The hub of beach activity, Casino Beach, on Pensacola Beach, is named after the original casino that stood in this location and is a popular beach access. The location is dotted with restaurants and family entertainment areas. It is situated next to the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier and is equipped with lifeguard stands and station, volleyball courts, snack bar and large parking lot. The Gulfside Pavilion hosts a "Bands on the Beach" concert series during the summer tourist season.
In 1821, with Andrew Jackson as provisional governor, Pensacola became part of the United States. 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.
Most residents choose to navigate the metro area by car. A number of major thoroughfares traverse the region: Interstate 110 runs north to south, connecting central Pensacola with Interstate 10, which moves east to west across Florida. Meanwhile, Routes 29, 90 and 98 link the downtown area with nearby communities like Ensley, Myrtle Grove and Bellview. Those who don't have a car can rely on the Escambia County Area Transit, or ECAT, system, which operates bus and trolley routes throughout the greater Pensacola area. However, access to the transit system becomes less extensive the farther you are from central Pensacola.
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.
The region's warm climate and desirable setting isn't the only reason people choose to live in Pensacola. The military has a relatively small, though very significant, presence here. The Naval Air Station Pensacola was the first of its kind commissioned by the U.S. Navy, and its job prospects draw military families. Residents also find employment in the health care, manufacturing and, of course, tourism sectors.
The beach is not just famous and breathtakingly beautiful, with its sugar-white sand and turquoise water; it’s also clean enough to lure several rare species of sea turtles, it’s an inspiration to countless local artists, and it’s a geological reminder of the precarious purity of this region. The 2010 BP oil spill blackened it; its subsequent cleansing coincided with the upswing of growth downtown and a cultural and economic rebirth. Just about everywhere we turned — whether poking into galleries or cafes, or strolling the beach — we felt a buzz of creativity, whimsy and high spirits.
In 1559, Tristán de Luna y Arellano landed with some 1,500 people on 11 ships from Veracruz, Mexico. The expedition was to establish an outpost, ultimately called Santa María de Ochuse by Luna, as a base for Spanish efforts to colonize Santa Elena (present-day Parris Island, South Carolina.) But the colony was decimated by a hurricane on September 19, 1559, which killed an unknown number of sailors and colonists, sank six ships, grounded a seventh, and ruined supplies.