DREAMSCAPES WINTER 2022/23
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PENSACOLA: THE ARTFUL WAY TO BEACH
 
(2022 - Winter Issue)

Writer: BRYEN DUNN



Known for its snow-white sandy beaches that Canadians love, the Pensacola Bay Area also boasts a thriving arts and cultural scene, historical sites, and award-winning restaurants. Hands down, it’s the way to beach this winter.

Downtown

Pensacola’s historic Palafox Street is all abuzz during Gallery Night, an event held on the third Friday of each month. Food trucks, performers, artists and merchants all converge together when the streets here transform into busy pedestrian walkways showcasing art, music and food.

In late November, First City Lights Festival begins on Black Friday and lasts three months with festivities that include street performances and trolley tours that choo-choo past historic buildings adorned in a canopy of 400,000 white lights.

Voted “Florida’s Greatest Place” by the American Planning Association of Florida,  Pensacola’s downtown district is the only city in the region to offer the arts version of the “Big Five” (Pensacola Saenger Theatre, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Opera, Ballet Pensacola and Pensacola Museum of Art)—all conveniently situated within walking distance.

Outdoor Art

Your splashy arts go-to is Graffiti Bridge.  The ever-evolving colourful façade of this historic bridge changes daily as people have been painting the railroad overpass for generations. For more street art, take a self-guided tour of POP Murals, a community initiative, to learn about the area’s rich fascinating history depicted on the walls of prominent buildings.

Winter Wanderings

On December 3rd, before dusk falls, head to the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk to watch the Lighted Boat Parade float by with vessels all aglitter. The big night ends, of course, in a big bang, with technicolor fireworks illuminating the Gulf Coast beachfront. Downtown Pensacola’s Winterfest celebration is another crowd pleaser with special visits made by Santa Claus, and by other popular storybook characters like Grinch and Scrooge who conduct their own special tours around the historic district.

Not To Be Missed

For adventurous beach-goers, take the plunge and dive into the fresh saltwater at a Polar Bear Dip on New Year’s Day—one takes place on Perdido Key and the other at Pensacola Beach. Groups and families gather in costumes, swim suits and even wetsuits to take a cold dip and feel the brisk saltwater on their faces. It’s a thrilling way to start the new year off fresh.

After all, the way to beach is to visit Pensacola this winter.

Travel Planner

For more information on Pensacola’s events, surf on over to VisitPensacola.com

 
 
 
 
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