Pensacola - State of the Beach?

Dec 24th, 2005, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 40
Pensacola - State of the Beach?

2006 is almost upon us and it's time for me to start planning my May vacation.

Last year I had my sights set on Pensacola Beach, but changed my plans due to the damage that area suffered from Hurricane Ivan. So my question today for all of you Panhandlers is: has the Beach fully recovered? Did Pensacola and surrounding areas sustain any damage from Katrina?

I visited the Forgotten Coast last year and loved it. Now I would like to check out the western reaches of the Panhandle: P-cola and/or Ft. Walton. Any recommendations?

My thanks to all of you who helped me with your advice last year.

It has been my experience that the Fla. Panhandle has some of the prettiest beaches, best seafood, and friendliest people to be found anywhere in the Sunshine State. And all at an affordable price! As long as it stays that way, I will continue to visit.
Davemeister is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 03:19 PM
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I live at Pensacola Beach. Overall our area didn't experience much damage from Katrina. Having said that, I must be honest and say that our beach is not yet fully recovered and won't be for some time. Rebuilding can't be done fast enough.

However, the beach has been renourished, so there is lots of lovely white sand and by May most, if not all, of the damaged structures which have not yet been torn down, will have been. We have a time limit for doing so.

As of now The Hilton and the Comfort Inn are open as are several smaller places. The Hampton has just been sold and the new owners are intent on getting it open again ASAP. With the exception of Margarita's and Jubilee, the restaurants - large and small - are open. Most shops are open with more planning to re-open by Spring. Some rentals condos are already back and others are working fast and furious to be ready for the 2006 season.

The road to Navarre Beach is closed and probably will not be open by May. Same for the road to Fort Pickens through the National Seashore.

The City of Pensacola is or will be by May, recovered.

Hope this helps. Depending of what you like to do, this area may be back enough for you.

Others know more about Ft. Walton, so I'll leave that to them. I simply prefer the overall "feel" to the P'cola Beach area.

Hope you come down and enjoy our lovely coast somewhere here in the Panhandle.

Floridafran is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 03:35 PM
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Floridafran, I am not Davemeister but I would like to thank you too for this helpful information as we are going to Port St. Joe in the end of March. This is going to be our first trip to that area of Florida. We only hope for a weather warm enough so we at least can wet our toes. Meanwhile, Happy New Year!
Pat2003 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Pat: The water is still chilly in March, so the toes may be all you want to get wet!
Got wetsuits??

OldSouthernBelle is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Thank you OldSouthernBelle. We got our diving suits. Happy New Year to you.
Pat2003 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2005, 08:44 PM
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when in May?
starrsville is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 04:43 PM
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If "May" is Memorial Day weekend, you may want to consider another beach other than Pensacola.
starrsville is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 05:31 PM
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We went to Destin, staying at Destin Pointe last Memorial Day. Great place to stay! We toured Pensacola Beach with our sister-in-law who lives in Pensacola. Was amazed at the damage that was still evident 8 months later. There was piles of debris on the beach, a little construction going on. Ivan did horrendous damage to Pensacola and as Floridafran says it will take a while to rebuild. You might look at Destin or further east.
BetsyG is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:46 AM
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Thanks to all for your input, esp. Floridafran for your detailed description of the restoration progress.

I am looking at the second week of May, well ahead of the Mem. Day crowds. I went to St. George Island this same week last year and found it to be an ideal time to visit: not too crowded, perfect water temperature and weather in the low-to-mid 80's.

I hear that Mariott now operates Springhill Suites. Would this be a good place to stay?
Davemeister is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 02:55 PM
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I stayed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott the year it opened and it is very nice. (@ Pensacola)
starrsville is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Hi1 I am researching a vacation spot for myslef and a friend. Both late 20's females. Would you suggest Pensacola over Memorial Day weekend?
We are looking for beach/sun during the day and bars/pubs/restaurants at night.
Is there a large 20's-30's crowd there??
aliverb is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 10:43 AM
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I wouldn't go to Pensacola on vacation (lived there 30+ years) but Pensacola Beach would be a good place to stay. Only problem is that it was ravaged by Hurricane Ivan and there's still lots of rebuilding going on. There will be plenty of 20-somethings partying on the Beach over Memorial Day weekend. But, there will also be a huge influx of gays and lesbians if that is a concern for you. It's sort of an annual tradition now, much to the dismay of the very conservative population there. I'm really not sure if the crowds will be as large this year since there's still so much damage, but if you're thinking of getting a hotel or condo over Memorial Day on P. Beach you better move fast.
AustinTraveler is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Memorial Day weekend at Pensacola Beach has been a big gay celebration in years past. Last year was a bit of a wash due to the hurricane damage. Who knows about this year - but if you aren't gay friendly, then head east or west but don't plan your Memorial Day celebration at PCB.
starrsville is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 06:12 PM
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Austin Traveler is absolutely right on the money with all his advice. Especially the part about booking ASAP if you think P'cola Beach is where you want to stay. By Memorial Day weekend one or two other hotels may have re-opened but we will still be facing a shortage of rooms compared to years past.

And yes, that has become a gay/lesbian event weekend. Doesn't bother me, but it does some people and if it you're one of them, it's good to know about it so you can pick another spot to go.

I can't think of anything worse than having something, no matter what it might be, spoil a long-awaited, hard-earned vacation.

Floridafran is offline  
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