Whether you live in Beverly Hills or not, when many of us think about luxury travel destinations, our minds often wander to the glamour and mystery of foreign destinations. But what about somewhere closer to home? It’s easier on your finances, and you can put all the money you save from long-haul flights into a more luxurious vacation. And, there are so many places to visit here in the States that offer outstanding beauty and the ultimate in luxury surroundings. One such place is Pensacola Beach in Florida – here’s our guide to what to expect. ( Images by Matt Deavenport)
Where is it?
You can find Pensacola Beach and Santa Rosa Island on the Florida Gulf Coast. It’s almost just a stone’s throw away from the Gulf of Mexico and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. The beach itself is just 10 miles south of the main airport, and six airlines currently fly in from all over the world.
What’s the attraction?
Pensacola Beach consistently ranks in lists of the best beaches in the States – most recently ending up in Trip Advisor’s Top 25. It’s a beach of breathtaking beauty. The fine, white sands and shimmering, crystal clear water stretch for miles in either direction. It’s also the ideal spot to get access to Fort Pickens, which is worth a visit in itself. The old fort – which was once a prison to Geronimo – is a historical site of interest and offers lots of beautiful nature trails to enjoy. It’s famed for its bird nesting sites, so great for bird lovers, although you will be under strict instructions not to disturb any of the wildlife.
Where to stay?
There are all kinds of luxury hotels to choose from in Pensacola Beach. Check your local travel agents for more details or head over to the tourist board. One thing we would recommend is finding a beach-facing apartment. Take a look at this video of a vacation rental by an owner to see some of the stunning views you can expect. The higher you go, the more spectacular view. You should also look inland for more traditional luxury accommodation, complete with pools and exercise facilities.
There are plenty of events that occur in Pensacola throughout the year. The most famous is the Beach Air Show, which usually occurs in July, somewhere around Independence Day. Pensacola is home to a the very first U.S. Naval Air Base, and you can see pilots in training at various stages throughout the year. If aviation is your thing, you must check out the fantastic air museum – it’s one of the world’s best.
A Pensacola vacation has a lot more to offer than just lounging on a beach – although it’s a great place to do that if that’s what you want! Bring some big wheeled beach carts filled with your beach must-haves and you’ll have an amazing time just enjoying the beauty of the beach. There are other options for more adventurous folks, of course.Travel to Pensacola and you’ll find fantastic scuba diving opportunities in the crystalline waters. And, an afternoon fishing off one of the longest piers in the Gulf of Mexico is hard to resist. There is also a host of local companies that offer yacht charters, so a day or two out on the gentle seas is well within your grasp.
Finally, let’s take a look at your culinary options. Three places, in particular, give you the perfect meal in the ultimate surroundings. Try Crabs We Got Em for incredible seafood while you cast your eyes over the Gulf, and Hemingway’s for an atmospheric evening on their roof garden. Finally, be sure to visit the H2O Cajun Asian Restaurant, right in front of the Hilton Hotel. It’s something of an institution when you travel to Pensacola Beach, and you can’t miss it.