By Elizabeth Kerr

The entire state of Florida is celebrating 500 years since the arrival of Ponce de Leon in 1513. Counties all over Florida are marking this year in style… including Pensacola.

As part of your Great Loop experience, a stop in Pensacola is highly recommended. Palm Harbor Marina – a frequent stopover for fellow Canadian Loopers – will welcome you with open arms. Palm Harbor is actually home to many Canadian boats kept there year-round. In fact, the Technomarine docks installed there were built in Canada. According to Robert Dunbar, proud marina manager extraordinaire, “Palm Harbor offers a high-end facility that exemplifies class from the change rooms to the covered party dock…everything a dedicated Looper would ever want.”

Although Barbados and beyond awaits you, even a two-day stopover here will tempt your historic, cultural and culinary palates. Below are a few must-do activities that will tempt you to steer your boat port from Mobile.

Go back in time and visit Historic Pensacola Village. Your tour guide, likely a PHD in History, will stay in timeless character throughout your 45-minute walking tour. Continue your cultural fix by heading around the corner to the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum that houses three floors of permanent and traveling exhibits.

I love buying locally. And I love buying art. And I did buy local art at the Quayside Art Gallery. This charming three-story historic building originally constructed as the Germania Steam Fire Engine and Hose Company, offers everything art from pen and ink sketches you can tuck in your pocket to beautifully carved wooden bowls that staff will happily ship home for you.

All good things come for a price. Jackson’s – an award-winning five-star restaurant known for its steaks – was named after General Andrew Jackson who accepted the transfer of Florida from Spain, served as governor of Florida, and, in 1828, was elected the U.S.’s seventh president. If you left the tie and the little black dress at home, people watch while waiting for your meals to go. You may not know their names but you will know that they are the tinsel of the town.

If not too late, make your way to 360 Pensacola Beach lifts you 200 feet above the beautiful beaches and turquoise waters in fully enclosed, air-conditioned gondolas. You'll experience 360° views sweeping from the Gulf of Mexico.

If you have time, rent a car and drive along Perdido Key to the Alabama state line. Stop for a Bushwaker  – a highly spiked, frozen-like mocha milkshake at the infamous Flora-bama! Although not recommended as a pairing, the oysters here are a top-notch choice for lunch overlooking the beach and the Gulf of Mexico. Visit on a Sunday and attend the 11:00 a.m. church service!

On the way back to your boat, visit the National Naval Aviation Museum. If you like planes and many of us do, this museum will take you to the skies whether exploring the impressive display of more than 150 restored airplanes dating as far back as 1914 or flying with the Blue Angels on the IMAX screen. (Playing at the time was an optional flick in honour of Canadians: Rocky Mountain Express whose viewers are taken on a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and highlights the building the Canada’s first transcontinental railway.)

For the not faint of heart, climb the narrow, dimly lit 177-step spiral staircase of the Pensacola Lighthouse for a spectacular view of the Gulf of Mexico and perhaps passages for you yet discovered. Time it to see the Blue Angels practice. You can catch them early morning on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Before heading to the marina, stop at Joe Patti’s Seafood Market. Place your order with Frank – Joe and Anna’s son. It will be packed to go in a Styrofoam chest packed in ice.

Pensacola is indeed worth the visit. Barbados can wait!

Useful Pensacola Websites
vivaflorida.org
palmharbor-marina.com
historicpensacola.org
quaysideartgallery.com
jacksons.goodgrits.com
360pensacolabeach.com
florabama.com
navalaviationmuseum.org
pensacolalighthouse.org
joepattis.com


Photo Captions:
Photo 1 - Palm Harbor Marina - a frewuent stopover for fellow Canadian Loopers - will welcome you with open arms
Photo 2 - Pensacola Lighthouse with the Blue Angels practicing in formation overhead

Related Articles

The Middens of Galiano Island

By Catherine Dook

We motored our way into Montague Harbour along a twisted channel with our engine muffled by the leaning trees.

“This is peaceful,” I told my husband, John.

“Look,” I pointed to an eagle sitting on the top of a tree overlooking the channel entrance like a sentinel giving permission for us to pass. Dignified, unruffled, his impassioned gaze noted and then dismissed us, as uninteresting and perhaps unworthy. I was tired. We’d pulled up anchor at Portland Island that morning, and the grind of the diesel engine had worn me down.

Read More of the Middens of Galiano Island.....

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Your boat is tucked away for the winter, but there may still be a few un-invited guests.
In the world of yachting, it is increasingly becoming the case that Canada is no longer the small ...
Ho-ho-ho. Our Photo of the week comes from Sunday’s Santa Parade. Clowning around was Paul ...
This Photo of the Week sequence from Chris Chahley and Kathy Coyle explains the whole boat thing. ...
The off season is suddenly upon us. Yikes! We need your photos more than ever to keep us thinking ...
One of our most enthusiastic contributors, Rob Dunbar sent us this photo from Halifax.   ...
Checking back into the US was quick and painless. We made the call to Customs but we needed to ...
Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) ...
This time our photos come from Gimli where Katie Coleman Nicoll was on the scene. She’s an ...
Recently we celebrated our country’s 150th anniversary, and in true form thousands of ...

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
Cruisers Yachts debuts the all-new 42 Cantius. The sporty, luxury cruiser will make its first ...
Once again, the designers at Jeanneau have outdone themselves with the innovative new Leader 10.5 ...
The introduction of X-Yachts’Xc range in 2008 has proven itself to be something of a game changer ...
Hull #1 ZINNIA, the all-new, twin outboard MJM 35z left Boston BoatWorks on July 5 for Newport and ...
Following a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching ...
According to the folks at Fraser Yacht Sales, you couldn't ask for more - the new Azimut Atlantis ...
During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun ...
The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
It's rare for Canadian Yachting magazine to report on the same boat twice, but that is how ...

 

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50By: John Armstrong and Andy Adams
Photos: Cruisers Yachts Inc.

Almost a decade ago, Cruisers Yachts Inc., launched an entire line of express cruisers called “Cantius” (named after company owner KC Stock’s grandfather) that began with the 48Cantius then came the 54, the 60 and now the Cantius 50. In the fall of 2017, we will be at the debut of the 42 Cantius at the Fort Lauderdale International boat show.

These designs have a strong family resemblance withhandsome and distinctive linesand with a design philosophy that you could say, pioneered the new version of the express cruiser. 

Read more of new Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50.....

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...
Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine ...
The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly ...
For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ...
  There is a good deal of hesitancy and lack of understanding as to whether an iPad can ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Just 10 shopping days to Christmas, so what to get for the boater who has everything? How about a ...
I am fortunate to have the ability to work from just about anywhere. A cellular signal and a Wi-Fi ...
Out here on the West Coast with boats in the water year-round, there is one constant activity and ...
As I sit looking out my window at the snow that is slowly piling up it is easy to be downtrodden by ...
In the last edition of this column we took a close look at iRegatta and the advantages it can bring ...
With all the devastation in the eastern Caribbean a natural question to ask is ‘is our boat in that ...
During the heat of summer, many boat owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable ...
A milestone has been reached. The new D13-1000 sees Volvo Penta move into the 1000hp marine leisure ...
  Still looking for the perfect slip for your boat? Look no further!    
Canadian Yachting traveled to Newport to review and sea trial the new MJM 35z.     ...