The city has been referred to as "The Cradle of Naval Aviation". Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) was the first Naval Air Station commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1914. Tens of thousands naval aviators have received their training there, including John H. Glenn, USMC, who became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962, and Neil Armstrong, who became the first man to set foot on the moon in 1969. The Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, is stationed there.
The white sand was so fluffy! It was so clean and didn't burn our feet. The water was beautiful and it was the perfect temperature. There weren't a whole lot of waves to jump, but it was still fun and relaxing. The Blue Angels practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays depending upon their schedule and the weather. I highly recommend making time for this privilege!
Pensacola Beach is zoned (assigned to) a different ECSD elementary school, Suter Elementary School, as well as Workman Middle School, and Pensacola High School. However most students in Pensacola Beach attend Santa Rosa County School District schools in Gulf Breeze for middle and high school grades: they would include Gulf Breeze Middle School and Gulf Breeze High School. In addition, some attend Pensacola-area magnet schools.
While generally cooler than most of peninsular Florida, Pensacola Beach maintains a more stable temperature year round than inland areas of Pensacola and Escambia County. As such, winter lows are several degrees warmer than Pensacola proper and summer highs are generally cooler as a result of the surrounding waters. As with many islands, Pensacola Beach enjoys sea breezes which begin around noon and end around sunset in the summer. The average temperature ranges from forty-eight degrees Fahrenheit in January to eighty-nine degrees in July.
Snow is rare in Pensacola, but does occasionally fall. The most recent snowfall event occurred December 9, 2017, and the snow event previous to it occurred on February 12, 2010. The city receives 65.27 inches (1,660 mm) of precipitation per year, with a slightly more rainy season in the summer. The rainiest month is July, with 7.40 inches (188 mm), with May being the driest month at 4.17 inches (106 mm). In June 2012 over one foot (300 mm) of rain fell on Pensacola and adjacent areas, leading to widespread flooding. On April 29, 2014. Pensacola was drenched by at least 20 inches of rain within a 24-hour period, causing the worst flooding in 30 years
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. In 2001 the Pensacola Beach Elementary lost its direct district operational control and became a charter school. 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".
Pensacola is home to WEAR-TV, the ABC affiliate for Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, and Mobile, Alabama, and WSRE-TV, the local PBS member station, which is operated by Pensacola State College. Other television stations in the market include WALA-TV, the Fox affiliate; WKRG, the CBS affiliate; and WPMI, the NBC affiliate, which all are located in Mobile. Cable service in the city is provided by Cox Communications and AT&T U-Verse. WUWF is the area's NPR affiliate and is based at the University of West Florida. WPCS (FM) is broadcast from the Pensacola Christian College campus, where the nationwide Rejoice Radio Network maintains its studio.
The National Naval Aviation Museum, one of the largest aviation museums in the world, has approximately 150 aircraft on display aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola. NAS Pensacola is also the home of the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, and visitors are welcome to watch the team’s aerial acrobatics at practice air shows on select dates March through November.
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.
Although the government has changed numerous times throughout Pensacola's history, one thing has remained constant: the region's natural beauty. The beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico are renowned for their white sand and emerald waves. Pensacola provides a gateway to an amazing fishery. Bays are popular with anglers, while offshore fishermen pull up grouper and snapper from the deeper Gulf waters.
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 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: