This past year or so can be summed up in one word for students: stressful. It has been a struggle to stay on top of work without having in-person meetings and I had to find places to be able to study and work in peace. On top of that, I have gone out of my way to look for places where I can relax (or have fun!) and not even think about school.
With that being said, there are several fun places in Pensacola, both places to find peace and places to have fun. These are also spots where you can bring your work with you and knock out some homework (if you are incapable of sitting still until your assignments are complete. That’s how I am, so no judgment!).
A lot of you are in the same boat: either in a crowded home and need a quiet space or have been cooped up and want to go have fun! So, here is a list of a few of my and others’ favorite places to go.
First up: The Bodacious Brew. Voted the best coffee in Pensacola, this cute cafe offers a variety of breakfast, lunch, and beverage options. Lots of people love this place because the food and drinks are great, and they have a super cute upstairs balcony. With a couple of couches and a few chairs, the balcony offers a great place to hunker down and knock some work out. When the weather is good, I love going and enjoying some sunshine while working on assignments (with an iced coffee in hand, of course).
This is also a great place to sit around and enjoy time with friends. Since they have food and seating, it makes for a great hangout spot. Plus, the view from the balcony is pretty! It’s located in Downtown Pensacola, on Palafox Street.
Up next: the beach! You can’t make a list of places to relax in Pensacola without bringing up Pensacola Beach. I would love to be able to say I go out and watch the sunrise, but I don’t wake up that early. However, the sunsets are gorgeous! The best way to enjoy the beach is to maybe dine at one of the many restaurants and then just enjoy the sea breeze. It is a great place to collect your thoughts and calm down. Also, you can always bring a yoga mat and stretch the week away, if you are into that!
Another great place that is aimed more for fun is DeLuna Lanes. DeLuna is a family-friendly place that offers bowling, billiards (pool, for people who didn’t know that, like me), a video arcade, and a full-service sports grill. I know a lot of people who love to go and blow off some steam! It is a great spot, and it is only a few minutes from the university, located off of east 9 Mile. Plus, it doesn’t close until 2 AM which is great for college students.
I spoke to a couple of other students to see what they do to have fun, and Hunter Brown, a sophomore at UWF, says he enjoys going to the park. It offers a way to be active and hang out with friends in a peaceful environment. He said he and his friends often go to the park to play football, but there are also other ways to unwind. Bring a hammock and just hang out. Nothing better than being in nature!
The last place that came to mind was the river. The Perdido River, of course. It is a wonderful place to find your peace of mind. For those of you who don’t like saltwater, the river is the place to go. There’s a rope swing, nature trails, a nice beach to lay out on, and the water is perfectly safe to swim in. It offers a great place to get some fresh air, whether you are by yourself or with friends. A great thing to do is to bring a journal or book with you to really sit back and enjoy yourself!
I hope this list helps some of you find ways to spend your time and have a way to escape the day-to-day pressures of college life. While it is certainly an inexhaustive list, it shows some of the diverse things to do in Pensacola. Get out and explore! Pensacola has great things to offer, whether it is a day relaxing at the beach, exploring downtown, or playing pool, you are sure to have a wonderful time getting away and alleviating stress!