Emerald Coast Road Trip
October 16 - 18, 2016
October weather should be perfect top-down conditions for a ride to the Emerald Coast and Pensacola for a Blue Angels practice, Naval Aviation museum visit, and Pensacola light house tour. This is a 3 day-2 night (or optional 4 day-3 night) introductory tour of what the Panhandle of Florida has to offer.
Our tour will begin Sunday morning, October 16. You will be offered two routes to our first stop, Panama City. One will be via interstate and take about 5 hours, and the other a little longer on back roads of approximately 6 ½ hours. Both routes will take you to Tallahassee for a lovely drive around our state’s capital and the Florida State University campus. This should be during the lunch hour, and there are numerous restaurants available of your choosing.
We’ll arrive at the Hampton Inn in Panama City mid-afternoon, depending on the route you take and stops. We will meet in the lobby at 5:30 before our short drive to dinner at the Boar’s Head Restaurant. Afterwards, everyone is encouraged to drive to Pier Park for dessert and browsing. Here is the link to book your reservation at Hampton Inn Panama City Beach:
On Monday morning, after breakfast provided by Hampton Inn, we will depart Panama City at 9:00 for our three-hour drive along the beautiful Emerald Coast via Seascape, Seaside, and Destin. Upon arrival at the beachfront Hampton Inn in Pensacola Beach, you will have free time to shop, lunch, take a tour of the Pensacola Light House, or find a lounge on the sugary white sands of the Gulf.
NOTE: The Light House tour is optional and will be an extra cost of $6 per person which you will pay on site. There is a place on the registration form to let us know if you would like to do the tour. Important to note: The tour is interesting and the view from the top is fantastic, but there are 177 steps up a winding staircase to get to the top).
For dinner, we will take a 10-minute walk (you can also drive) along the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk to dinner at Hemmingway’s restaurant on the sound side of Pensacola Beach.
Here is the link to book your reservation at Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach:
(NOTE: This hotel is set up for 3 nights in the event someone wants to stay longer. For 1 or 2 night stay, just change the dates in the arrival/departure blocks.)
On Tuesday morning, we will meet after breakfast for our 45-minute drive to Naval Air Station Pensacola for the highlight of our tour, a practice session of the celebrated Blue Angels at their own home field. Lunch will be provided at the show by Chick-Fil-A; afterwards, we’ll watch the IMAX movie, The National Parks, at the largest screen in the Southeast, and, at your pace, tour the renowned Naval Air Museum. Note: The “Blues” fly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11:30. If the weather is not conducive for flying on Tuesday, we still have Wednesday to watch.
At this point, some of you may want to return to The Villages, while others will want to stay overnight, or travel on to Mobile, Alabama (55 minute drive) to tour the USS Alabama, or even on to Biloxi, Mississippi (one hour,45 minute drive) for their numerous casinos and shows.
Trip Fee: $78 per person (Includes two dinners, lunch, and I-MAX ticket)
40 car maximum
Note: Mobile and Biloxi is optional and at your own discretion.
Trip leaders, Bruce and Glenda Wolfe are happy to provide suggestions for lodging, routes, and answer any other questions.
Glenda cell: 850-449-3361
Bruce cell: 850-450-3792