Designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry, the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art exalts the work of George E. Ohr, a ceramic artist and moustache enthusiast known as the "Mad Potter of Biloxi." After it was destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, the campus reopened in 2010 amidst a grove of ancient live-oak trees, featuring a series of six aesthetically impressive pavilions that include a welcome center, a gallery of African-American art, and an interpretive center inside a reconstruction of the house of emancipated craftsman Pleasant Reed. Current exhibitions include collections from some of the art world's biggest names, including Andy Warhol and ceramic sculptor Jun Kaneko, as well as selections from Ohr's Gulf Coast collection, which inspired the American Modernist movement and several MLB baseball teams to wear ceramic pots instead of baseball hats.
Just off the white-sand coastline of northwest Florida, Lanier Sailing Academy teaches students to captain their own aquatic adventures with classes in cruising, chartering, and navigation. Classes include programs for beginners to advanced students, starting with the Practical Sailing for Basic Keelboat Certification course, in which novice navigators learn to steer boats, trim sails, and avoid swashbuckling sea otters. While working toward certification in various programs, students explore the Intracoastal Waterway and its bounty of dolphins, rays, blue pelicans, and myriad fish. Lanier Sailing Academy’s experienced members earn membership into the Buccaneer Sailing Club and are able to rent and sail 22- to 25-foot boats at their leisure.
Alongside its Mediterranean platters, Jordan Valley Restaurant serves up ample hospitality. The restaurant strives to be a social space where friends and new acquaintances can mingle amongst Middle Eastern spices, or chat on the porch over hookahs. The kitchen’s staples include kebabs, gyros, and a variety of pitas filled with kafta, tandoori chicken, or meatballs.
Historic Pensacola Village opens a window into the 19th century through 27 faithfully maintained properties and museums brimming with cultural artifacts. Pass holders can explore 11 historically rich facilities and embark upon daily tours chronicling the Victorian-style 1871 Dorr House, the 1832 Old Christ Church—one of the oldest churches in Florida—and the 1825 Department of Equine Vehicles, guarded by vengeful spirits still waiting to renew their carriage licenses. A trio of museums including the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum display paintings by local artists and Civil War–era artifacts, and the Discovery Gallery welcomes children ages 4–8 to explore a recreated trade store, colonial house, and ship.
Pensacola Trolley Tours brings culture vultures aboard a replica 1880s streetcar at the Visitor Center downtown for a journey through America's first settlement, focusing on Pensacola's rich history and exquisite architecture. The 75-minute narrated tour starts at the shipwrecked de Luna expedition, which founded Pensacola in 1559. The trolley rolls on along its route through the Historic Pensacola Village to view more than 20 preserved Colonial homes, the exquisite mansions of Gage Hill, the Port of Pensacola, and the first U.S. naval air station. Throughout the tour, the Pensacola-savvy tour guide will regale sightseers with stories about the area's history, like the mysterious circumstances that led to the area being abandoned for 138 years (966 dog years). . Tours include a 15-minute stop and are scheduled seven days a week at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. with additional tours sometimes offered.