Left to right three girls stroll along Palafox as they shop at various boutiques in downtown Pensacola, Florida

The Girlfriends Guide to a Weekend in Pensacola

Date Posted: Sep 04, 2021

Any weekend is a good weekend for a getaway to Pensacola with the girls, but especially one coinciding with Foo Foo Fest. The 12-day celebration offers more cultural offerings than you can count, and it’s all going on nearby some of the top-rated beaches in the world. But Pensacola has you covered well beyond the festival atmosphere and the Gulf to ensure that a wide variety of adventure, shopping, relaxation, and dining are also on the agenda. So pack your bags and grab your girlfriends—it’s time to hit the road for a weekend in Pensacola!

Unwind & Relax

Nestled on 28 acres of Pensacola Beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound, Portofino Island Resort not only offers the ideal accommodations—the full-service property has more than 300 luxury rooms that all offer water views—but it also features the Portofino Spa. The spa’s treatment menu includes a wide range of facials, specialty treatments, massages, and unique packages to please every girl in the group and create a tranquil and relaxed morning or afternoon. Top off time at the spa with a visit to one of the resort’s two pools or a refreshing snack at the Smoothie Bar. With a market and multiple dining options onsite, there’s never a reason to have to leave the property.

Another hot property to take any girl’s trip from fun to absolutely fabulous is Oyster Bay Boutique Hotel. Located in downtown Pensacola—easily within a short walk to all that Foo Foo Fest has to offer—Oyster Bay is all about rest and relaxation within an elegantly coastal atmosphere. It’s also home to Bodacious Shops, a collection of distinct shops featuring everything from a café and salad shop to a coffee roastery and kitchen store. Learn more about accommodations.

Live Adventurously

For girls groups comprised of thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts, Pensacola offers plenty of action on the water. Parasailing high above Santa Rosa Sound and Pensacola Bay provides an adrenaline boost and incredible coastal views. If heights are a bit too much, get the group together to charter a sailboat for a sunset cruise or rent a boat to go exploring. Get off the boat and into the emerald green waters the Panhandle is known for with scuba diving or snorkeling. In fact, the area features an ideal spot for exploration underwater with the USS Oriskany, the world’s largest artificial reef

Hit the Shops

No girl’s weekend is complete without some serious shopping, and Pensacola offers the ultimate shopping experience well beyond the basics of typical malls and retail outlets. Pensacola’s very walkable downtown features a variety of unique, locally-owned shops, art galleries, coffee shops, and more that are perfect stops to make while strolling down the beautiful and historic Palafox Street and its surrounding areas. Another must-visit shopping destination is the Boardwalk on Pensacola Beach, which is home to a variety of boutiques and a beautiful backdrop for an afternoon of retail therapy.

Eat Well

With an abundance of culinary offerings, Pensacola boasts plenty of restaurants sure to please any palate. Indulge with the girls at Alice’s Pensacola Gulf Coast Restaurant & Wine Bar, a new hot spot that was recently ranked Best New Restaurant in 2020. There’s also Agapi Bistro + Garden, which features Mediterranean cuisine and features the ever-popular “choc”-uterie plate. The Fish House is a local favorite for brunch thanks to its southern seafood cuisine. For a truly memorable experience, check out 5 Sisters Blues Café, which features live jazz music during brunch every Sunday.

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