The first questions most people ask themselves when planning a trip are: Where am I going to stay? And, what am I going to eat?
For the weekend of November 5-7, the city of Pensacola has taken care of all the arrangements. As part of Pensacola Celebrity Chefs’ Capture the Fort, a historical-celebration event at Gulf Islands National Seashore on November 6, the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front lowered its rates starting at $108 per night.
Paying just over $100 for a luxury stay on the beach might be enough to make me book the trip asap, but Pensacola is making the lure a bit shinier. On Saturday from 4:30 until 7 p.m., during Capture the Fort, five Celebrity Chefs will create dishes especially for the occasion.
Think gold-standard recipes that have been enjoyed in the area for hundreds of years, with modern twists and all fresh, local ingredients; served under a white tent at the gates of Fort Pickens, with the Pensacola Bay on one side and the sun setting over the Gulf on the other.
Chefs like Hilton’s own Dan Dunn, Jim Shirley from The Fish House, and Frank Taylor from Global Grill’s, will serve up recipes such as carpetbag steak with oysters and blue cheese, and red snapper with stewed collard greens and a roasted corn and red pepper white butter. I’m particularly looking forward to trying the farm-raised turtle soup with Bay shrimp relish.
For $75 per person guests get, a small plate of each of the five dishes; wine; entertainment by the Pensacola Opera; and special access to after-hours tours of Fort Pickens.
To book your Hilton stay: pensacolabeachgulffront.hilton.com
To reserve your tickets to Capture the Fort: 850/434-1234
For a splurge, book at the four-month-old Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Beach Hotel, with rates starting at $249 per night. margaritavillehotel.com
Photos: Courtesy Pensacola CVB