When I was a preteen I dreamt of Tahiti. I’ve yet to go there. I’ve visited several coastal beaches on the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Hubby and I really love the Gulf, most especially Pensacola Beach. Located on Santa Rosa Island, from most locations you can view the Santa Rosa Sound on one side and the Gulf on the other. At my very first sighting, its bright, white sand and emerald waters beckoned. I was hooked. One of the most noteworthy facts about Pensacola Beach--it is mostly residential, rather than commercial. You’ll find only a few high rises and a limited number of businesses. I like that.
The Pensacola area is rich in history, a great place to research that historical novel. Especially if your plans include the region’s Spanish origins. A contingency of Spanish soldiers and settlers sailed into Pensacola Bay in August, 1559, led by Tristan de Luna y Arellano and Hernan Cortes (conqueror of Mexico). This first expedition experienced one disaster after another, including a violent hurricane. A Spanish colony was finally established in 1698. As a writer, I can well imagine an entire cast of colorful characters inhabiting these early coastal villages.
If your genre is more current, you don’t have to go far to find plenty of ideas. Visit the area hangouts, boat docks and oyster bars (like PegLeg Pete's!) and be sure to bring your notepad or ipad. The Pensacola area also boasts a naval base and is home to the famed Blue Angels. With its rich history, Pensacola Beach’s “flavor” reminds me a little bit of Key West.
Besides the beautiful beaches in and around the Gulf of Mexico, I have visited many of the Pacific beaches of Southern California. Here, the water is darker and some of the beaches are rugged and breathtakingly beautiful. A couple of years ago, I made my first trip to Washington State and we visited their strip of the Pacific. All I can say is, though lovely, it was cold. Very, very cold in September. The wind blows so hard, my mom would need weighted clothing. She would surely blow away. Great sailing weather. We also visited the beautiful, rugged beaches of several islands in the Puget Sound. My next post will include pictures of those stunningly beautiful dream getaways.
But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to kick back and enjoy the sound of the surf. I intend to stretch out on my cabana chair and enjoy a good book. Happy dreams!