It’s Saturday evening in Pensacola, Fla. Past the shops and eateries that line Palafox Street downtown, a wedding reception fills one of several restored historical buildings with light and laughter. Guests spill out onto the sidewalk, while out back couples dance on a terrace overlooking Pensacola Bay. Fireworks burst against the starry sky; they’re set off at the nearby stadium after every home game, win or lose, played by the Blue Wahoos, the city’s minor-league baseball team. There’s a quieter, more romantic vibe as I skirt the wharf and stroll pass the boats. On the deck of one sailboat, lovers slow-dance in the shadows to Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.”
British military resources were limited and Pensacola ranked fairly low on their list of priorities. For this reason only small token amounts of British military forces were ever sent to defend Pensacola. This was in contrast to colonies such as South Carolina, where large numbers of British soldiers were sent. After Spain joined the American Revolution in 1779 on the side of the rebels, Spanish forces captured the city in the 1781 Battle of Pensacola, gaining control of West Florida. After the war, the British officially ceded both West Florida and East Florida to Spain as part of the post-war peace settlement.
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.
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.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
In 1559, Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano led the first settlement of the region. His 11 ships, with 1500 settlers, 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. Suffering long-term famine and fighting, this first settlement was finally abandoned in 1561. A presidio was constructed on Santa Rosa Island in 1722 near the location of the more recent Fort Pickens. Hurricanes in 1741 and 1752 forced its relocation to the mainland.
A trip to Pensacola would be incomplete without a venture downtown on a Saturday morning (9.00am to 2.00pm) to Palafox Market. Do yourself a huge favour and make this particular experience a ‘must-do’, during your travels in P-cola. What began as a modest 5-month seasonal market, with 25 vendors, has grown exponentially to where it now open all year round, boasting over 85 weekly vendors.
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.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
For more than 30 years the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce has been a leading voice for business on Santa Rosa Island. Our membership of 200+ businesses is diverse and representative of our community. Governed by a Board of Directors of local business leaders, we represent a variety of industries, business size and geographic locations, not restricted to beach-bound locations. Advocacy is the cornerstone of our Chamber and is why we are growing in our role of influence. The Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce is a strong proponent of local economic growth and serves as a platform through which our members and the community can thrive. The PBCC is a voluntary partnership of business and professional people, working in unison to create a healthy economy and improve the quality of life for individuals on Pensacola Beach. The Chamber exists to strengthen, enhance and encourage the prosperity of existing business and the development of new ones. As your Chamber strives to accomplish these goals, it plays many roles: economic developer, tourist information center, business spokesperson, economic counselor and public relations practitioner. HOW CAN WE HELP YOU THRIVE THIS YEAR?
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.
Margaritaville Beach Hotel – If you are searching for a true destination hotel where you can lay back and savor every minute of your stay like a salt-rimmed tequila cocktail, look no further than Margaritaville. With the silky sand at its feet, the hotel boasts daily entertainment, an on-site beach bar, stand-up paddleboard and beach cruiser rentals, and a therapeutic spa.
In the late 17th century, the French began exploring the lower Mississippi River with the intention of colonizing the region as part of La Louisiane or New France in North America. Fearful that Spanish territory would be threatened, the Spanish founded a new settlement in western Florida. In 1698 they established a fortified town near what is now Fort Barrancas, laying the foundation for permanent European-dominated settlement of the modern city of Pensacola. The Spanish built three presidios in Pensacola: