I ran into this mix of peaceful intimacy and full-on partying throughout my stay in Pensacola. My husband and I came here for our niece’s wedding and quickly succumbed to its eclecticism. Nestled on the western edge of the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola has a small-town feel. This is “Deep South” Florida, not spring-break-college-destination Florida. It’s a slower-paced alternative to a typical Florida winter retreat, with the overt friendliness of folks who like to live it up and want to share the fun. (Day drinkers, here’s your haven — some happy hours start at 11 a.m. or even earlier). Cheese grits are always an option.

Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola – Ferry Pass – Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area, an area with about 455,102 residents in 2009.
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There is nothing that Pensacola can't do. Whether you are a golfer, shopaholic, outdoor enthusiast or an eternal romantic, there is something for everyone in Pensacola. To start with its beaches are a delight, especially the famous Johnson Beach. If you have kids, then the Pensacola Zoo would be the ideal spot, while for history lovers Fort Pickens acts as the main tourist draw.
Time to break out the picnic basket, as we head on over to the next top pick: Bayview Park. Here you will be able to stretch out on the expansive lawn and enjoy a great time in the sunshine. When you feel the urge to stretch your legs, there are walking trails to get the blood flowing. This is a great place for dog owners, as there is an impressive dog park here, too. Spend some time letting your furry friend run around the park - while you get to barbecuing on the grills provided.
Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels, also known as the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. For a perfectly symmetrical showcase of stellar airplane acrobatics and aeronautical prowess, the Blue Angels give a show-stopping performance. Colorful streamers, twists, turns and flips through the air are all part and parcel of the air show extravaganza that the Blue Angels have become synonymous with.
Although our scenic setting makes you feel like you’re far away from it all, our family friendly accommodations are within walking distance of popular restaurants and you’re close to major tourist attractions such as deep-sea charters, recreational water sports, Naval Air Station—home of the world-famous Blue Angels, Gulf Islands National Seashore, the Zoo at Gulf Breeze, and much more! You’ll find plenty of sightseeing, shopping and entertainment in neighboring Gulf Breeze and downtown Pensacola, too.
Another great feature of this eco-trail is the fact that there are many regular spots where you’ll find QR codes (quick response codes) - which are designed to be scanned using your smartphone, to access more information about the area. If bird watching, walking trails, biking, hiking, running, swimming, snorkelling, and diving is what you would like to get into for your day - then Pensacola Beach Eco-trail is the one to try out, for sure.
The event calendar in Pensacola is full of fun festivals, signature shows, and sensational celebrations. The FooFoo Festival is as unique as any local fete we have ever found. The diverse combination of art, culture, and cuisine features everything from open-air opera to a Big Green Egg cooking competition. The Summer Music Series fills the sunset-sky with the sounds of free live-music at this weekly outdoor concert. As the summer winds down, the flavors heat up at the Pensacola Seafood Festival where 100,000 of your closest friends come together for three days to celebrate the bounties of the Gulf. Finally, the city’s premier event—the Blue Angel Homecoming Show—celebrates the area’s Naval aviation history every November with the Blue Angels performing their aerial acrobatics for all to see.
In 1821, with Andrew Jackson as provisional governor, Pensacola became part of the United States.[19] The Creek continued to interact with European Americans and African Americans, but the dominant whites increasingly imposed their binary racial classifications: white and black ("colored", within which were included free people of color, including Indians). However, American Indians and mestizos were identified separately in court and Catholic church records, and as Indians in censuses up until 1840, attesting to their presence in the society. After that, the Creek were not separately identified as Indian, but the people did not disappear. Even after removal of many Seminole to Indian Territory, Indians, often of mixed-race but culturally identifying as Muskogean, lived throughout Florida.[14]
Another great feature of this eco-trail is the fact that there are many regular spots where you’ll find QR codes (quick response codes) - which are designed to be scanned using your smartphone, to access more information about the area. If bird watching, walking trails, biking, hiking, running, swimming, snorkelling, and diving is what you would like to get into for your day - then Pensacola Beach Eco-trail is the one to try out, for sure.
The entire island was initially owned by the federal government. In order to promote infrastructure and growth on the island, the federal government leased the lands now encompassing Pensacola Beach to the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA), which in turn has leased the property to homeowners. As a result, all structures on the island have 99-year renewable leases with the SRIA rather than ownership of the land itself.

“Protect our coast” proclaim the bumper stickers on the cars in the parking lot of 11Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe 11Ever'man Cooperative Grocery and Cafe Google Map: 315 W. Garden St. Website: https://www.everman.org/ 850-438-0402 , which has carried environmentally sound products and catered to healthy lifestyles since 1973. All of its items adhere to a strict green policy: no MSG, hormones, GMO ingredients, etc. You can grab local organic produce, sandwiches and other fixings for a picnic on the beach, and if you’ve stayed there too long, come back for a chickweed or comfrey salve from Coyote Moon Herb Company to soothe your sunburn. Year-round flowers make honey a popular local product; tupelo flowers grow wild in the Florida Panhandle, and they contribute to a delicate honey that never crystallizes. The coop moved into its current expansive location on West Garden Street in 2014; next door is its education center that offers drop-in classes in cooking and meditation, as well as many tailored to the military community, such as yoga for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.


A colorful retro sign at the foot of the Bob Sikes Bridge points the way to 1Pensacola Beach. 1Pensacola Beach Google Map: Via De Luna Website: https://visitpensacolabeach.com/ 800-874-1234 It’s topped with a striped sailfish and the proclamation “World’s Whitest Beaches.” That famous, wide sweep of sand is the result of quartz particles rinsed thousands of years ago from the Appalachian Mountains and swooshed by rivers into the Gulf of Mexico, where they formed a new shoreline. You can spot sharks, dolphins, manatees and rays from the pier, a popular spot for sunset-watching and fishing. The beach boasts all the routine human comforts — seafood restaurants, hotels, paddle board and water scooter rental shops. But don’t miss its unique feature: the famous healing waters. By this I mean the slushy alcoholic milkshake called a bushwacker. Recipes for this dangerous brew include rum, vanilla ice cream, coconut cream, Kahlúa — you get the idea. I poked into Sandshaker before noon on a Sunday, by which time the bartender told me she had already mixed dozens, including one she whipped up before the bar opened for a guy waiting outside.
There is nothing that Pensacola can't do. Whether you are a golfer, shopaholic, outdoor enthusiast or an eternal romantic, there is something for everyone in Pensacola. To start with its beaches are a delight, especially the famous Johnson Beach. If you have kids, then the Pensacola Zoo would be the ideal spot, while for history lovers Fort Pickens acts as the main tourist draw.
From early 1993 through August 2005 Pensacola was served by the tri-weekly Amtrak Sunset Limited, but service east of New Orleans to Jacksonville and Orlando was suspended due to damage to the rail line of CSX during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Attempts are being made to have service restored. This was previously the route of the Gulf Wind operated by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.[57][58]
The petite, charming Quina House, built in 1820 or earlier, is the oldest house in Pensacola that’s still in its original location, now the heart of the 16Historic District 16Historic District Google Map: 204 S. Alcaniz St. Website: https://pensacolahistoricpreservationsociety.com/quinahouse 850-432-3050 . “It has 1820s air conditioning,” says Ed Muller, docent for the house, “a front door, back door and 12-foot ceilings.” Muller is a treasure trove of history; he will tell you how the Spanish landed in what is now Pensacola Bay six years before they established St. Augustine, on Florida’s Atlantic coast, which lays claim to being the nation’s oldest — but not first — city. That colony was the first to survive beyond a few weeks — in fact, it lasted about two years. Soon after the colonists arrived, a hurricane sank most of their ships and wiped out their provisions, including livestock. (Muller says it’s his belief that most of the settlers died because they didn’t eat oysters.) Eventually even the survivors who had hung on to the shrinking settlement vacated. Over the centuries, the French and Spanish tussled over the region. You can pick up some of those influences in the cottages of this pleasant district. Muller lives two blocks from the Quina House; he moved to Pensacola from New Jersey and says he’ll never leave. “Everyone comes to visit me,” he says, “and I don’t have to go anywhere for vacation.”
Bayview Park offers a great place for a family day of fun in the sun. There is also a boat launch spot, which only adds to the many features that this impressive park has on offer. Whether you find yourself enjoying the gazebo, the expanse of lawn, or minding your children as they play in the playground, you’re sure to have a great day when you spend it the Bayview way.
10Waterboyz 10Waterboyz Google Map: 380 N. 9th Ave. Website: https://www.visitpensacola.com/listing/waterboyz-skate-park/1607/ 850-433-2929 isn’t just a surf shop; it’s a community hub. When owner Sean Fell moved from selling surfboards out of his garage to a retail space, he knew he needed something special to compete against the Internet. Along with the surfboards, rash-guard shirts, sunscreen, hats, sandals and any surfing supplies a beach-bound body could desire, he added an indoor skate park. Then the recession hit, followed by the BP oil spill, and as business began to slide, Fell came up with another idea: a cafe “to go along with our scene,” he says. “We base it off food that we ate on surf trips to Central America and Hawaii — fresh and healthy, no fries.” Among Cafe Single Fin’s offerings are Sunzal chicken tacos, named for the famed El Salvador wave, and the Pavones acai bowl, after the Costa Rican surf spot.
Given its location on the Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola's food scene is anchored by fresh seafood, with many area restaurants featuring the catch of the day. Meanwhile, the Wisteria Tavern, which began as a grocery supply store in the 1920s and early '30s, became a tavern in 1935. Serving more than 100 different beers, the tavern has long been popular with anglers coming off the water and hunters returning from the woods.
Located north of the Bayou Texar from downtown Pensacola, the Pensacola International Airport is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Nonstop flights are available to major destinations around the country, including Houston, the District of Columbia and Miami. There is also a Greyhound bus terminal north of downtown near the intersection of Route 29 and Interstate 10.
The beach is stunning, and very relaxing on off-season. If you are up for visiting Pensacola, and are not wanting seafood every day for every meal, check out the Tin Cow in historic downtown Pensacola. It’s an awesome build your own burger place with amazing toppings and sauces, and they serve THE BEST spiked milkshakes! Perfect for trying the famous Bushwakers that Pensacola is known for!

During the early years of settlement, a tri-racial creole society developed. As a fortified trading post, the Spanish had mostly men stationed here. Some married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, and their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos. The Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683.[23]
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