Author: Karen Harrell
2009 marked the 450th birthday for Pensacola and the area celebrated with a year-long event highlighted by a visit from the King and Queen of Spain.
Known as the “City of Five Flags”, Pensacola and its surrounding communities each have their own personalities.
The west side of town is home to the cradle of Naval Aviation – Naval Air Station Pensacola. On base you can explore the area’s deep history at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.
Many of the area’s retirees first discovered the area during officer’s training early in their careers and they never forgot the sugar white beaches and the community that helped shape their lives.
Some 20 years ago the 50-mile stretch between Destin and Panama City Beach was little more than sparsely populated beach communities surrounded by scrub pine.
Today, world-class communities dot the landscape spurred by the New Urban development called Seaside, familiar to moviegoers as the location of The Truman Show.
The St Petersburg/Clearwater has long been a popular winter destination for retirees who came to be known as “Snowbirds.”
And why not?
The area boasts mild winters with daytime highs averaging in the 70s and plenty of something many people long for in the wintertime – sunshine.
Long time visitors to the Alabama Gulf Coast will tell you that the area changed dramatically after Hurricane Frederic hit in the late 1970s.
Before that the area boasted mostly beach homes on spacious lots and mom and pop hotels with a few townhomes and condominiums scattered through Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
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