Boardwalk Cafe in Pensacola Beach, FL

After a long morning of enjoying the beach and playing in the ocean we were starving. We did a fast rinse off and changed into sundresses or comfortable shorts. Then we were off to find a place that was befitting of our salty beach hair. We remembered that we passed an area near our hotel that had tons of restaurants and decided to go check it out.  We walked up to the outdoor seating area for the Boardwalk Cafe and it felt like just the place for us on that laid back family day. Ivy and I shared a decent burger and fries. It is a common practice in our family to share meals or simply order a couple of appitizers to share for lunch. Restaurant meals can be so huge that we end up eating only half which is a waste of both food and money.  Michael, the hubby, ordered a fish sandwich and had no complaints. Isabella decided on chicken strips and patiently waited until we finished eating to ask if we were getting ice cream.

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Stretching to get a view of the goodies inside

Ivy, Isabella, and I lingered over the ice cream case each picking out a scope of Hershey’s ice cream. The hubby was too full from lunch to even entertain the idea of dessert. There are not many things as lovely as an icecream cone on a hot day. Isabella did require a change of clothing and a good rinse after this treat but it was more than worth it.

 

Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier

Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier

A walk out on the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is required if you are in the area. It is simply beautiful! You can pay to fish for the day or pay a small nominal observer fee to walk out and take in the views. We were lucky enough to be here on a perfect day. Sunshine, a nice breeze, dolphins just visible jumping in the background, and not too big of a crowd helped to make this a relaxed family afternoon to remember. We brought some bottled water, layered on the sunscreen, and just spent an hour or so taking it all in.  We watched a little girl reel in a large fish while her father proudly looked on and bragged that she was having all the luck. There is a bait/souvenir shop that also rents fishing poles by the day, a diner, and restrooms.

Family Travel is about making memories together that will last a lifetime.  Remember the wonder in your child’s eyes when they see something amazing. I only have a few photographs from that afternoon but I have the moment that 5 year old Isabella looked out over the waves whispering “Wow” and 14 year old Ivy shouting “Is that a dolphin jumping?” to recall for the rest of my life.  Take the time to step back and take in those perfect moments with your children because they will be grown too soon. 

Whataburger

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No trip to the south is complete without a trip to Whataburger.  I love this place!  They have great onion rings.  Their burgers aren’t half bad either.  This particular stop was near Destin, Florida.  This place is good for families and extremely budget friendly.  It’s a great place to stop for lunch.  We ate there and enjoyed the break from the heat.

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Isabella was happy to find out that her kid’s meal included a cookie.

Days Inn – Panama City Beach, Florida

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This is the view from the balcony of the family suite we were upgraded to.  This hotel did still have some construction going on while we were there.  They said it would be going on a little longer.  The room prices were very reasonable.  Our room was clean.  The beach was right there.  I don’t need much else.

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We enjoyed the separate space for us but we did not like the fact that you can’t see the beach from the front bedroom.  The door opens into that room so it is the only layout option that makes sense from a safety standpoint.  The room was decorated in an “Old Florida” style when we were there.  I’m not sure if this is a detail at they are changing or not.  I thought it was cute.  My husband prefers a more contemporary look.

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The girl’s loved the fact that they had their own beds.  There was a television in their room so they got to watch Disney channel while the husband and I sat on the balcony enjoying a glass of wine after dark.

We loved the pool at this hotel. It looks like a cave! The kids loved it. There is a hot tub overlooking the ocean. There is a pool bar and loads of seating. I loved the fact that half of the pool is in the cave so it is out of the sun.

The hotel offered a continental breakfast. The breakfast was nothing special. We had juice and cereal. It was nice on the day we were leaving because we had a drive ahead of us and wanted to get a jump on the day. The parking at this hotel is in a parking garage with nearby elevator access up to the hotel. This hotel was reasonably priced for being beach front. I would stay here again.

Pensacola Beach, FL

We had the pleasure of taking the family on a trip to the beautiful white sandy beach in Pensacola, FL in 2015. Lounging in the sun, playing in the mild waves, building sandcastles, and enjoying spectacular views was the perfect way to spend a day.

looking for tiny treasures

Parking was incredibly easy to find and there was a bathhouse near this area. There was an area there to spray off, use the restroom, and change into dry clothing before driving to our nearby hotel. The beach and parking are free. This area does have a lot of seaweed in the water during this time of year.

Warning the sun here is not to be messed with! Layer on the sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Remind kids often to stay hydrated because it’s easy for them to get so busy playing and swimming that they forget to drink enough.

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What is it about the beach that makes you feel so at peace? I cannot wait to visit this little slice of heaven again! It is a great family beach to take the kids to. I highly suggest it! They are only young once. Make all the memories you can! This day will definitely be one I recall for years and years to come. Remembering Isabella’s jaw-dropping at the vastness of the ocean, playing in the waves, collecting little shells, Ivy boogie boarding with her Dad, building sandcastles, and the sound of sweet little giggles as my legs were slowly buried in the sand will make me smile for years to come.

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