Thursday, January 26, 2017

Touring Old Fourth Distillery

The first legal distillery in Atlanta since before Prohibition, Old Fourth Distillery, located in Old Fourth Ward, has a fascinating history and offers a fine tour!

I was there just last week with my friend Nikki, the night before her birthday, and several other friends, some new and some I've known for a while. This visit was part of an uber-fun evening!


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Started by five guys—two are brothers—who left their technology and real estate jobs, Old Fourth Distillery (O4D) has been a great success and they're growing. I hope to see them around for a very, very long time!

They currently offer two tours. You can get the basic, highly informative tour (with four tastes) for only $10 or you can get the same tour (you all go at the same time) plus a souvenir package for only $30. Our friends went for the basic tour and Nikki and I opted for tour + souvenir. Nikki's souvenir was a bottle of O4D Gin and mine was a bottle of O4D Vodka. 

I also purchased a book, "Prohibition in Atlanta", which I can hardly wait to read. There's also other merchandise—hats, t-shirts and the like—available for purchase. Handsome items, I might add.


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

This copper still is stunning. Copper is used for a specific reason, but that aside, it's just beautiful. 

O4D currently has three libations available, O4D Vodka (which is amazing!), O4D Gin (I don't drink gin, but this was excellent!) and O4D Lawn Dart, a ginger-lemon spirit akin to limoncello. Lawn Dart is a slightly heavier on the ginger, which I love! 

The have a delicious O4D Bourbon coming out in 2019, but you can get a taste of the early batches on the tour! I'm not a bourbon drinker either (I'm a vodka man.), but this bourbon evaporates on the tongue leaving magnificent flavors that will take you to a place where you'll delightfully contemplate the universe. It's transforming...figuratively and literally.


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Lights out! I forget what it was that our tour guide William was showing us when he turned the lights out...I was too caught up in the beauty of these stills and missed it. If you too are mesmerized and miss the explanation, kindly ask your tour guide to repeat it, which I'm sure they'll gladly do. Impressive machinery! 


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Our tour group was so much fun! That's William, our tour guide, in the hat. The couple on the right were tourists visiting from Australia and the couple of the left were locals out for a fun evening. I was with the five ladies in the middle, of which one was visiting from Michigan and another is in her first year at Georgia Tech (she was good and didn't participate in the tasting).

Our visit had started with just wanting to check it out. When we finally scheduled our visit, it became part on Nikki's pre-birthday night celebration—one of the most fun of five stops that evening!. 


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Part of our tour included the manufacturing process of gin, including the opportunity to see and smell the herb ingredients used in making O4D Gin. William explained that Juniper Berries make up approximately 50% of the herb mixture. Also in mix is Angelica Root, Coriander, Pink Peppercorns, and Cardamom.

I'm totally not a gin drinker, but this was quite spectacular! I was shocked, not being a gin drinker, to say the least.

Did you know that Pink Peppercorns are actually not peppercorns? Because of their size and shape, they're marketed as peppercorns, but they're actually the ripe berries of the ornamental Brazilian pepper tree.

Cardamom is one of my favorite spices. If you don't use it, pick up a small jar of it sometime and stir some into your peach jam then spread that on a toasted butter croissant...tell me it's not a little piece of heaven! Yum!


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I'm a techie. I was in telecommunications when I was in the Navy and my college degree is in technology. So why did the corking machine mesmerize me so? I have no idea, but it was fun to see it in operation. Much of the process is done by hand, as is this part.

I admire the graphic design for Old Fourth Distillery. Whether you're a history buff, a steampunk enthusiast, or a graphic design professional—or just like you libation base in a handsome bottle—I think you're going to love O4D's branding. My minor in college was Graphic Design, so I know what a challenge—and great fun—designing a whole new product can be.


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
When you go on your tour, I recommend taking a snapshot of this diagram. It was recently created by one of the staff and it fully describes the manufacturing process. When reading it after I got home, it was remarkable how much it felt like reliving what William had shared with us. There are a lot of entertaining details like this throughout the modestly sized space.


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

There has been much speculation that pre-Prohibition Rufus M. Rose is connected to the founding of Four Roses Bourbon in Kentucky. There's not a lot of evidence either way, but one curious fact can't be dismissed...Founder Paul Jones, Jr. got his start in distilling right here in Atlanta!


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

There are many antique jugs on display in the Distillery, some of them bearing the R. M. Rose, Co. name. 

Now terribly dilapidated, The Rufus M. Rose House, one of the last Victorian mansions on Peachtree Street, was built in 1901 and was home to Mr. Rose until he passed in 1910. The House has since seen many lives. It's been a residence, a rooming house, offices, and at one point, for many years, was an antique store and Atlanta Museum! That museum boasted unique artifacts including furniture belonging to Margaret Mitchell, personal items of Bobby Jones and a Japanese Zero war plane!


Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Old Fourth Distillery | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

You're going to find a degree of cleverness here, too. Toward the end of our tour, one of the guests asked where the nearest restroom was, pointing toward neighboring businesses. Turns out it was right in front of us...it just looks like a bookcase. Brilliant, right?

If you need a little more convincing to visit Old Fourth Distillery, check out this AJC article by my friend Leslie Peterson of 365 Atlanta Family.

You can find Old Fourth Distillery libations all over Georgia, just go to the "Find It" tab on their website to find a restaurant, store or bar convenient to you. Just know that there's nothing like getting it from the source...their tour is fantastic, especially when you opt for the tour + souvenir and that souvenir is a bottle of vodka!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" - ONE midtown kitchen

Welcome to Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers", a new monthly series by wanderlust ATLANTA and super-popular food Instagramer atlantafoodie! Our first stop on this 10-restaurant tour is ONE midtown kitchen!

What we believe is a unique spin on Top 10 lists, we're not counting down, but instead we're showcasing some of Atlanta's restaurants with numbers in their name! Some we've been to before and others will be a first-time experience. We're going to make all of them FUN!


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

This series was fully developed in a matter of days. I woke up one morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I started thinking about story ideas for wanderlust ATLANTA and came up with this idea. I immediately thought to partner with Nikki—Instagramer extraordinaire, fellow food lover, and a dear friend—and within 24 hours we had a 10-month outline in place!

I've dined at ONE midtown kitchen since it first opened in 2002—on visits from DC and then regularly when I moved back to Atlanta in 2010. I remember the first time I walked in, it felt like I was in an elegant New York City restaurant...nothing like this had been done in Atlanta, not that I knew of. Nikki has dined here before, as well, but it'd been a few years.


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie

When we arrived, host Rick was wonderfully hospitable. I told him that I had a reservation, but that I would wait at the bar until my dining companion arrived. He didn't point to where the bar was....he walked me to bar! You rarely get such personal service. We chatted briefly with Rick a couple more times during the evening...super nice!

Nikki arrived before I could order a drink at the bar, but I've many times enjoyed a glass of wine and a cheese board after a long day at work at that bar. It's intimate, but has a clear view of the rest of the restaurant. Highly recommend. 

We went back to the maitre d' stand and Rick immediately seated us. We asked for a table "with good lighting"—the restaurant didn't know that we were coming or would be making photos for this series, but the staff was wonderful about it...zero judgement toward us! 

The restaurant's cocktail offerings rotate daily. Nikki had a Georgia Sour (pictured above: whiskey, lime juice, pecan + brown sugar simple) and loved it! I had the Peach Drop (vodka, elderflower liquor, simple, lemon juice, sparkling wine) and love it, too! I had a delightful Sauvignon Blanc with my dinner. There's a full bar, so they're going to have something you'll love!    


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

We started with the Calamari! I first discovered calamari when I lived in Greece and I order it every chance I get. Nikki loves all kinds of seafood! Gotta love it when you're on the same palate page! 

The calamari were tasty and tender, but it was the accompanying sauces that make the dish stand out...Tikka Masala, Chaat Masala, and Citrus Yogurt. That plate went back empty! I could make a meal of this dish...and probably will at some point.


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

We decided to enjoy a second appetizer—there were three of us. Everything on the menu looked amazing, but we opted for the Wood Roasted Octopus. Wow! Joseph told us it was tender and was it ever! 

It's served over butternut squash curry and a bed of lentils with mint and pickled jalapeno and finished with a sheet of papadum, an Indian "wafer". It's not only a gorgeous dish, it's full of gentle flavors, which was a pleasant surprise given some of the ingredients.

The appetizers were a smashing hit! We were ready for the next course.

Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Nikki, Dan, Travis
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Nikki, Dan, Travis

Almost immediately after we were seated, Nikki's husband Dan joined us. I've had the pleasure of knowing these two for more than a year. Nikki is not only a fellow foodie, she's a fellow sci-fi enthusiast! I don't get to see Dan as often as Nikki, but we're having a great time when we all get together. The last couple of times the three of us were hanging out included Torched Hop Brewery and Star 94's Jingle Jam.

Our server Joseph kindly offered to make this photo for us (above)...we didn't even have to ask! Look at the size of our entrees!


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie

It's rare that I share a photo of bread, unless the compound butter it's served with has roasted garlic and Gouda cheese! The pain d'epi (French-style bread shaped like a wheat stalk) was excellent without the butter, but together they're epic! I don't remember there being any left...we all really, really liked it!


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie

I had the Pork Schnitzel for my entree. I consider myself a savvy diner, but if you asked me what schnitzel was before this occasion, I could not have told you. Now I would tell you it's "Delicious"...full description! 

The schnitzel was as big as my over-sized plate! I definitely wasn't going to leave hungry. It's served over Gouda grits and coupled with smoked thumbelina carrots, lacinato kale and caramelized onions. I"m totally in love with this dish...for so many reasons—at least as many reasons as there are ingredients!

I wasn't able to finish the entire plate—it was a LOT of food! Joseph asked if I would like to take the rest home. Instead of bringing me a box and me have to scrape my food into a container for everyone in the restaurant to watch—so not glamorous—Joseph took my plate and returned with the goodies boxed up and in a handsome paper bag with handles. You gotta love a doggie bag with style! 


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

Nikki had the Wood-Roasted Trout. This is not a filet...it's a whole fish, sans head and tail. A generous portion, it's served on a pool of clam chowder—which Nikki raved about; she loved how innovative the dish was—accompanied by roasted potatoes, salsify, basil oil, and topped with paddlefish caviar and fennel. 

We shared bites of our dishes and I can vouch that the trout is delicious! I'm not a fan of clam chowder, but it was indeed nice. I totally understood why this was Nikki's favorite dish.


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: atlantafoodie

Dan enjoyed the C.A.B. Flat Iron, which is wood-grilled and served with chimichurri and demi. Dan's not usually a talkative gent, but we barely heard a word from him while he was enjoying this dish! He generously offered a taste, but I was already approaching maximum capacity!

The restaurant's menus change regularly, even though there are some signatures dishes that have been on the menu for 15 years!


Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers" | ONE midtown kitchen | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

Speaking of staying power, ONE's signature Kit Kat Bar is one that has stood the test of time, and for good reason! The "bar" is dense AND creamy and topped with cocoa nibs. It's plated with swirls of peanut butter and beet caramel—which we think is an adaptation of the original from years hence—and accompanied with butterscotch ice cream. 

You've seen how much food we've had at this point, so you'll be relieved to know that the three of us shared this amazing dessert. Joseph bought us sharing plates without having to ask. Yes, I was stuffed and had part of my entree boxed, but how could one say no to a dish like this. Yes...we demolished the dessert. It will be a challenge to not try something else the next time...this was that good!

"Compliments to the Chef!" And compliments to Joseph and Rick. We had a most delightful evening!

THINGS TO KNOW before going to ONE midtown kitchen:
  • There's no parking lot, but their complimentary valet is quick and friendly!
  • There is a coat check for the cooler months.
  • If you forget your glasses (a friend did on a previous visit), they have readers at the maitre d' stand.
  • Reservations are a good idea, but not required. 
  • Excellent for special occasions and groups!
  • You can't miss the building...you'll see its glowing purple door and sign!
OF NOTE: Bob Amick, founder and owner of Concentrics Restaurants, of which ONE midtown kitchen is a part, won the Georgia Restaurant Association's Lifetime Achievement Award at its 10th Annual GRACE Awards Gala two months ago.  

Here's our planned Top 10 Atlanta Restaurants "By the Numbers", one per month in 2017:

ONE midtown kitchen
599 Dutch Valley Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

TWO urban licks
820 Ralph McGill Boulevard, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Local Three Kitchen & Bar
3290 Northside Parkway, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

Bar Margot at Four Seasons
75 14th Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

5Church Atlanta
1197 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30361

Six Feet Under
437 Memorial Drive, SE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Seven Lamps
3400 Around Lenox Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

8ARM
710 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Nine Mile Station
675 Ponce de Leon Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

10th & Piedmont
991 Piedmont Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Disclaimer: If you live in Atlanta or visit on a regular basis, you know how quickly the Atlanta restaurant scene can change. Our lineup is subject to change based on the Atlanta restaurant landscape over the first 10 months of 2017. Also, all opinions are our own and not at all influenced by the restaurant owners, staff or PR firms, whether we treated ourselves or were hosted by the said restaurant.

If you're enjoying this series, please follow:

atlantafoodie on Instagram
wanderlust ATLANTA on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thank you for coming along on what we think will be a FUN food journey over the next 10 months. Our selection of restaurants is a subjective selection of what we think will be an exciting new way to experience Atlanta restaurants: "By the Numbers". Please, tell your friends and family what we're doing and invite them to also come along for the taste tour!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

National Naval Aviation Museum

A short distance from Atlanta, Pensacola, Florida is a fantastic vacation...for a night, a long weekend, a week, or even longer! And it's great most any time of year. 

On my last visit, we toured the National Naval Aviation Museum, quite an exciting excursion for me, having served in the U.S. Navy. The Museum is a military and aerospace museum located on the grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola.

National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Barry Holland
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Barry Holland

My best friend Barry came with me (Thanks for driving, Barry!). We were going to the wedding of another best friend, MaryJo. Barry and I added a couple of days to our trip so we could play tourist. The top of my wish list was the National Naval Aviation Museum...and hopefully to see the Blue Angels. 

There was something going on that weekend and we did not get to see the Blue Angels, but there are a number of Blue Angels aircraft at the Museum, displayed outside AND they have their own exhibition inside the Museum. We also did the Blue Angels 4D Experience


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

The mission of the National Naval Aviation Museum, an official Department of the Navy museum, is to "select, collect, preserve and display historic artifacts relating to the history of Naval Aviation". Believe me, that's exactly what they've done and are doing! 

The National Naval Aviation Museum is world's largest Naval Aviation museum, which features more than 150 restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. Those aircraft are displayed in its more than 350,000 square feet of museum space, and some are displayed on part of its 37-acre complex. When I say "make time" for a great visit, that's why!


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

There's a lot more at this museum than we could have possibly seen during the five hours we were there, but we gave it a great try and had great fun along the way!

I have a model of Marine One that I picked up when I lived in DC and volunteered at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. At the NationL Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, they have a VH-3 Marine One, that you can board! That is the coolest thing ever! That's Barry sanding inside Marine One offering a presidential wave.

In case you didn't know, Marine One is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the President of the United States. That aircraft is typically a helicopter operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One, also known as "Nighthawks". No matter where Marine One lands in the world, the President is always greeted by a Marine! 


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

While a great many of the more than 150 aircraft on display are relatively modern, the collection dates to the beginnings of Naval Aviation. There must be hundreds of thousands of artifacts on display and I can only imagine what's in their collection that's not on display!

When I volunteered for the Smithsonian when I lived in DC, I learned that only about 2% of their holdings are on display at any given time—in their 19 museums! 

I can't imagine anyone not wanting to immediately want to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum as soon as they learn it exists, but if you need a preview for additional motivation, here's a virtual tour!


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I had the awesome experience of volunteering at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum when I lived in DC, one of the most visited museums in the world—the National Naval Aviation Museum is one of the most visited in the state of Florida! 

Between those two museums, the Delta Flight Museum, a helicopter tour, flights with friend pilots (they let me take the "wheel"), a tour of the Rocky Mountains, and domestic and international travel, I've spent an amount of time in the sky, and that's not to mention when I went skydiving! I love the skies!

Barry and I took a ride on one of the flight simulators—actually more than one—at the National Naval Aviation Museum. A word of advice folks...when they say take everything out of your pockets, just do it. It'll mitigate any unplanned landings. Yes, we had an incident, but the operator, after purging the pod of whatever it was that wanted to go clink, clank, clunk, allowed us to continue our flight. "Thank you!


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

When I was in 10th grade, I wanted nothing more than to become a helicopter pilot. Due to some family drama (and lack of tenacity), those dreams were dashed, but I never stopped loving helicopters. I would still love to one day learn how to fly them!

It was many years later when I experienced my first helicopter ride...and was it ever so amazing! I was in Las Vegas, a city I and one of my grandmothers loved, on vacation and a friend who was there for a convention treated me to a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon

We flew over downtown Vegas, over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Grand Canyon and then we LANDED inside the Grand Canyon, had lunch with champagne, had time to explore and make photos and then returned on the same flight path. WOW! What an experience!

Yes, I'm jealous of Navy helicopter pilots, but I also applaud their commitment and service to our country. While exciting, being a helicopter pilot can be dangerous when protecting our country and its allies. "Thank you for your service."


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I've been a space geek since I was...well, I remember watching outer space science fiction movies when I was six years old and loving them! Yes, I was born before humans landed on the moon, but I don't remember that first globally broadcast program—Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. But I did get to work for the company responsible for that global broadcast and met quite a few astronauts during my time there.

One of the astronauts I had the great honor of meeting was Pierre Thuot, a graduate of the Naval Academy and an accomplished Navy pilot. He has piloted more than 40 aircraft! 

When I was working for Intelsat, the world's largest satellite communications company, one of my first projects was to organize the 10th anniversary celebration of the rescue of the Intelsat-603 satellite, on a Space Shuttle Endeavour mission—a spacecraft I later got to see up close and personal. 

Pierre, among many other dignitaries, was one of the guests of honor, as were Mission Commander Daniel Brandenstein (also former Navy) and Shuttle Pilot Kevin Chilton. It was one of the highlights of my life, professionally and personally.


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

My usual souvenir when playing tourist is a book about the attraction or city I'm visiting. One of the books I got on this visit, in their awesome gift shop, was, "National Naval Aviation Museum: The Historic Collection", which includes a section dedicated to Naval Aviation's contributions to our space program.

The above pictured suits are, left to right, the Model 3 (1953); Model 2-A (1954); Mark III (developed specifically for the U.S. Navy) and the XN-17 (1962), an adaption of the Mark IV, which was modified for America's first manned space missions.


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Barry Holland
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Barry Holland

I'm still in touch with some of my Navy buddies and might get to see some of them later this year. The base where I was stationed in Nea Makri, Greece, has long since closed, but there's still an annual reunion. This year it'll be in Tampa, next to St. Petersburg where I was born, so that would be multi-purpose trip. I also have some dear friends there. You just might be seeing a post about those cities later this year!


National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
National Naval Aviation Museum | Pensacola, Florida | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

I mentioned that this is a military and aerospace museum. You will see men and women in uniform throughout your visit. Please thank them for your service, when you can. Also, you will have to go through the Naval Air Station's gates, so be ready to show government issued identification. Show respect when on the base AND have a great time!

Just down the street from the National Naval Aviation Museum is the Pensacola Lighthouse, which we visited immediately after leaving the Museum. Be sure to check it out...and yes, you can climb to the top where you'll have a grand vista of the Museum and the beach!

Remember, make plenty of time to explore the National Naval Aviation Museum. There are so many wonderful things to see here and you can lunch there so you can keep on exploring.

Please find LOTS more photos of my visit on the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook page!

GO NAVY!