Finding a motel in Alabama or Florida on the Gulf was not easy. It was a Friday evening and a bit late already. The coupon brochures were no help in terms of discounts, and we were lucky when we found a room in Days Inn (some 40 miles from the beach) at last. We made a mistake by taking the room only for one night, as Saturday evening was even worse. But we wanted to be closer to the beach, which is what this place is all about.
The beach in Pensacola Beach is magnificent powder-white sand and the turquoise-blue water. You cannot expect anything better. The Gulf of Mexico is beautiful, warm, and inviting. The gorgeous white sand is quartz washed down from the Appalachian Mountains over the centuries. August is a tourist season, so the beach was overcrowded. But still, it was so enjoyable that, because of the coastal beauty, we remade our remaining plans for our Deep South trip-we decided to spend the remaining time here. We regretted that we had to drive back to Atlanta to catch the plane. Next time, we’ll consider returning from another airport.
When on the beach, we also spent time on the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier, the longest in the Gulf of Mexico. We saw how one fisherman had a huge fish take the bait, but unfortunately, he did not manage to catch it. But there were several fishermen already lucky with their catch.
We visited the National Museum of Naval Aviation, one of the world’s three largest aviation museums. There are 170 vintage aircraft here. There is also an IMAX theater, where we watched a film that took us to the Pensacola-based Blue Angels. The museum admission is free, but you should pay for the movie. We were checked correctly at the entrance because the museum is at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. The guard asked, “Do you have any weapons and ammunition in your car, sir?” We did not, of course.
In Fort Walton, 25 miles from Pensacola Beach, we visited Florida’s Gulfarium. The Gulfarium lies on the beachfront of the Gulf of Mexico. For approximately two hours, we enjoyed the dolphin show and saw several sea animals.
We wanted to go snorkeling in Destin (just 35 miles from Pensacola beach). But as the Gulf of Mexico can be hazardous, no snorkeling trip took place that day. Therefore, we used another option presented to us in the harbor-dolphin watching. This was more like a trip for children (and we did not have children with us), but still worth attending. But if you are there with children, consider this a must. Not only because of the dolphins, but the captain also allows children to steer the boat.
When touring in the US, we have always spent some time shopping in factory outlets. This is a very cheap and easy way to satisfy your shopping needs. I think here, too, Americans have been efficient. We visited the Tanger Factory Outlet in Foley, Alabama, where there are 120 brand-name manufacturers and designer outlet stores.
After spending three beautiful days in Pensacola Beach, we headed toward Atlanta to catch our plane back home. We had 340 miles to drive, and we made one accommodation stop, some 100 miles before Atlanta.
Our plane was at 4 PM, and we had to be at the check-in two hours before. We were good at planning to arrive there on time, but we wanted to tank gasoline as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there was no gas station 20 or fewer miles before the rental cars returned, so we had to drive further. Hertz Neverlost helped us to find the gas station, but… the first suggestion was under maintenance. The situation has now become exciting… Our trip had a happy ending, and we managed to get to the airport on time.
Our wonderful trip to the southern states has come to an end. We were happy and full of positive feelings.
See the gallery from Deep South.