Archive for July 2nd, 2012

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OK, folks, time to continue southward to downtown Pensacola.

You’ll be heading down Palafox the rest of the way, with a few diversions. Like the jog east to get you to the former Louisville and Nashville Passenger Station. Park across the street at the convention center, if the lot’s not full. The station has been converted into the entrance to the Pensacola Grand Hotel, who keeps it in great shape. They have a series of photos down one hallway, showing the history of the area. I always like seeing old historic places being respected and maintained like this. If only more could be.

Within walking distance (relatively) is St. Michael’s Cemetery, though you could park closer. It’s huge (8 acres), dating back to the 18th century. I couldn’t get in when I was there, because they don’t open until 9 AM. I would like to stroll around sometime. Old cemeteries fascinate me. It’s like a million slices of history, all in one place.

Food recommendation. While you’re here or in Destin, visit McGuire’s Irish Pub. How can you go wrong with a place with a motto, “Feasting, Imbibery and Debauchery”? It’s on the pricey side, I’ll admit, but excellent food. And where else can you sit under a quarter of a million dollars? Next time I’m in town, though, I think I’ll try having lunch there instead of dinner.

Get back on Palafox. When you get to Garden Street, you’ll be at the start of the downtown historic district. You can park along here and walk at least some of the way south, since parking spots are a bit more available here.

There are two historic sites on the corner right off the bat. On the northwest corner is a US courthouse, built on the site of the old San Carlos Hotel, which was on the NRHP. On the southwest corner is the Blount Building. (see Google map)

There‚Äôs a touch of New Orleans in the architecture here and there. Everywhere you look, there’s something historic. Like the Plaza Ferdinand VII, the last of the NHLs in the area. It’s where Florida was officially turned over by Spain to the United States, with Andrew Jackson being our representative. He was also the first governor of the new territory. Museums galore, and you could probably spend most of the day exploring them. Whatever your fancy, you’ll probably find it here.

Another Florida’s 100 building is the Architectural Office of Quina Grundhoefer Architects. It dates back to the 1800s. It’s undergone renovations over the decades, and has held up well. The last is the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, which used to be the city hall.(see Google map)

Head east, and you’ll reach the Historic Pensacola Village and the Seville Historic District. More museums and old buildings. There’s a visitor center in the reconstructed Tivoli High House where you can find out all you want about the area. (see Google map)

They do like their festivals in Pensacola. Many of them are in the downtown area, so if you want to see the historic stuff unobstructed, take these into account. Conversely, if you like festivals, here’s a partial list:

Next post, eastward ho! See you on the road!

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