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.

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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!


Take in the impressive views and explore the Pensacola Beach Eco-trail. This 8.5 miles (13.7 km) of natural surrounds, also known as ‘Footprints in the Sand Eco-trail’, is a great way to spend the day with the kids, or to get out and experience beach life. This fantastic eco-trail is great for learning all about the indigenous flora and fauna of the vicinity, not limited to but including turtles, tropical fish, dolphins, sharks, and birds.
In 1559, Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano led the first settlement of the region.[2] His 11 ships, with 1500 settlers,[2] anchored in the bay and established its colony on the site of today's Naval Air Station Pensacola. A hurricane decimated the colony a few weeks later, killing hundreds and sinking 5 ships.[2] Suffering long-term famine and fighting, this first settlement was finally abandoned in 1561.[2] A presidio was constructed on Santa Rosa Island in 1722 near the location of the more recent Fort Pickens. Hurricanes in 1741 and 1752[3] forced its relocation to the mainland.

I’m driving on Via De Luna through Pensacola Beach, and I’ve soon left the condos behind. The name changes to Fort Pickens Road, running through unspoiled dunes and leading me into 3Gulf Islands National Seashore. 3Gulf Islands National Seashore Google Map: Fort Pickens Road Website: https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/florida.htm 850-934-2600 Pensacola Beach is actually part of a barrier island across Pensacola Bay from the city of Pensacola. The west end of that barrier island is in this protected park, bordered by spotless white sand and bunchy green knobs of sandhill rosemary. Beyond, on either side of me, there’s all that clear, sparkling water. Suddenly I’m in my bathing suit, standing shin-deep in the gulf, watching little fish dart around my toes. A few sandpipers pick their way to the water’s edge, and together we study the marine life beneath the waves. It doesn’t occur to me to do anything else. Later, I remember my mission and drive to the island’s tip to tour Fort Pickens, construction of which ended in 1834. It was, in its era, a war machine, with more than 200 cannons as well as tunnels filled with gunpowder. You can catch a ferryboat from here; just last summer, a ferry system started shuttling passengers from Pensacola to Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens.
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 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!

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.


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.

There is one school on Pensacola Beach. The Pensacola Beach Elementary School, within the Escambia County School District (ECSD), is for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. This school has an enrollment ranging from 120 to 140 students. All elementary-school age children on Pensacola Beach are eligible to attend the school. The first year the school was open, for the school year 1977–1978, classes were held in an empty A-frame house. The Pensacola Beach Volunteer Fire Department building was also used in aiding the teachers and administrators. In November 1977, four portable buildings were moved to the present site. They school has received the 5 Star School award since 1998.[citation needed] In 2001 the Pensacola Beach Elementary lost its direct district operational control and became a charter school.[15] In September 2004 Hurricane Ivan destroyed an office and four classrooms. Jeff Castleberry, the principal, argued that ECSD would have closed the school if it had direct operational control. The costs to fix the damage at Pensacola Beach Elementary was $1.5 million. The campus is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico and is built on stilt. In 2016 Thomas St. Myer of the Pensacola News Journal described it as one of several Escambia County charter schools that "exemplify charter schools at their finest".[16]
The area was originally inhabited by Muskogean language peoples. The Pensacola people lived there at the time of European contact, and Creek people frequently visited and traded from present-day southern Alabama. Spanish explorer Tristán de Luna founded a short-lived settlement in 1559.[12] In 1698 the Spanish established a presidio in the area, from which the modern city gradually developed. The area changed hands several times as European powers competed in North America. During Florida's British rule (1763–1781), fortifications were strengthened.
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