There are a number of annual festivals, events, historic tours, and landmarks. The Pensacola Seafood Festival and The Pensacola Crawfish Festival held in the heart of historic Downtown has been held for nearly 30 years with live music acts. The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is held annually in November in Seville Square often drawing more than 200 regional and international artists as well as The Children's Art Festival which is held in the same park featuring art by children from local area schools. Pensacon is an annual comic convention held each February, that brings in close to 25,000 people from all around the world.
Pensacola and several surrounding areas were devastated by Hurricane Ivan. Pensacola was on the eastern side of the eyewall, which sent a large storm surge into Escambia Bay; this destroyed most of the I-10 Escambia Bay Bridge. The storm knocked 58 spans off the eastbound and westbound bridges and misaligned another 66 spans, forcing the bridge to close to traffic in both directions. The surge also destroyed the fishing bridge that spanned Pensacola Bay alongside the Phillip Beale Memorial Bridge, locally known as the Three Mile Bridge.
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.
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It could be a comedy, tragedy or musical, time at Saenger Theatre is a great way to while away a few hours. Need some more options? Veterans Memorial Park is a remarkable structure that stands as a reminder of past events. But that's not all! Does it leave you with an impression? What was the artist trying to achieve? Ask yourself these and other questions as you walk the corridors of Pensacola Museum of Art, a well-liked art institution.
St. Michael's Cemetery was established in the 18th century at a location in a south central part of the city, which developed as the Downtown area. Initially owned by the Church of St. Michael, it is now owned and managed by St. Michael's Cemetery Foundation of Pensacola, Inc. Preliminary studies indicate that there are over 3,200 marked burials as well as a large number unmarked.
City voters approved a charter amendment on June 11, 2013 which eliminated the then-nine member council's two at-large seats; one seat was phased out in November 2014, and the other expired in November 2016. Two additional charter amendments were approved on November 4, 2014 which made the position of mayor subject to recall and provided the city council with the authority to hire staff. The current city hall was opened in 1986.
One of the oldest metro areas in Florida, Pensacola is full of ways to experience its local history, from exploring the area's historic districts to touring sites like the National Naval Aviation Museum; the historic T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum; and the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. Another must-see is Fort Pickens. Located on the Gulf Islands National Seashore, it was one of only four Southern forts that Confederate forces were never able to occupy during the Civil War.
Pensacola loves its Blue Angels; you’ll find pictures of the blue-and-gold aircraft painted on local bridges. Head west of the city to visit their home base, Naval Air Station Pensacola, where practices start up again in March. The base also hosts the 4National Naval Aviation Museum, 4National Naval Aviation Museum Google Map: 1750 Radford Blvd., Naval Air Station Pensacola Website: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/ 850-452-3604 or 850-452-3606 open year-round. It’s the world’s largest, and you can easily spend half a day or more among its minutely detailed aircraft carrier models and restored aircraft, including the World War II Corsair, nicknamed “Whistling Death,” with its unique inverted gull wing, and the Que Sera Sera, the first aircraft to land at the South Pole. “Home Front U.S.A.,” an exhibit of small-town life in 1943, re-creates a street lined with wartime grocery and barber shops, full of vintage treasures. At the museum’s heart is a 10,000-square-foot atrium, where four historic Blue Angels aircraft hang overhead in perfect formation. Admission is free.
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.
Retro touches are Pensacola’s leitmotif and nowhere more so than at the 13Solé Inn and Suites 13Solé Inn and Suites Google Map: 200 N. Palafox St. Website: http://soleinnandsuites.com/ 850-470-9298 . This once-ordinary 1958 motel got a vintage facelift, and now its 45 rooms sport modish black-and-white decor, zebra-print pillows and glossy furniture. It’s still a relatively simple place, but the location is perfect for exploring downtown. There’s free breakfast and a happy hour; you can take your wine to the patio and sit by the fountain and contemplate your nightly entertainment choices, which are likely to be only a short walk away.
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.
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The best-known Pensacola culture site in terms of archeology is the Bottle Creek site, a large site located 59 miles (95 km) west of Pensacola north of Mobile, Alabama. This site has at least 18 large earthwork mounds, five of which are arranged around a central plaza. Its main occupation was from 1250 AD to 1550. It was a ceremonial center for the Pensacola people and a gateway to their society. This site would have had easy access by a dugout canoe, the main mode of transportation used by the Pensacola.