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5 Best Places To Find Live Music In Pensacola 

Written By McKenzie Campbell
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

Looking for places to discover local musicians, broaden your musical taste, or even flex your own vocals? Then this article is for you. Here are five of the best places to find live music in Pensacola.


The Gordon Community Art Center

The Gordon Community Art Center is your one-stop shop for all things artistic in Pensacola. According to their website, the Gordon is “a place to come together with imagination, intelligence, and compassion.”

While the Gordon has a variety of events in all aspects of art and community involvement, the center has many events for you to listen to live music. These events include a monthly Open Mic Night that will allow you to listen to local musicians or show off your own music skills and an array of concerts. The next concert is the Lubben Brothers, a folk/bluegrass band, on July 16, 2021.

Check out The Gordon Community Art Center for a full calendar of upcoming events at



What began as a small bar in the 60s has now become an iconic location for live music in and around Pensacola. Flora-Bama prides itself on its year-long live music across five different stages.

With a wide variety of genres and artists, Flora-Bama is a great destination if you are in the mood for mainstream artists or want to discover local musicians. Almost every night, you will be able to find live music on one of the various stages. Flora-Bama also has a lengthy list of annual events, including Frank Brown’s Songwriter’s Festival, which takes place at the beginning of November 2021.

For a full list of events, go to Flora-Bama’s website at


Seville Quarter

Seville Quarter has been “the Gulf Coast’s Entertainment Destination since 1967,” according to their website. Seville Quarter is made up of seven rooms that each have its own theme and events.                 

The Seville Courtyard stage features an array of musicians and bands. Lili Marlene’s has karaoke nights that allow you to contribute to the musical atmosphere. Phineas Phogg’s Balloon Works is a dance club with a live DJ and plenty of high-energy dance music. If jazz is more your speed, then Rosie O’Grady’s Good Time Emporium is the room for you. 

Whatever live music experience you prefer, you will find a place at Seville Quarter. Check it out at


Pensacola Opera

Pensacola Opera is the perfect place to experience professional opera performances in Pensacola. Their mission is to enrich the culture of Pensacola for everyone.

This opera house strives to be inclusive for all people of all different backgrounds. Their next event is Singing with PRIDE, which will celebrate Pride Month with a selection of songs by LGBT composers. Other upcoming performances include The Magic Flute and The Barber of Seville.

Check out Pensacola Opera at


Pensacola Symphony Orchestra

Our final live music destination is the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, which is entering its 94th season. Similar to Pensacola Opera, PSO seeks to enrich and educate the Pensacola community through music.

 PSO has a variety of upcoming concerts, including Dvorak, Symphony No. 8 on June 26, 2021, and Opening Night in October. If you are a fan of classical music or enjoy live instrumental music, consider one of PSO’s concerts.

For ticket prices and a full concert schedule, go to


Whatever type of live music you are looking for, Pensacola has a place for you. Support these local businesses and musicians while also experiencing some of the best live entertainment! 

10 Things Every Tourist Should Do In Pensacola

Written By McKenzie Campbell
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

I first moved to Pensacola for college and have since fallen in love with this town. The best way I can describe Pensacola is up-and-coming. With an amazing downtown, various local businesses, and a rich history, Pensacola is becoming a must-see for tourists interested in all things Florida.

Below is a list of 10 essential experiences all tourists must have while in Pensacola. Some will be specific while others are just general things every tourist should do.

Here are 10 essential things every Pensacola tourist must do!


Pensacola Beach

Okay, I’ll admit this suggestion may be obvious. You’re in Florida and near the coast, so, of course, you’re going to the beach. As a Floridian, I often forget how cool the beach can be for people who have never seen it.

So if you have never been to the beach before or you have and just love it, spend a day or few hours at Pensacola Beach. Soak up some sun, play in the water, people watch. A visit to Florida is not complete without the beach!


Palafox Market

A more specific recommendation is Palafox Market. This farmer’s market has it all. Art, food, music, antiques. If you want to support local businesses, then a farmer’s market is always the perfect experience for you.

Palafox Market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm on N Palafox St. in Martin Luthor King Jr. Plaza. Once you finish at the market and if you somehow still have money burning a hole in your pocket, check out the local shops and restaurants along Palafox St. Everything about this downtown area is tourist-friendly and will give an insight into the people that make Pensacola so great!


Ghost Tour

Another must for any tourist is a ghost or other type of paranormal tour. If you enjoy true crime, history, or just a little weirdness, ghost tours are perfect for you. Pensacola has a whole variety of paranormal tours you can take including cemetery/graveyard tours, ghost tours, and haunted house tours. Check out Go Retro and Pensacola Ghost Tours to book one of these tours.

If you are feeling adventurous and want a more hands-on experience, you can participate in a ghost hunt of the Pensacola Lighthouse. But if you go on this tour, be warned. The Pensacola Lighthouse is incredibly haunted and you never know what you’ll find. Or what will find you…


Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

I know, I know. These tours are very cheesy and the first thing every hotel concierge recommends, but that is for a good reason. A hop-on hop-off tour is most likely not going to give an in-depth, “real” look into Pensacola, but these tours are a great way to get an overview of Pensacola. (Plus, they are a great way to get around a city and rest your feet!).

I believe that a hop-on hop-off tour is the perfect first thing to do for every tourist. Check out Go Retro for more information on this type of tour.


National Naval Aviation Museum

Every tourist attraction list probably has at least a couple of museums on the list. Museums give information that is important to the area that you visiting and often have unique exhibits and attractions.

The National Naval Aviation Museum is no different. This museum offers flight simulators, an Apollo 11 VR, and a Virtual Flight Deck. Not only will you be learning all about the history of aviation but also have a hands-on experience that is educational, fun, and family-friendly.


Historic Pensacola

If you a history nerd like myself, then I highly suggest checking out the various museums and tours in Historic Pensacola. This 8 ½ acre area transports you back to various time periods with the architecture and history interpreters. I will admit that I am cheating a little bit by putting all of Historic Pensacola as one item because so much is included in this one location, such as the Pensacola Museum of History and Arcadia Mill.

You could honestly spend a few days exploring all that Historic Pensacola has to offer, but for more information and to figure out which museums and exhibits interest you, check out the Historic Pensacola website at


Used/Independent Bookstores

A used or indie bookstore is a must on any list for first-time tourists. Not only can you support a local business (and used/indie bookstores need all the support they can get) but you can also often find books by local authors or about local history.

One independent bookstore I recommend is Open Books. Open Books is a nonprofit bookstore that donates books to prisoners through their Prison Book Project. Shopping at this store will allow you to get some books, support a local business, and do some good. What else could you want?


Local Coffee Shops

Similar to item number 7, this recommendation is a broad one (and maybe a personal one). Coffee shops offer air conditioning, coffee, and often sweet treats. If you have had a long day of exploring and need a pick-me-up or you’re tired of free hotel breakfast, a local coffee shop is a perfect item for your itinerary.

One recommendation is The Drowsy Poet, which has two locations in Pensacola and has a fun aesthetic filled with natural wood, concrete, and books. If you want to visit a coffee shop with great ambiance and live out your dark academia dream, try out The Drowsy Poet.


Pensacola Museum of Art

When putting together a list of essentials for every tourist, you have to keep in mind what makes a city unique but also what shows off the distinct voice or vibe of a city. So far, I have recommended some essentials that can be applied to every city, and an art museum is one of those.

One thing that makes the Pensacola Museum of Art a must-see is that you will get to experience the art of local artists and enjoy the unique voice of Pensacola. With changing exhibits and events, your experience will be completely your own.


Seville Quarter

If you are looking for live music, check out Seville Quarter. Seville Quarter is made up of seven rooms that each have its own theme and events. Do you want karaoke, a dance club, or smooth jazz? This unique destination has everything you could possibly need for a fun nightlife experience.

But if a bar or live music is not quite your speed, check out the Palace Cafe, which is a New Orleans-inspired restaurant that is also a part of Seville Quarter.


Pensacola is a culturally diverse city with lots of local art, local shops, and rich history. This is not a definitive list of the tourist attractions or experiences that Pensacola has to offer, but this list is full of essentials and a great starting point for anyone looking to visit Pensacola.

Let’s Go On A Trip (Your 3-Day Weekend Planner)

Written By Garrett Gerona
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

You’ve decided going on a trip is just what you need to unwind and reset a little. Pensacola vacations are perfect for exactly that: rest and relaxation. Our city is home to countless historical sites and fun locales ideal for your 3-day weekend trip.

Everyone is unique, and everyone’s vacation checklist is unique, too. This article will help you plan your trip to Pensacola whether you’re traveling alone, vacationing with your significant other, or bringing your whole family along for the fun.


Pensacola Vacations for Singles

  • Friday – Fishing can be fun and relaxing. You’re alone with your memories and reflections, and you’re able to unwind and think about life. Fishing at the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier might be the best way to unwind after starting your vacation. Admission costs only $7.50 per person, and fishing rods are available for rent, so you can experience the wonderful solitude of fishing without worrying about your own equipment.
  • Saturday – The Pensacola Historic District, otherwise known as the Seville Historic District, offers midday tours on Saturdays. Joining one of these tours provides you great insight into Pensacola’s history and development across multiple generations, and you’ll finish early enough to visit one of Downtown Pensacola’s many restaurants!
  • Sunday – Palafox Street houses many cafes and boutiques any vacationer would enjoy. Palafox Street is one of the most walkable Pensacola locations, so spending your final vacation day shopping, grazing, and people watching along this street might be the coziest way a solo traveler could unwind.


Pensacola Vacations for Couples

  • Friday – What better way to share culture with your significant other than attending a play? The Pensacola Little Theater schedules performances ranging from Broadway plays to Shakespeare. Enjoying art and the finer things in life is the ideal way to being your vacation with your loved one.
  • Saturday – Your next stop will be the Pensacola Museum of Art. Open from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturdays, this museum provides you and your loved one the perfect place to lose yourselves in a romantic afternoon.
  • Sunday – Brunch has cemented itself as a seaside staple, and Pensacola restaurants famous for their brunches are many. We recommend beginning your Sunday with your significant other with brunch at the Atlas Oyster House. After enjoying a wonderful meal, you and your significant other can head right over to the beach and close out your vacation with romantic beachside leisure.


Pensacola Vacations for Families

  • Friday – Few better family activities exist than going out to a ball game. Pensacola’s very own Minor League Baseball team, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, play home games certain weeks of the month and schedule some games on Fridays. Beginning your vacation watching live baseball and enjoying the crowd will give your whole family new memories to cherish.
  • Saturday – Pensacola is the proud home of the National Naval Aviation Museum. Open on Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM, this expansive museum includes historical exhibits fun for adults and children both. If you schedule a tour, you and your family will be treated to the history—complete with war stories—behind many of our nation’s planes. Hearing about planes is one thing, but seeing them up close is another!
  • Sunday – Concluding your family vacation with fun in the sun is the best way to go, and Pensacola Quietwater Beach is perfect for families with small children. At Quietwater, you and your children can enjoy the ocean without worrying about waves or rip currents. There are even lifeguards. Nothing’s better than good, safe family fun.


We hope these ideas and recommendations help you plan your Pensacola vacation. Whatever you’re looking for in a vacation, Pensacola has you covered!

Open Bridges. Open Opportunities: Now Hiring in Pensacola

Written By Irene Regaspi
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

Now that the Pensacola Bay bridge is open and locals and tourists head to Pensacola Beach, life seems to be getting back to normal.  The nation is slowly recovering from the COVID pandemic and so is Pensacola. The landscape has changed – literally and economically. The changes may have forced you to adapt to a new way of living and may have forced you to learn skills you didn’t know you were capable of. That’s a good thing. Why? Pensacola is hiring.

Pensacola’s primary industries are in the medical, food service, and retail professions. The transportation industry, which includes Uber and Lyft, is also growing. The nation has been challenged with putting people back to work, especially in the hospitality and retail industries. Due to COVID, employees were laid off or they stayed home to protect their health. Today, jobs need to be filled. You just need to decide what you want today to get you where you need to be tomorrow. Are you needing fast cash? Need to find a job quickly and easily? Are you needing to be strategic and just need a stepping stone to the next position? Did you take courses through the quarantine and are ready to commit to a long-term career – with benefits? Maybe you are just ready for a change in careers. Once you’ve done your research – on yourself and your needs – put your best foot forward, be prepared, smile, and apply.

Pensacola has listings on staffing agency websites, hospital employment pages, and job boards such as Simply Hired, Indeed and Zip Recruiter. Staffing agencies post an array of job openings and are good resources for administrative, technical, and labor type positions. Job boards list everything about the job; it also gives you an idea of the industry that is actively looking to fill positions.  Here’s a quick rundown of who’s hiring.



Look on hospital websites to find out where to apply. Job positions are also listed on job boards. Pensacola has ample medical facilities, so if hospitals might seem a little overwhelming, apply for positions in smaller medical offices. Many medical offices are affiliated with the hospitals, so job openings may be listed there.

  • Baptist Hospital – nursing, radiology, food service, facility/environmental health
  • West Florida Hospital – nursing, clinical techs, radiographers
  • Ascension Sacred Heart – nursing staff including CNA, medical assistants, medical office assistants, medical technicians



Below are a few listings from Simply Hired. If there’s another restaurant you have in mind and you’re already dining in, it never hurts to ask the staff or manager if the restaurant is hiring! Otherwise, drop in mid-afternoon or other non-peak times and ask to speak to the manager about open positions.

  • McGuire’s – Kitchen Staff
  • Sonny’s BBQ -Hostess
  • Ruby Slipper Restaurant Group
  • Flora Bama Mgt. LLC – Line Cooks
  • Flounders Chowder House – Food Runner


Customer Service (Retail)

Retail and restaurants are sometimes similar in that you will get a quick response if you ask a manager about open positions. They’ll either enthusiastically tell you, “yes, we’re hiring – go to the website and apply,” or they will tell you “no, and please continue to be patron.”

  • Big Box Retail (TJMaxx, Marshalls. Sam’s)
  • CarMax
  • Circle K
  • David’s Bridal
  • FedEX
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Spikes Printing
  • Walgreens


Customer Service Representative Positions (Technical)

  • Navy Federal Credit Union
  • Conduent
  • Southeastern Freight Lines
  • Advance America
  • Lee Heating and Cooling

Discover Why A Continental Fare Restaurants Are So Special

Written By Jack Hindle
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

Having a specialized menu that covers all sorts of cuisine is a fantastic experience.

O’Brien’s Bistro is always cultivating and creating new recipes, flavors, and experiences. Having chiefs that have worked in London for years, they have perfected their talents and have learned how to make food worldwide. From their new bar to their expert wine list, O’Brien’s has been hard at work to bring something special to the table. This energy takes their menu to all sorts of tasty and thrilling places. This exceptional taste is why they are excited to highlight their continental menu. They are ready to show you how their food dazzles.


What Is A Continental Menu?

A continental menu is when the food served on the menu is from different continents on the planet. One or two dishes from each continent, handcrafted to express different delicious dishes to dazzle the taste buds. There are dishes from America, Asia, Europe, etc. It also can be country-specific, with dishes showcasing specifically French, Chinese, and Italian cuisine. This gives the menu the ability to curate a better, more cosmopolitan menu. The goal is to bring more options for the customers to be able to consume staple dishes from around the globe.


What Does O’Brien’s Bistro Bring To The Table?

O’Brien’s has a great tapestry of options to pick from. If you start your day with brunch, there are the iconic Belgian Waffles that bring the senses to the streets of Belgium. If you want some really tasty appetizers, to begin with, the Pesto Escargot is inspired by France, and the Yellow Fin Tuna Roll coming from Japan are wonderful starting dishes. Both offer a way to bring customers across the world. For Lunch, there is the scrumptious Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich, which has vibrant Greek flavors. There is also the Chicken Piccata deriving its brilliance from Italy but served in Pensacola, Florida. And finally, for dinner, there is Caribbean Jerked Mahi Mahi and, both bringing joy from the Islands and the Southern US, respectively.


Why Is This So Special?

This is so wonderful because these foods bring different cultures and traditions to your taste buds and your soul. If you cannot afford to travel to Italy but want to have a taste of it, then try the Gnocchi Mac – Mushroom Sherry so that your soul and travel, even if it is just for a moment. O’Brien’s Bistro wants to bring the world to your table. They do this so that some part of you can experience the world, even if you cannot physically move across the oceans.


Domestic Violence Restraining Orders In Florida And What You Need To Know

Written By Jack Hindle
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

It is always good to know and review your rights when you may need help

Domestic Violence Explained

Domestic violence in Florida is defined as assault or battery including ones that are aggravated and sexaul in nature, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death, committed by a family or household member against another family or household member.

“Family or household member” refers to any of the following persons:

  • current or former spouses
  • persons related by blood or marriage
  • persons currently or formerly residing together as if a family, or
  • parents who have a child in common, regardless of whether they were at any time married.

With the exception of parents who have a child in common, the persons must currently or previously have resided together in the same single dwelling unit in order to be considered a family or household member under Florida law. (Fla. Stat. § 741.28).

What Is A Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

A Domestic Abuse Restraining Order is a form of restraining order or order of protection used under domestic abuse laws.

How To File An Order

Even if you have not been physically battered, you can still qualify for an injunction if the judge believes you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. When deciding this, the judge will look at the following factors:

  1. The history between you and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse;
  2. If the respondent has attempted to harm you or family members or individuals closely associated with you;
  3. If the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm your child;
  4. If the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet;
  5. If the respondent has used or has threatened to use, any weapons such as guns or knives against you;
  6. If the respondent has physically restrained you from leaving the home or calling law enforcement;
  7. If the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence;
  8. If there was a prior order of protection issued against the respondent;
  9. If the respondent has destroyed personal property of yours (e.g., telephone, clothing, or other items belonging to you);
  10. Whether the respondent has behaved in any other way leads you to reasonably believe that you are in immediate danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.

Why It Is Good To Know

Filling a restraining order is an excellent way to build up protection from an attacker. Tim Fleming Law Center wants to make sure all Florida residents know their rights so that if they know of an incident that occurred or was the victim of a crime, they can know what the law can do to protect them.

Exploring New Sounds And Voices At The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival

Written By Jack Hindle
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

Writing and music from Pensacola natives merge wonderfully in this festival.

The sun is setting on the beach, the breeze is still whispering new tunes it just learned, guitars are being put in cases, and notebooks of lyrics are being closed for a mini-vacation as yesterday the Frank Brown Songwriters Festival finished up. The waves are complete with wonderful rhyme schemes, and the seagulls are humming melodies that we stick with them for years. The ten-day festival was from November 4th to the 14th and consisted of incredibly heartfelt music of many genres celebrating the power of music.

The festival is a true Flora-Bama event comprising Escambia County, Florida, Baldwin County, Alabama, and nearby areas. The festival isn’t just made to join Florida and Alabama together through music, but for anyone who wants to feel and learn the richness of musical talent that both states can create.

According to their website, “Taking place in November, the Festival provides an economic boost to all sorts of businesses in the area during a traditionally challenging time of year. Recent surveys indicated Festival attendees came from 44 states and contributed over four million dollars to local economies”. This shows not only the growth of the festival but what it’s trying to accomplish. They want to promote and bring tourism to business in the gulf coast area. Yet, the festival is even more than those great goals. The festival knows that songwriters are the unsung heroes of the music world. The songs will be known, but the writers behind them are seldom known. This festival aims to change that by giving them the stage, and bringing names like Rob Aldrige, Jim Parker, and Ella Langley to focus on them and their music.

It’s not just established songwriters, though; there is also a youth program that lets kids under 18 work to show their skills and get real stage and performance experience. The festival also prides itself on promoting music development and teaching in schools. In addition, the festival helps fund the non-profit Frank Brown International Foundation for Music. The foundation works to keep the school’s music program going and growing. They also have an outreach program where a professional songwriter with a background in education goes to classrooms to speak with students about questions and understandings of the industry as well as give an excellent performance to show the power of music.

The festival was created by a lover of music and the arts, Joe Gilchrist. Gilchrist believes in the power of music and education, even being honored for his work in both areas by different governors in the past. Gilchrist made the festival to tribute to his friend Frank Brown and give a stage to songwriters who struggle to get recognized. For Gilchrist, it’s important to remember the memory and joy of Frank Brown, who was a night watchman at the Flora~Bama restaurant for twenty-eight years, retired at the age of 91, but sadly passed at 93 in 1988. In Gilchrist’s eyes and many others, Frank is an example of good character and how to find happiness in the beats behind the lines. Brown’s soul is the soul of the festival. A time for music, laughter, nature, and good food.

There is something to be said about a great music festival. When you get together with a group of friends, listen to music that rocks your world, eat great food, and feel like you left the world for a period of time. Just look at the Twitter discourse during any music festival, and the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival is the same way. Lots of praise and excitement, but mostly it’s the feeling that a moment of specialness is happening right now. That there is this memory that is forming in front of our very eyes. Music transcends time and links us to a moment where we feel powerful emotions. Music creates deep sadness, deep joy, and all the great emotions one can feel. Yet, in a festival, these emotions and moments are just amplified. They get isolated and drawn out in a way that is hard to describe.

This is where the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival is even more unique. When you are there, you hear from the writers that they don’t get the spotlight like other singers and musicians. Instead, you are hearing someone perform their writing in all its power and meaning. It adds the link to the music that isn’t always felt. It’s unique to see someone perform as raw as they can.

If you are in the area next year and you want to be on the beach with a nice beverage in your hand and good music in your ear, or if you have a song, a voice that you want to share with others, then look into the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival. It might stir something powerful in your soul.

Why University Of West Florida Could Be A Good Fit For You

Written By Jack Hindle
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

Having been a student for 3 years and now finishing on my fourth, I have a good understanding of why UWF is great for students and also why it may not be for everyone.


Pro: The Nature

UWF is visually beautiful. The campus is covered in trees and bushes with flowers all over. It instills an atmosphere that you are away from the world. On the grounds, there is the massive Edward Ball Nature Trail, which covers 600 acres of forest and rivers. The public and students alike can hike, cycle, canyon, and wander the area. There is also the Camelia Garden which has a plethora of wonderful flowers to enjoy. Finally, Pensacola Beach is 30 minutes away, a perfect place for parties and get-togethers. For students that love nature and like to hike or relax on the grass between classes, UWF is a great option.


Pro/Con: Location

Unlike other college campuses, the University of West Florida does not reside in a city, thus the remoteness is felt, especially if you live on campus. The plus of this is that it can create community. The con is if students would rather have the bustle of a city, UWF is not that kind of university. The remoteness is great for those that want to embrace it, but not for those that don’t.


Pro/Con: The Size

UWF is a smaller college. The undergraduate enrollment is a little over 9,000 students. The wonderful aspect of that is that students can get more facetime with teachers and get closer to their classmates. There are still many events and activities that a bigger university would have, but there is more of an intimacy on campus. The cons are that if a student wants bigger classes and faster pace experience then UWF isn’t that.


Con: Still Growing

UWF continues to build up. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but for this moment in time, the campus is still growing its infrastructure for its football stadium and parking. The negative is knowing that it is going to be even better, but those things are still to come. Students may not want to wait for that to be ready before they attend, but once those things are built then it will be even more attractive to students.


Pro: Outdoor Adventures, Exchange Programs, Affordability, and Wonderful Academics

UWF has a wonderful Outdoor adventures program that allows students to rock climb, rent and build bikes, disc golf and go on trips such as kayaking with bioluminescent jellyfish or skiing in North Carolina. Uwf is much more affordable than their peers and they have a wonderful student exchange program where students can study all over from Wales to Turkey. They have 110+ majors, minors, certificates, and graduate programs. The university is ranked top 15 in the News & World Report’s Top Public School in the south and 6th in most affordable online MPH programs.


The University of West Florida is a great place for students to pursue their degrees while having the intimacy of nature and smaller classes surrounding them. It’s not the busiest or biggest campus, but if you are looking to study where the opportunities are as big as the nature trail, then UWF would be a good fit for you. 

Snake Identification: The 6 Species Of Venomous Snakes Found In Florida (with pictures)

Written By A. Alderman
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

Florida is a beautiful place to live, but guests and residents, especially those in southern parts of the state, know that some of the local wildlife isn’t to be trifled with. Florida’s forests and swamps are home to 44 species of snakes, including 6 venomous species. That may not sound like much, but some of them are numerous and easily confused with non-venomous snakes. It’s important to be able to identify and avoid some of these dangerous reptiles if you plan on exploring the wooded and marshy areas of Florida, because some of their bites pack enough of a punch to kill.

Please note that many of these snakes can be easily confused for non-venomous species, but you should not attempt to approach them in order to identify them because you run the risk of discovering they are venomous the hard way! Do not approach any snake unless you are absolutely positive you know what species it is, and even then, be sure to exercise caution.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

(image source:


Not only are these the most venomous snakes in Florida, they are known as being the most dangerous venomous snakes in North America. TThey can swim and can be found on Florida’s barrier islands. Be careful when walking in wooded areas or pine savannas, as they prefer to hunt and hide using forage and leaves as camouflage. 

They are not aggressive and prefer to flee from encounters with humans, but will puff themselves up to make themselves larger and eventually rattle their tails to scare off potential threats. If attacked or threatened, they may bite with fangs proportionally longer than any other rattlesnake species. Their bites have been described as severely painful and can potentially kill humans within 6-48 hours. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.

As their name suggests, they are easily identifiable by their brown, yellow, or tan scales with black, brown, and cream colored diamonds down their back. They have large, broad heads and thermal pits between their eyes and nostrils. Diamondbacks are large, heavy snakes that are usually 3 to 6 feet long, but they can grow up to 8 feet long.


Water Moccasin/Cottonmouth

Water Moccasin/Cottonmouth

(img source:

These pit vipers are most commonly found throughout Florida in wet areas like swamps, marshes, and lakes, but can wander away from water if they want. They are the only known species of semi-aquatic vipers in the world and are very capable swimmers.

Though they are not aggressive, they have been known to bite when threatened, and most bites occur due to people disturbing their nests or accidentally stepping on them. Their venom can be extremely dangerous to people and pets and bite victims should seek immediate emergency medical treatment as soon as possible.

Water Moccasin/Cottonmouth

(image source:


Juveniles are brown or tan with reddish crossbands and have bright yellow tail tips. Their patterns fade and darken as they age, usually becoming uniformly dark or leaving only a hint of the original pattern. They usually grow from 30-48 inches in length and have thick, heavy bodies. It can be easy to confuse cottonmouths with nonvenomous water snakes. They can be distinguished by the cottonmouth’s facial pits, vertical pupils, and brow ridges.


Eastern Coral Snake

Eastern Coral Snake(img source:

These highly venomous snakes can be found in all parts of Florida. Though they have extremely potent venom, they rarely bite humans and prefer to avoid encounters. In Florida, they prefer sandhills and dry areas that have bushes but not extremely heavy vegetation. 

Most of their time is spent hiding underground, and they are known to be fairly shy around humans, so bites are rare. Even if they are threatened enough to bite, they are less likely to envenomate their bites compared to other species. However, antivenin for coral snake bites isn’t widely produced, so extreme caution is recommended around them nonetheless. As long as people watch where they step and are mindful of their surroundings, they are fairly simple to avoid.

Coral snakes are well known for their part in the saying, “Red next to yellow  kills a fellow. Red next to black is a friend to Jack,” use to differentiate their red-white-yellow stripe pattern from the nonvenomous king snakes. They are medium sized, slender snakes, usually growing from 31-48 inches in length.


Timber Rattlesnake

Timber Rattlesnake

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Timber Rattlesnakes are somewhat large, widespread species found from forested areas to rocky bluffs. They are the 3rd largest venomous snake species in the U.S. and can potentially be very dangerous. They are mostly found in rural, wooded areas and are much more common in the upper southern states, but can be found in some parts of North Florida. 

Despite their high venom yield, large size, and long fangs making them potentially extremely dangerous, deaths from timber rattlesnake bites are rare. They are mild-mannered, hibernate for very long periods of time, and will usually attempt to scare off potential threats before they feel the need to strike.

Timber Rattlesnakes are usually yellowish or grayish brown with dark brown or black crossbands. Many have a rust-colored stripe down their backs. Sometimes, individuals with melanism are very dark and almost solid black. They are usually from 39 to 45 inches in length. 


Southern Copperhead

Southern Copperhead(image source:

Copperheads are venomous pit vipers usually found in upper states like Alabama and Georgia, but have been found in some areas of the Panhandle. Their habitat is primarily forested woodlands, rocky outcroppings, and near swamps; often areas around where humans live. They camouflage extremely well and can be nearly impossible to differentiate from the dead leaves they hide within.

They are not aggressive and will only bite if physically threatened, but due to their tendency to freeze instead of slithering away, they are prone to being stepped on and attacking out of fear. Thankfully, they have relatively weak venom compared to other pit vipers, and they don’t often inject much venom into their bites in the first place. Regardless, help should still be sought after any sort of venomous snake bite.

They are a pale to pinkish-tan color with red-brown crossbands along the body, not to mention the distinctive copper-colored head. They are usually 20-37 inches in length and have stout, broad heads compared to their bodies. 


Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake(img source:

Pygmy Rattlesnakes are small, stout rattlesnakes found throughout Florida, including some of the barrier islands, but not the Florida keys. They are extremely abundant and can be found in many wooded areas, flat but primarily moist lowlands and other somewhat wet, covered areas usually nearby water. 

They are generally not aggressive, though individuals may be, and typically don’t bite unless provoked or wounded. Despite being painful, their bites are relatively harmless, though help should be sought regardless if one is bitten. Due to their size, their defense rattle sounds very similar to the buzz of an insect rather than the distinct rattle of a larger rattlesnake.

They are usually 14-24 inches long and are stout and thick for their small size. They are gray and have dark, dusty spots along their backs and pale whitish underbellies. Their heads have stripes that reach from their eyes to the corner of their mouths and they have pits on the side of their heads. 

37th Annual Frank Brown Songwriters’ Festival

Written By A. Alderman
Posted on
Categories: Blog Posts, Pensacola, UWF Student Authors

This year’s 37th Annual Frank Brown Songwriters’ Festival took place from November 4-14. Over 200 songwriters and artists appeared in venues across Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Pensacola, and Perdido Key. For 10 days, guests could visit any of the two dozen venues and enjoy both established and up-and-coming songwriters’ performances. Guests also have the chance to stay and listen to the musical artists discuss the personal story and meaning of their songs upfront and personally.

The event was created by Joseph Gilchrist, one of the owners of the legendary Flora-Bama bar. Guests visiting Perdido Key, Florida, or Orange Beach, Alabama heading for the state line can find this honky-tonk bar full of patrons listening to the nonstop live music and drinking Bushwhacker cocktails. When it was first built in 1964, it was one of the few buildings in the area, but as time passed and traffic in the area increased, so did the number of bar patrons and the size of the bar itself. For 50 years, Flora-Bama bar has been named the #1 Beach Bar or listed as one of the top beach bars in the United States by numerous news and media outlets like CNN, the Huffington Post, Fox News, USA Today, and many, many more. It’s famous for its location and the extremely unique make-up of guests that visit, anywhere from locals to tourists to nobodies to household names like Jimmy Buffet, Vince Vaughn, Kid Rock, and many more. Its popularity has allowed the bar to establish several annual events, such as the Annual Interstate Mullet Toss, where contestants throw a mullet across the Florida-Alabama state line, or the Polar Bear Dip, where contestants plunge into the frigid Gulf of Mexico during New Year’s Day.

It also established and hosts the Annual Frank Brown Songwriters’ Festival. The Frank Brown Songwriters’ Festival was created and named in honor of the well-known night watchman of 28 years, Frank Brown, known as “Mr. Frank” by patrons and employees alike. For those 28 years, he was the last person that live performers would see before closing time. Though he passed away in 1988, his morals and values are immortalized in the name of the Songwriting Festival. The festival created in his name is now one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events and one of the oldest of its kind. The purpose of the annual festival is to enrich the lives of music lovers, especially children, encourage creativity through music and especially song, introduce lesser-known artists to the guests of the festival, and give these artists the opportunity to bring their work into the spotlight. It also hopes to increase tourism in the Gulf Coast area, and this year it managed to span the length of several different countries across both Alabama and Florida.

The musician-hosting venues stretched from Gulf Shores to Pensacola and included restaurants, community centers, churches, museums, libraries, bars, and resorts, so there was something for everyone to see and places for every music lover to visit regardless of age. At each event, songwriters would display their skills and interact with fans and lovers of music hoping to experience the best performances of artists known and unknown. Bands and artists of many different genres were invited to the festival this year, providing the opportunity for fans of all types of music to find something they like, and maybe find something new to enjoy.

For the 2021 festival, events were spread out over a period of a jam-packed 11 days. Besides shows featuring songwriters presenting their music and material, the festival also held several other events. Patrons were welcome to attend festival-hosted kick-off parties and the open-mic nights, many of which were at the Florida-Bama bar itself. These events gave guests the chance to sing a few of their own songs provided they brought an instrument and signed up. Guests and songwriters alike were welcome to visit free seminars for prospective songwriters, musicians, and recording artists. One such seminar, “Songwriting, Music Publishing, And Record Labels In An Independent World” was run by Sean Gasaway, both an award-winning songwriter himself and CEO of the independent publishing company Gasaway Music. Another seminary was “Promoting Your Music Career,” and was run by Bruce Wawrzyniak, host of the Now Hear This Entertainment podcast and President of Now Hear This, a company that has provided management, promotion, and booking services to country-wide musical artists for 15 years. In his seminar, he discussed different ways for aspiring songwriters and artists to promote their careers and build their names in a way that will help them truly succeed in the music industry. Other events included Catherine Powers signing her book, The Spree of 83 – The Life and Times of Freddy Powers, about her father, the behind-the-scenes musician Freddy Powers, a free screening of the new documentary Hank Locklin: Country Music’s Timeless Tenor and the Frank Brown Music Festival exclusive documentary, Stories In Rhyme.

This year proved to be a lively, event-filled festival. If you missed this year, then be sure to keep an eye out for the next annual festival in 2022, which should prove to be just as much of a must-see as this one.