Pensacola, Florida (PRWEB) March 18, 2014
The Pensacola Bay Area invites couples to enjoy the best of both worlds with beautiful white-sand beaches and clear Gulf waters with an array of cultural offerings and historic attractions.
According to the 2014 travel study by American Express, arts and culture is the primary desire of travelers. Pair that with warm weather, and Midwesterners are ready to book their spring getaway.
“Pensacola, Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach are such three-dimensional vacation destinations,” said Visit Pensacola President Steve Hayes. “Couples can spend a leisurely morning walking along the Gulf of Mexico and then visit our historic downtown, explore our attractions and sample fantastic seafood in the afternoon.”
Direct flights from United Airlines make traveling to the Pensacola Bay Area convenient from Chicago, and for those wanting an extended road trip, the drive can be done in a day as Pensacola is the first beach in Florida that greets Midwestern travelers.
Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key are part of the longest stretch of protected seashore in the country, the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Pensacola, which got its Spanish roots back in 1559, is home to many cultural and historic attractions, such as the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, the Native Paths Culture and Heritage Center, Historic Pensacola Village, the Pensacola Lighthouse and the world-renowned National Naval Aviation Museum, which offers free admission and a new WWII exhibit.
“Most people don’t realize that Pensacola was the first European settlement in the United States,” said Margo Stringfield of the University of West Florida’s archaeology program. “We precede St. Augustine by six years, Jamestown by 48 years and Plymouth Rock by 60 years. There are so many ways to explore our history by taking a guided tour, visiting our significant sites and museums as well as participating in an actual archaeological dig.”
Downtown Pensacola celebrates its artistic side with exhibits at the Pensacola Museum of Art located in a refurbished jail, glass blowing classes at First City Art and concerts at Vinyl Music Hall, a hip venue for up-and-coming musicians. The city is also home to a ballet, symphony and opera with performances inside the beautifully restored Saenger Theatre. Visitors can also see the Rex Theatre, Florida’s oldest art deco theater, and participate in Gallery Night, where local artists showcase their work and musicians perform at one big street party.
With pleasant temperatures and low lodging rates, spring is a popular time for events. Couples can sip champagne under the oak trees during the Pensacola JazzFest and Evenings in Olde Seville or enjoy the music at Bands on the Beach as they tap their toes in the sand. Close enough to New Orleans to catch a little Cajun fever, the area also hosts two crawfish festivals. For a little local culture, there is even an annual Mullet Toss, where contestants compete in a fish-throwing contest at the famed Flora-Bama lounge on the state line.
With historic sites, cultural offerings and special events alongside Florida’s white-sand beaches, couples are sure to bond during their spring getaway in Pensacola.
To request a free Visitor Guide or sign up for e-deals, go to http://www.visitpensacola.com/chicago.