As you probably know via Snapchat and Instagram, I’m been traveling like crazy lately. I simply love it. And it’s not because I have that millennial thing called wanderlust, it’s simply because I believe traveling is good for the soul. Because it teaches if you to live a life full of adventure. Because it challenges you and changes you in ways you imagined it never could. Because you get to see the world, the people that live in it and how unique each culture is. Because it exposes you to things you were ignorant to. Because it inspires you. And mostly because it’s an experience you will never forget. Remember material things fade, experiences don’t.
So here I am with another wonderful recap of my recent travels to Pensacola. Have you ever been? Surprisingly, TripAdvisor named Pensacola Beach one of the top 25 beaches to visit. And not only is there a beautiful beach, but Pensacola is booming with INCREDIBLE food, art, fishing, shopping and an amazing heritage (it was one of the first settlements!).
I’m breaking my trip up into two parts to share my experience with you. Throwing everything into one post seems like a bit of overkill. So, here we go!
Where to Stay During Your Trip:
Arrive early in the morning so you can enjoy an entire day in Pensacola. You should be able to find some great deals because Pensacola has its own airport and it’s VERY close to downtown. Easy, peasy.
We stayed at the Noble Manor, a bed and breakfast near downtown Pensacola. Oh my goodness, it was beautiful, impeccably clean and had the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in. Plus there was an amazing pool and hot tub in the back. Highly recommend staying here during your visit!
The Olivia Rose room – image courtesy of Noble Manor
What to do on Day 1:
You’re sure to be hungry when you get off the plane, so stop by Jackson’s Steakhouse in Downtown Pensacola for a bite to eat and a cocktail (or two!). Jackson’s is known around Pensacola for its fabulous food and wide selection of steak and seafood. And the chef, Irv Miller, just came out with a cookbook, which is supposed to be fabulous! He sells them at his restaurant so be sure to ask to see a copy.
For lunch, I enjoyed the Mahi Mahi sandwich and a glass of white wine. Tony opted for the pasta of the day and we shared a french onion soup! Oh and their bread was EPIC too.
Mahi Mahi Sandwich at Jackson’s Steakhouse
Drinks at Jackson’s
After your lunch, walk down to the harbor and see some history along the way. There are signs everywhere that point out Pensacola’s history, which just so happens to be the first settlement in the United States. It was surprising and fun to learn about Pensacola’s heritage.
Additionally you’ll find signs throughout the city that provide information on local buildings, shops and landmarks.
Signs you’ll find throughout Pensacola
Next up, you absolutely NEED to check out SoGourmet and all of its accompanying shops. SoGourmet combines five lovely shops into one, where you can explore olive oils, vinegars, coffee, ice cream, cheeses, wine, salad and kitchen gear. Seriously, it was one of my favorite parts about the trip! I was lucky enough to get a tour of the place, but you can easily do everything on your own as they are all connected.
I highly recommend purchasing a few olive oils and vinegars while you’re there. We got the truffle olive oil, butter olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
18 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar at SoGourmet
The most amazing salad from SoChopped (a part of SoGourmet shops)
Like I said, you must stop at SoGourmet for some deliciousness.
After that, I recommend browsing at some shops and boutiques downtown to walk off some of that wine, cheese and food. A great boutique is called Indigeaux with lots of great tops, jeans and plenty of fashion picks to check out.
Another recommendation is to check out what’s happening in Pensacola for the weekend. During the time we stayed, Back to the Blocks Festival, a festival of music, art and dance was in the downtown belmont neighborhood.
A great way to keep up to date on events, festivals and more is to check out Visit Pensacola’s website!
Before the night ends, you NEED to check out Restaurant Iron in downtown Pensacola. THE FOOD IS EPIC. And no, I’m not just saying that. I had Chicken & Dumplings which was basically like a deconstructed version served with gnocchi, chicken stuffed with soft cheese, and amazing sauce. I loved it so so much and would order it again in a heartbeat.
Another thing I have to recommend is the truffle fries. If you’re like me, you want truffle everything! These fries were golden, crispy on the outside and garnished with parm and truffle oil. Plus they come with two sauces. LOVE LOVE.
Okay, that’s all for day 1 of my lovely trip to Pensacola — I’ll be back with the second part soon! xoxo.
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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Visit Pensacola in partnership with TravelMindset. All thoughts and opinions are my own! Thanks for letting me show you my love for traveling.