Once we explored Mobile and had lunch, El Hombre and I decided to take off for Florida. We chose back routes that wound us through the Alabama countryside, rather than the highway or the coast. After all, we can see plenty of both here in South Florida. It was a quiet, cute drive through largely agricultural towns. We stopped in some shops off the road, and if we were antique shopping, Alabama is where it’s at!
When we reached Pensacola, it was like night and day. Southern Alabama is beautiful, full of small towns and no traffic. But it’s also notably a lower-income area for the most part. Once you get in to Pensacola, you have larger buildings, more traffic and a bit higher income. Commerce, essentially. We drove through the historic area, stopped at the graffiti bridge and then headed along the coast to our next stopping point – Destin.
Once we battled through rush hour traffic in Pensacola, we found ourselves on a two-way highway bordering the coastline. As we dipped through small, beachy towns, I was searching for hotels in the Destin area. Which was strangely harder than the rest of our trip. Before we got in to Destin, we passed some amazing sand dunes that begged us to come running. But the sun was setting and we were hungry.
Once we arrived in Destin proper, the sun had set and the neon signs had risen. I was tired, hungry and questioning why people raved about this place. After a good dinner and having located a place to stay, I was in a decidedly better mood.
Unlike our previous stays, we decided to hang in the Emerald Coast for two days. We needed some rest and we have never been to this part of Florida. The next day we explored the sand dunes, walked on a pier and discovered a bevy of adorable little resort towns. Would I go back and stay for a family vacation? Yes, but not at the big resort we stayed at. I’d stick with someplace like Seaside. It reminds me of the beach vacations of my own youth.
Here’s some pictures of this leg of our trip: