Several Pensacola and surrounding area social media influences were asked to partake in a day showcasing some of Pensacola’s greatest assets for an Instameet. VISIT FLORIDA and Share a Little Sunshine put together a jam packed morning and early afternoon of all that encompass Pensacola and Pensacola Beach. VISIT FLORIDA and Share a Little Sunshine hosted Instagramers at different 14 locations throughout the Sunshine State during this event. From Florida’s famous beaches and vacation homes to horse surfing and zoos, Floridians were able to experience what Florida has to offer in 14 cities. I took part in the Pensacola Instameet.
Pensacola and Pensacola Beach Itinerary
8:30 – 9 a.m. | Breakfast and meet and greet hosted by Historic Pensacola
We met inside the Voice of Pensacola building. Voices of Pensacola opened in 2014 as a multicultural center that showcases how and which cultures helped shape Pensacola to what it is today. There are small egg shaped listening pods where you can listen to others tell their story of Pensacola and even set up a time to record and tell your own story.
9 -10 a.m. | Historic Pensacola Village Tour
We explored the Museum of Commerce which is inside a former warehouse and is designed as a reconstructed 1890s era streetscape. The next stops were the Julee Cottage, the NEW Appleyard Storytelling Cottage and Old Christ Church. Old Christ Church is one of the oldest surviving church buildings in Florida. It was completed in 1832 and has astounding stained glass windows. It still serves as an Episcopal Church, public museum and hosts events and weddings. (My best friend was married in this church and I was a bridesmaid)
10 – 11 a.m. | Boat Ride to Pensacola Beach
This boat ride not only provided us transportation to Pensacola Beach but was a special preview of what a Ferry Service ride to the Gulf Island National Seashore/Ft. Pickens would entail. Currently there is not a ferry service to the beach, but slated to open in the spring of 2017. A park ranger spoke about the ferry service, the route, the plan for the service to begin and how it will help ease traffic to Pensacola Beach. We even spotted a few dolphin pods on the way.
11 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Trolley to Pensacola Beach for Cooking Demonstration at Hilton Pensacola Beach
My favorite part of the trip included going to the Hilton Pensacola Beach to see celebrity Chef Dan Dunn for a cooking demonstration. We were greeted by the staff with bushwackers. I’ll come back to talk about Bushwackers on a later blog post.
Chef Dan Dunn is a Pensacola Celebrity Chef, locally known as “Dano.” Chef Dunn prepared a dish from an invasive species to our Gulf water, Lionfish. Lionfish are a non-native species and are known to eat native fish and crustaceans in very large quantities. The Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition was formed to educate the public and increase awareness of threats posed by the lionfish to gulf coast fisheries and ecosystems. We love our red snapper, grouper and shrimp. Read more about the invasive species and how Pensacola is targeting lionfish, here.
Chef Dunn showed us that you can fry a lionfish whole and also how to prepare them blackened. He cooked blackened Lionfish with Johnny cakes, arugula and Cajun fried oysters finished with a red remoulade dressing.
This was the first time I ate lionfish and hopefully not my last. I cook fish often as we live on the Gulf Coast, so I was hesitant and thought it would be gamey or chewy. NOPE! Lionfish is a very white flaky fish that has a great taste to it. I wanted Chef Dunn to cook more!
The meal was topped of with a goat cheese cheesecake. WOW, oh, WOW. Well, you know it was my favorite part because it involved food!
We traveled back to town by trolley and ended with exchanging Instagram handles, phone number and photos. It was a great experience for all and hopefully showcased some of the beauty of Pensacola!
Find our photos on Instagram and from all over the state with these hashtags!
Hashtags used: #48HrsofSunshine #LoveFL #ExplorePcola