well as the lone fishermen huddle over a cup of coffee
late in the evening. Fishing rods were lined up like soldiers against the
concrete railing. Everyone had his very own lawn chair, blankets or sleeping
bag. Charcoal grills were set up and the aroma of hamburgers would be swept
along by the ocean breeze from one end of the structure to the other. From time
to time someone would come by selling bait or cold drinks. It was as if every
night was a holiday! Frankly, I never caught many fish from that old bridge,
but I had a lot of fun trying.
One particular evening
in early July around midnight, we’d gotten bored with the lack of activity from
our rods and reels, so we cut up one of the smaller fish into two pieces to be
used for bait. We’d brought along two crab traps, so we baited them with the
fish and lowered them over the side of the bridge until they touched bottom.
Then we let nature take its course. It was time to catch some Blue Crabs for
dinner the next evening!
A half hour later we
pulled up one of the traps to see if we had any crabs. There wasn’t even one!
There were however five large shrimp in the basket. We lost one when it fell
out of the trap on the way up to the top of the bridge. We scooped the other
four up and put them in our bait bucket for later use.
The second trap
changed our minds about using the shrimp for bait when we pulled it up. We had
an even dozen large shrimp in this basket. That settled it; we had to keep
fishing for shrimp until we had enough for a meal! There were very few small
shrimp in the baskets; most of them were large or jumbo; just the kind to cook
on a charcoal grill!
The next couple of
hauls were very poor, only one shrimp between the two baskets. We checked our
bait and dropped the traps into the water about 15 feet below. While we were
waiting for the shrimp to come to the traps, we continued to fish with our rods
and reels. My son and I each caught a nice flounder. By the time we put them in
the cooler; it was time to check the crab traps again.
This time there were
about twenty each in our baskets. After seeing that we were catching shrimp,
folks up and down the bridge had dug out their crab traps and were having good
success also! I have no idea why the shrimp were so plentiful under that bridge
that night. I’ve caught a lot of crabs there but that was the only time the
shrimp were that plentiful. We lost a lot of shrimp due to them falling out of
the basket as we hauled them up, but we finished the night with about 8 pounds
Folks have told me
that the city is going to build another fishing structure to replace the old
bridge in Pensacola.
I hope they do, but it won’t be the same. I know you can’t live in the past but
if I could, I would stake my claim on a spot about two hundred yards from the
southern shore on that old bay bridge and throw out my traps
We don’t know where they are going just yet, but a Chipotle external
communications representative confirmed to the News Journal that the revered
fast casual Tex Mex chain plans to
open two Pensacola
locations this fall. For all service of chipotles for delivery and
chipotles delivery and all chipotles menu meats to be chipotles near me at all
The company was unable to provide any
But both Chipotle and the vice president
of the commercial real estate agency that developed Tiger Point stomped on our
dreams when they set the record straight.
“Someone must have taped that logo on
there,” said Beck Partners VP Stacy Taylor to the News Journal in
July of 2018.
“Just confirmed with the real estate
team that there are no plans for a Gulf Breeze location and they’re not in
communication with the developer,” a Chipotle’s PR rep added around the
same time.”They’re looking into the signage as we speak.”
To say Pensacola
has desperately desired a Chipotle for quite some time would be
understating it. A Facebook group page of the chain restaurant, aptly named “Bring
a Chipotle to Pensacola,” was created in 2011 and has remained
very active since.
For the better part of a decade,
members have shared insider info, rumors and stories in which they have
personally messaged the company in hopes of getting the good news they’ve
craved for so long.
The News Journal will track the progress of the two confirmed Chipotles as the winter rolls on. Stay tuned.
The proximity of Orange Beach
real estate to cities and airports is a convenience that increases its value
for investors. It is about an hour’s drive from Pensacola,
Florida, and Mobile, Alabama
airports. Most of the cities in the southeast are also quite close bay.
Beach real estate offers a lot of single family homes, mainly on the
waterfront, and condominiums for sale. Some fully furnished properties rentals
are also easily available. To invest in real estate here you just have to
choose a property management firm and leave the rest to them. In the
waterfronts luxurious beach houses provide the ultimate in living. Many of
these even provide a boat slip and dock.
– The Best Investments
Orange Beach real estate provides
condos in different sizes and in various price ranges. Luxury beach front
properties with boat docks, panoramic views and security are readily available
for a price. For those with a budget, complexes at very affordable prices with
amenities such as hardwood floors are available in condos. Other condominiums
and single family houses with golf courses at the back are also available at
Entertainment and Shopping
beach offers a variety of entertainment. An amphitheater which features regular
live concerts encourages the locals, especially the students to showcase their
talents. Golf courses are also there to allow the amateur golfer to improve on
A marina, a private beach club, fishing
outfitters, and pools, are other forms o entertainment available here. If you
take some time to stroll down the seaside you will come across many shops which
cater to your daily needs. You can also treat yourself to a meal of exotic
seafood at one of the many cafes and restaurants.
hall also provides entertainment if you want a change of scene. Parks with
various forms of entertainment like ferris wheels are also evident at Orange beach. Art lovers can visit the OB Art Center
at the Orange Beach Hotel and view the works of local artists. Dolphin Cruises
and fishing expeditions are also organized in this beach which houses the
largest Charter fishing fleet on the Gulf of Mexico.
OB also celebrates many festivals like the
famous annual Mardi-Gras Parade.
beach is famous for its artificial reef which was created by sinking the 888 ft
USS Oriskany Aircraft Carrier and this draws scuba divers from all over the
world generating considerable revenue.
culinary offerings in this area are legendary, especially the seafood. This is
a local specialty that can compete with the very best in the country. There are
restaurants to satisfy everybody. You can enjoy an a la carte meal at any of
the luxurious restaurants or you could snatch a quick bite at a beach pub. You
could also choose an open air restaurant for a refreshing outdoor meal.
Orange beach real estate has really got a
lot to offer to all. You could be a one time tourist enjoying the beautiful
seaside with its fabulous weather or you could be a permanent settler, the
place has it all.
Pensacola Beach hotels offer everything needed
for families, business travelers, golfers, and other vacationers in Pensacola Beach. This area is one of the
affordable tourist spots in Florida with
numerous attractions including sandy beaches, emerald green waters, zoos,
amusement parks, race tracks, miniature golf courses, and Marine Park.
can find a choice selection of hotels within the city limits to make their stay
more comfortable and enjoyable. The accommodation options include inexpensive
hotels, luxury hotels, and business hotels. You can also find everything from
motels, condos, inns, suites, resorts, condominiums, lodges, and vacation
rentals catering to the varying tastes of the guests. Generally, room rates of
hotels range from under $60 to over $200.
Beach hotels house some of the finest restaurants, serving every type of world
Western Resort, Clarion Beachfront Suites, RMI Vacations, Holiday Inn Express,
Paradise Inn, Comfort Inn, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Springhill
Suites by Marriott are some major Pensacola Beach hotels perfect for families
Beach hotels are at a convenient distance from popular city attractions such as
Bonifay Water Sports, Reel Eazy Charters, Pensacola Beach Air Show, Island
Palms Miniature Golf, and Tiki Island Golf and Games. To engage you during your
stay, these hotels arrange a wide variety of outdoor adventures and golf
Beach hotels are
furnished with stylish amenities and facilities that ensure a pleasant
vacation. Guests can also experience a wonderful variety of shopping, water
sports, and recreation and entertainment activities. Those wishing for a change
of scenery can plan visits to nearby area attractions.
booking can be made through travel agents, who can help you to get the perfect
room for your vacation with family or friends. Online reservation facilities
are provided by most of these hotels. Group discounts and special vacation
packages are provided to attract more guests.
When it comes to spring break, Florida is still the most common spot to
The hot spots in Florida
for spring break primarily include Pensacola
Beach, Miami and the Florida Keys. These destinations provide a variety of
beaches, days filled with plenty of sunshine, plenty of frosty beverages and
tons of spring breakers who love to play in the sand, surf the ocean waves and
drink gallons of adult cocktails.
Florida Keys offers several places to shop and eat as well as learn more about
the state of Florida.
Most people though just go there during spring break simply for the refreshing
and relaxing atmosphere.
enjoyable pastime is walking along the miles of beach, looking at the different
sized seashells and sand dollars that are washed onto the shores from the
endless waves of the mighty ocean. You can also look out into the horizon of
the ocean and see shrimp boats and sail boats in various locations.
another fun thing to do, if you know how. You could rent a boat for a full day
and head out onto the ocean for yet another point of view of Florida.
To a lot
of students, and the parents of the younger students who take their children on
vacation for spring break, Florida
is like paradise. There are so many adventures and activities there, that there
never seems to be enough hours in the day to see and do it all. When nighttime
rolls around, these active families usually can’t wait to hit their hotel room
and fall asleep, resting up for the next day’s adventure.
comes to the typical college students on spring break though, the real fun
starts when the sun goes down. This is when the night clubs, restaurants and
bars start to open up and the wild and crazy nightlife begins. These night time
activities are probably what spring break is most famous for. It is the focus
of many TV shows and movies.All in all, college students from across the
nation tend to flock to Florida
for spring break as there seems to be a little something for everyone. It can
be a relaxing getaway or a wild blow off of stress to clear the mind before
returning to the books on campus. Also, by traveling in groups the students can
help keep their travel expenses to a minimum by sharing rooms, gas, rentals and
other related costs.
Pensacola is a well-kept secret.
Most people who live outside the state have trouble pin-pointing it on a map.
Take a minute and become familiar with this amazing area, because Pensacola has a lot to
offer for those looking for a low-cost, luxurious vacation.
Pensacola is located on the western panhandle of
Florida, near the Florida/Alabama state line. Unlike the more southerly beach
areas of Florida, Pensacola’s tourist season is late spring to
summer. The off-season for most Pensacola
area hotels is from Labor Day to the month of March, so that’s when prices are
lowest. The Pensacola area boasts two separate
but beautiful beachfront areas: Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach.
Perdido Key is to the west of Pensacola, adjoining the beaches of Alabama. Pensacola Beach
is just southeast of the city of Pensacola, on a gorgeous barrier island. Both
beaches offer sugar-white sands, sparkling emerald-green Gulf waters, and a
wide array of accommodations, restaurants, shopping, and nearby attractions.
Perdido Key is the less-heralded of the two
areas. Primarily a residential and second-home community for natives and
snowbirds, it features a glistening white beach lined with high-rise condos.
Nearby Ono Island is a haven for the rich and
famous who want to enjoy the gulf in privacy. Although mostly used for homes,
many units on Perdido Key are available for rent by the day, week, or month.
Check with a local real estate agent. If you visit in summer, don’t miss the
water park, which also has go-karts and other dry-land fun. It’s just one of
several attractions nearby. Golf courses abound in the area, and most are very
If you like antiques, both Pensacola
and the Eastern Shore area of Alabama
offer many great shops within an hour’s drive. Prefer to enjoy the beach? The
temperature is great for swimming as late as October, and you can enjoy it for
less money, in quiet and peace. In summer, beachgoers multiply in numbers, and
it’s a great time to meet people from everywhere.
Pensacola Beach is more
tourist-oriented than Perdido Key, but don’t let that keep you from seeking a
quiet vacation spot on this beautiful island. Again, prices and crowds are
smaller in the fall and winter months. Sailing tours, dolphin cruises, jet-ski
rentals and much more are offered from this area. The nearby Panhandle
Butterfly House is a must-see for nature lovers and offers a Monarch Madness
Festival and butterfly releases in the fall which are breathtaking displays
you’ll be glad you didn’t miss.
Whichever beach you choose, be sure to venture
into Pensacola for The National Museum
of Naval Aviation and McGuire’s Irish Pub. Tour historic forts and learn Pensacola’s intriguing
history. Shop Cordova Mall and the boutiques downtown.
These are just a few examples of hidden gems you’ll find in the Pensacola area. Come see the place “where thousands live the way millions wish they could!”
Located in northwest Florida, ten miles from the
Alabama state line on its panhandle, Pensacola is rich in historic, military
aviation, and natural sights, all with Florida’s signature sun, sand, seafood,
and water aspects.
St. Augustine, on Florida’s east or Atlantic coast, is considered the oldest US
city and took root after Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles sailed to it and
established a colony, Pensacola, on the state’s west or Gulf of Mexico side,
could have claimed the title if its own settlement had lasted.
earlier, in August of 1559, Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna dropped his own
anchor in an area local tribes named “Panzacola,” for
“long-haired people,” with the intention of carrying out Luis de
Velasco, the Mexican viceroy of Spain’s order of establishing a settlement on
provisioned and prepared, he was equipped with 11 ships and brought 1,500
would-be colonists, among whom were African slaves and Mexican Indians. But
history was forced to take the wrong fork in the road when a fierce hurricane
decimated eight of de Luna’s vessels on September 19.
in an effort to salvage the expedition, he sent one of them to Veracruz, Mexico,
to elicit aid, leaving the immigrants to eke out an existence on shore and
survive by draining the supplies they had brought. Yet, instead of
re-provisioning the colonists, the ships, arriving a year later, only rescued
the survivors by taking them to Havana
and leaving little more than a military outpost by the spring of 1561. By
August, the handful of soldiers abandoned the new land site and returned to Mexico,
deeming it too dangerous for settlement.
it was beyond knowledge at the time, a claim-to-fame as the oldest, continuous US
city it would never be able to make.
be almost 150 years, in 1698, in fact, that foreign forces would once again
seek to gain a foothold-in this case, Spain
established a more successful garrison in what would become modern-day Pensacola and toward that
end laid out a colonial town.
As has so
often occurred throughout history, land, once claimed, became the prize others
sought, often by military means, and Pensacola
proved no exception. Spaniards initially surrendered to the French in May of
1719, but it was hardly the end of its ownership. France, Spain, Britain, and
Spain once again would take possession over the next century, until the latter
finally ceded Florida to the United States
in 1821. Because the Confederacy also “took up residency,” Pensacola is considered the “City of Five Flags.”
significant portion of its almost 500-year history has been preserved and can
be experienced in the Pensacola Historic District, which is managed by the UWF
Historic Trust, itself an organization supported by the University of West Florida,
and it consists of 27 properties on the National Register of Historic Places.
only purchasable for a week, includes guided tours and visitor entry, and
tickets can be obtained at Tivoli
structures are many. Seville Square, for example, is the center of the old
settlement and served as one end of the British route’s parade ground, ending
at its twin, Plaza Ferdinand VII. It was here that General Andrew Jackson
accepted the West Florida territory from Spain
in 1821 and first raised the US
preserved section of Fort George, a target of the American Revolution’s Battle of Pensacola,
is symbolic of British occupation from 1763 to 1781.
houses abound, including the Julee Panton Cottage, the 1805 Lavalle House, the
1871 Dorr House, and the 1890 Lear-Rocheblave House.
The Old Christ
Church, located on Seville Square and
built in 1824 by slave labor, is the oldest of its kind in the state to still
occupy its original site.
also several museums: the T.T. Wentworth, Jr., Florida
which was constructed in 1908 and originally served as the City Hall, the Pensacola Children’s Museum, the Voices of Pensacola Multicultural
Center, and the Museum of Commerce.
not technically part of the Pensacola Historic District, the Pensacola Grand
Hotel is located on the site of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad’s
passenger depot, which itself was constructed in 1912 to replace the original
1882 L&N Union Station that served Pensacola for 58 years. It is now on the
National Register of Historic Places.
in its original splendor and transformed into a hotel with a 15-story glass
tower, it retains much of its early decoration, including a French clay tile
roof and a ceramic mosaic tile floor, and is adorned with period pieces, such
as a solid, drop-cast bronze light and antique furnishings.
opulent “1912, The Restaurant,” located on the ground floor, features
entryway Biva doors from London, a cast-bronze French-style chandelier from
Philadelphia, 1885 beveled glass from a Victorian hotel in Scranton, and
scalloped-shaped grill work from Lloyd’s of London.
several significant attractions on Naval Air Station Pensacola, which can be accessed by the
visitor’s gate and requires identification, such as a license, to enter
itself on the site of a Navy yard that was erected in 1825, it began as an
aviation training station at the outbreak of World War I with nine officers, 23
mechanics, eight airplanes, and ten beach-propped tents, and was considered the
first of its kind.
expanding because of the Second World War, it trained 1,100 cadets per month,
who collectively flew some two million hours. After its Naval Air Basic
Training Command relocated its headquarters from Corpus
Christi, Texas, to Pensacola, pure-jet
aircraft were incorporated in the syllabus. Today, 12,000 active military
personnel, 9,000 of whom receive aviation training, are assigned to the
world-renowned National Naval Aviation
Museum, also located here, is the
largest and one of Florida’s
most-visited attractions. It began not as a tourist sight, but instead as a
means of including naval aviation history in cadet curriculums, for which there
was neither sufficient time nor funding for the traditional book-and-study
facility, initially housed in an 8,500-square-foot wood frame building that
hailed from World War II, became the locus of selection, collection,
preservation, and display of aircraft and artifacts that represent the
development and heritage of the service branch. It opened its doors on June 8,
it currently has 700 airplanes in its collection that are displayed in its 11
other official Navy museums throughout the country, but some 150 pristinely
restored ones are still exhibited here after a new facility with 37 outdoor
acres and 350,000 square feet of indoor space was completed. Admission is free.
into the South Wing, the West Wing, a second-floor Mezzanine, and the separate Hangar Bay
One, it traces the evolution of Navy aviation and the aircraft it operated from
its inception to the latest Middle East
Triad, for example, was so named because if operated in the three realms of air
(wings), water (floats), and land (wheels). The Nieuport 28, in the World War I
section, facilitated aircraft carrier experimentation, while the mammoth
Navy-Curtiss NC-4, at the threshold of the Golden Age exhibit, was the first to
traverse the Atlantic from Trepassey, Newfoundland, to the Azores Islands off
jet fighters during the Cold War is represented by such types as the McDonnell
F2H-4 Banshee, the North American FJ-2 Fury, and the Russian MiG-15.
of the West Wing is the “USS Cabot” island and a replica of its
carrier deck, which is surrounded by an extensive collection of mostly World
War II aircraft, including the Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat, the Vought-Sikorsky FG-1D
Corsair, and the General Motors (Grumman) TBM Avenger.
numerous exhibits on the museum’s mezzanine, which itself overlooks both the
South and West Wings and can even be accessed by airliner ground stairs, there
can be none that offer a greater contrast to each other than those devoted to
lighter-than-air aviation and space exploration.
from the spherical balloon first successfully flown by the Montgolfier Brothers
in 1783 in the first case, airships were large, controllable balloons which
attained lift by the buoyancy principle themselves, but incorporated engines
for propulsion and rudders and elevators for, respectively, yaw (steering) and
longitudinal (pitch) axis control. Suspended gondolas housed the crew and
passengers. Rigid types featured internal frameworks, which were not required
by the non-rigid ones, such as blimps.
or control cars from the Navy’s L-8 and World War II-era K-47 airships are on
display. The latter, delivered on May 19, 1943 at Moffett Field, California,
had a 425,000-cubic-foot internal volume.
second, or space, case, a replica of the Mercury Freedom 7 space capsule, the
original of which was launched at 116.5 nautical miles and was air/space borne
for 14.8 minutes, represents Naval Aviation’s contributions to the Space
Program, because Naval Aviator Alan B. Shepard became the first American to
enter that realm on May 5, 1961.
display is the original Skylab II Command Module, which orbited the Skylab
space station during 28 days between May and June of 1973. Operated by a
three-member, all-Navy crew, it set several records, including the longest
manned spaceflight, the greatest distance traveled, and the greatest mass
docked in space.
from both the mezzanine and the main floor is the 75-foot-tall,
10,000-square-foot Blue Angels Atrium that connects the South and West Wings
and features four Douglas A-4 Skyhawks in a diving diamond painted in the
aerobatic team’s dark blue livery.
One, with 55,000 square feet of exhibit space, features such aircraft as the
Sikorsky VH-3 Sea King, which transported presidents Nixon and Ford during the
1970s; the Douglas R4D-5L Skytrain, which became the first to land on
Antarctica’s South Pole in 1956; and the Grumman F-14D Tomcat, the supersonic,
swing-wing fighter that logged the last combat mission.
services include complementary tours, a laser-powered giant screen theater
showing multiple daily films, two gift shops, and the Cubi Bar Café.
flights of the famed Blue Angels flight demonstration team can be viewed at the
Museum Flight Line, north of the museum itself.
historic attraction on Naval Air Station grounds is the Pensacola Lighthouse.
the strategic importance of Pensacola
appropriated $6,000 in March of 1823 to construct a lighthouse, choosing an
appropriate site in June, but temporarily substituting a floating alternative,
the “Aurora Borealis,” until construction was completed. Transferred
from the mouth of the Mississippi River, it was positioned behind the western
end of Santa Rosa Island.
permanent structure, a 40-foot-wide, white brick tower with ten whale oil
lamps, each of which was strengthened by a 14-inch reflector, was first lit on
December 20 of the following year and enabled sailing vessels to steer toward
it and then enter the harbor.
it proved more useful than the floating boat it replaced, it began to reveal
its deficiencies by 1850: it was obstructed by trees on Santa Rosa Island and
its light was too dim to serve as an effective navigation aid, prompting the
newly-established Lighthouse Board to recommend a replacement that would rise
at least 150 feet in height.
to its request, Congress allocated $25,000 in 1854 and an additional $30,000
two years later. Construction of the new facility, located a half-mile west of
the original, was completed in 1858. Rising 159 feet from a 30-foot-diameter
base and tapering to a 15-foot top, it was first lit on New Year’s Day, 1859,
by Keeper Palmes. It featured the most powerful lens then available, a
first-order Fresnel one.
on the National Register of Historic Places, the Pensacola Lighthouse offers
the visitor a glimpse into mid-19th century light keeper life, with a Visitor
Center and Museum Shop located in the 1890s Carriage House, the Richard C.
Callaway Museum in the 1869 keepers quarters, and the 177-step lighthouse
itself, which can be climbed for views of Pensacola Bay.
another historically important attraction on Naval Air Station Pensacola
is Fort Barrancas.
on the bluffs overlooking Pensacola Bay, Fort Barrancas was built to protect
the United States from foreign invaders,” according to the National Park
Service. “Once considered vital to national defense, today Fort Barrancas
illustrates the evolution of military technology and America’s values.”
after Spain ceded Florida to the US, the United States Navy selected Pensacola
Bay as its main Gulf Coast Navy yard and concurrent with the decision was the
dispatch of Army Corps of Engineers officers to survey the coastline with the
intention of constructing fortifications to protect the Navy yard itself.
the ruins of the 1798 Spanish fort designated Fort San Carlos de
Barrancas-“Barrancas” being the Spanish word for
“bluffs”-it was the third such fortification on the bay. The
existing, 1797 Batteria de San Antonio
was retained and modified.
form between March 21 and September 21 by the hands of enslaved laborers, who
worked from sunrise to sunset, it incorporated significant armament, including
ten 24-pound cannons.
it was built as a defensive structure, it only engaged in combat during the
new developments to cannons and naval war vessels, the US government began evaluating
proposals for new coastal defenses in 1885 and after the curtain closed on
World War II, it was declared surplus in 1947.
leads from the Visitor
Center to the actual,
kite-shaped fort, whose prominent features encompass a scarp and counterscarp,
a ditch, a drawbridge, a sally port, a guard room, an open parade area, and a
water battery. A tunnel connected the latter two. Cannon projectiles fired from
the water battery itself were intended to ricochet off of the bay and hit ships
at their water lines.
four-foot-thick by 20-foot-high walls, comprised of six million bricks,
features archways and valued ceilings.
Advanced Redoubt, constructed between 1845 and 1870, protected the northern
side of the peninsula, location of the Pensacola
and causeway-linked, via Gulf Breeze, to the mainland, Pensacola Beach, eight
miles from downtown Pensacola and accessed by Interstate 110 South, is a narrow
stretch of sugary sand on the barrier island of Santa Rosa, overlooking emerald
waters of the bay and the Gulf of Mexico and offering ocean-related activities,
such as swimming, sun tanning, fishing, snorkeling, sailing, and diving. Fiery red,
chartreuse, and purple sunsets regularly paint the sky.
hotels are numerous, such as the Surf and Sand, the Margaritaville
Beach, and the Portofino Island
Resort, along with known names like the Hampton Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn,
SpringHill Suites, and Days Inn. Florida-indicative seafood restaurants, with
indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the water, include those such as
Hemingway’s Island Grill, Flounder’s Chowder House, the Grand Marlin, Shaggy’s Pensacola Beach, and Peg Leg Pete’s.
1,471 feet into the water, Pensacola
Gulf Pier affords fishing
for bluefish, pompano, redfish, Spanish mackerel, and spotted sea trout.
Flounder is not to be ruled out.
self-guided Footprints in the Sand Eco Tour, marked by informative signs,
affords the opportunity to learn about local plant and animal life, including
dolphins, sharks, turtles, birds, fish, and flowers. Each one explains a
different ecological topic.
Beach is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which itself stretches 160
miles from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, to Cat Island, Mississippi, and includes
barrier islands, maritime forests, bayous, marine habitats, and historic forts.
The park headquarters, offering orientation films and exhibits about the Live Naval
Oaks Area, is located in Gulf Breeze, the island between the mainland and Pensacola Beach.
the Gulf of Mexico the national seashore preserves pockets of American history
and culture and encapsulates the visitor in Florida’s flora and fauna. In the void
formed by the water and sky, for instance, dolphins surface, starfish swim, and
pelicans and seagulls allow the breeze to carry them across the panorama.
One of the
National Seashore’s historic preservations is Fort
Pickens, located on the western end of
Santa Rosa Island directly across the Pensacola
entrance from Fort
Barrancas. Named after
Brigadier General Andrew Pickens, a patriot who fought with distinction in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War, it was once
the largest brick structure on the Gulf of Mexico.
its origins to 1821, when the Third System of coastal forts was extended to
include protection of Pensacola Bay and its mainland shore communities, it
adopted a secondary purpose four years later when legislature to establish a
Navy yard and depot was passed. As part of the trio of defenses, it was
intended to guard the western end of Santa Rosa Island in cooperation with
fortifications of the bluffs north of the channel and on the eastern end of Perdido
construction, under the supervision of US Army Corps of Engineers, commenced in
1829 after the government acquired 998 acres of land and the pentagon-shaped
structure, built up of more than 21.5 million bricks and equipped with more
than 200 cannons, was completed five years later.
used construction materials such as lime, water, and sand to mix mortar; lumber
for grillage and to build wharves, scaffolding, and support buildings; lead
sheets to waterproof casemate arches and for gutters and drains; granite for
steps and traverse stones; copper sheeting, bars, and fixtures for use in
powder magazines; (and) brick for the main work and counterscarp,”
according to the National Park Service.
a garrison of 500 men during wartime, but able to accommodate double that
number in emergencies, the five-bastion structure, consisting of a single tier
of casemates and a barbette tier, was capable of unleashing a ring of fire from
its seaward-facing walls.
event, the only combat it ever experienced occurred during the Civil War.
visitors still enter Fort
Pickens through its
original sally post, the main entrance secured with heavy oak doors. The
plaster-lined quarters served as both residences and hospital rooms. The arched
casemates provided protected artillery positions and a base for the second
level cannons. Three main chambers, each holding 1,000 pounds of gunpowder,
were connected by a tunnel system. The powder magazines, storing the fort’s
black power supply, were wood-lined to keep them dry and necessitated the
slipper-covered boots of soldiers who entered them to prevent potential
ignition from sparks. The generator room was the location of the steam-powered
generators installed in 1903 to provide electricity for searchlights and other
counterscarp formed a dry mount to protect the fort from land-based assaults.
Rain water was collected and stored in cisterns for drinking. And the tower
bastion, pointing directly across the channel, ensured the harbor’s protection