Five of the Best Walks in Pensacola to Help You Beat Online School Fatigue
Spring semester is just getting started and, as I learned last semester, in these very strange times that means a lot of time spent hunched over a laptop, trying to look presentable for Zoom classes, and longing for the feeling of going to a physical classroom. With very few students actually on campus this semester, and the majority experiencing the endless torture of Zoom University it can feel really frustrating. I personally feel like school never ends. When scheduling your assignments rests solely on the hands of the student, it becomes difficult to not feel like you should be doing something at all times. However, I’ve found a simple way to combat this Zoom/Canvas fatigue.
I’ve been getting out of my apartment every day and taking a long walk. I started for around a half hour, then an hour, and now I’m averaging around two hours. I’ve found that it’s the best way to collect my thoughts, unplug from my phone and my laptop and enjoy everyday nature here in Pensacola. Plus if you go for a walk at sunset and listen to indie pop you get to feel like the main character in a coming-of-age movie and honestly who doesn’t want to feel like that. In an effort to help elevate us all out of our desks and onto the streets I’ve gathered five of my favorite relaxing and beautiful walks in Pensacola. Enjoy!
Downtown Pensacola is probably my favorite place to walk around at sunset, the historic homes and buildings look so beautiful at golden hour and there’s nothing like standing on the Palafox Pier and watching the colors change in the sky.
The Route: Start on the corner of Palafox and Garden St. Head east on Garden street until you hit S De Villiers St, take S De Villiers down to the Blue Wahoos stadium and loop around the stadium back to Main St, walk on Main until you get to the Palafox pier and head down there as well OR just continue on Main until you get to Veterans Memorial Park by the Gulf Power Building, loop around the park and walk on Romana back to where you started.
The Scenery: Old brick, historic houses, water views, and spanish moss.
The East Hill Explorer
After moving off campus this year, I recently discovered East Hill when I went for a haircut (Shoutout to Steve DuPont at East Hill Barbershop). I was shocked that after almost four years in Pensacola I hadn’t fully explored this amazing historic neighborhood. So here’s
The Route: Start at the East Hill Publix on the corner of Cervantes and 12th ave. While you’re there grab a little walking treat, you deserve it. Walk up 12th Ave until you get to Blount Street. Take a right on Blount and head east until you hit Bayview Park, do a few laps around Bayview or enjoy the sights of the Bayview dog beach or some of their free outdoor workout equipment if you’re feeling really fit and then head back the way you came.
The Scenery: Seriously historic mansions, the cutest little shops you’ve ever seen, and swimming dogs.
The Campus Crawl
On the UWF campus the nature trails are great but sometimes you just don’t feel like wandering around in the woods and getting your shoes dirty.
The Route: Start on the Edward Ball Nature Trail loop, once finished with that little forest adventure, continue on to Campus Drive heading away from the Commons and towards the University Parkway main entrance. Take a left on Campus Lane and reconnect back with Campus Drive. From there walk past Martin and Heritage Hall ending near Lot X, you’ll find some benches with a wonderful view of the Escambia River.
The Scenery: Lakes, Rivers, and lots of tired college students.
The Beach Bum
Listen, ever since the barges decided to play pinball with the General Chappie James Memorial Bridge which connects Pensacola to Gulf Breeze during Hurricane Sally, it’s felt like the biggest schlep in the world to get to Pensacola Beach. But, provided there’s minimal traffic, it’s actually only a 25-30 minute drive from Campus. A little long sure but put a few more songs on your driving playlist and make the trip, the walk is worth it.
The Route: Simplest one yet, park at the big parking lot near the Beach Ball water tower and pier and walk down the convenient walking trail along Fort Pickens Road.
The Scenery: Sun, sand, and those signature Pensacola clear blue waters.
The Country Clubber
This one has such a cool aesthetic but unfortunately no sidewalks. It goes through a residential neighborhood though so it’s fairly quiet and safe.
The Route: Start at the Scenic Hills Country club, walk the loop north until you get to Tam O’Shanter Road, take a left and walk until you hit Greenbrier Boulevard, walk on Greenbrier until you get to the bridge with the creek, enjoy the natural creeklife and then double back to Burning Tree Road, follow the Burning Tree Loop until you end up back at the country club.
The Scenery: Rolling hills, manicured greens, and a lazy creek full of turtles.
So there you go! I hope you try out any or all five of the best walks in Pensacola. We all feel better with some sunshine on our faces and endorphins in our veins. So close your laptop and go for a walk. I’ll see you on the sidewalks.