Day 5: Mobile and Pensacola

Trip Start Mar 25, 2012
Trip End Mar 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
La Quinta Inn & Suites, Panama City Florida
What I did
Destin, Florida
Panama City Beach, Florida
Pier Park, PCB, Florida

Flag of United States  , Alabama
Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today I got up super early and drove from Mobile to Theodore, Alabama so I could check out Bellingrath Gardens. It cost $12 just to get into the gardens! They also have a house tour and a cruise around the lake, but I'm sure that would've ended up being like $35 all together. The gardens were really nice and well kept. There were a few school buses full of third graders and they were a little annoying and running around, so I sat down for like ten minutes hoping they would get ahead of me. There were lots of nice flowers in bloom. It took me about 2 hours and I didn't even walk around the entire place.

Once I left, I drove back up to Mobile to check it out. There's a nice park called Cathedral Plaza in the business district. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is there too. There are lots of little shops and restaurants around this area, but not much to see. I thought Mobile would be a little bit bigger and more busy with people than it was.

I set out for Pensacola on I-10 E. It only took me an hour to get there. I thought it was just another city and kind of boring. Once I drove towards the beaches it was a little more lively and had more shops and people. I only hung out here for about an hour and then set out for Panama City Beach (PCB). I took the scenic route US-98 E which drives right along the coast. It was a nice drive but the speed limit is only 35mph so it took me about 2 hours 45 minutes to get to PCB. I drove through lots of little beaches on the way, Fort Walton Beach, Navarre Beach, and Destin. When I came up on Destin, I almost thought that I was in the Bahamas. The water was so clear right around the coast and there was a huge hotel and lots of shops. I actually turned back around on the highway so I could go back and get a few pictures. I stopped on the bridge and jumped the jersey wall to the walking trail on the bridge. I was hoping a cop wasn't going to pass me because I'm pretty sure I wasn't supposed to stop on the bridge! Once I got to PCB I just wanted to find a hotel and I booked a room at the La Quinta which was actually a very nice and clean room with restaurants nearby. The hotels around PCB are super expensive (obviously) so you won't find anything cheaper than $80+ unless you stay in one of those crappy motels. I didn't want to deal with another flea bag place, so I paid a little more for a nicer hotel.
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