Pensacola, FL

"Where America began"

A resident’s garden helps beautify Pensacola. (Credit: Chet Stanhope)

Pensacola truly is “where America began” since it was the first North American settlement in 1559. A hurricane destroyed the settlement, but it will always be “where America began.”

The main road in downtown Pensacola, Palafox Street, was voted as one of America’s “Greatest Streets” by the American Planning Association. Another aspect of its charm are the people. Everyone has a friendly greeting as one meanders down the street.

Sea turtles lay eggs on the Pensacola beaches so everyone does everything they can to protect these tiny creatures after they are born and trying to find the ocean. Pensacola had a huge ferris wheel with bright lights that drew in crowds of people, but the baby turtles were fooled by the ride’s lights — they thought it was the moonlight reflecting off the ocean. Unfortunately, many were killed from walking towards the ferris wheel lights instead of the moonlight. The beach authority asked the ferris wheel owner to remove the wheel and the baby turtles were saved. People were shocked that the authorities actually voted to remove a money-making venue in an effort to save baby turtles. But that’s the way people think in our wonderful city.

The local car dealer, Sandy Sansing, works hard every Christmas to raise money for toys to ensure that every child gets a gift for the holidays.