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.
After getting settled at your accommodation of choice, you'll likely want to venture out and explore. If you can't wait to check out the beaches, head to Gulf Islands National Seashore or Bayview Beach Park for a relaxing day by the water. Experience the area's live music and biking trails, and make time for local attractions like Portofino Boardwalk and Pensacola Beach Pier. For more things to see and do, consider visiting Fort Pickens or Santa Rosa Island.
Browse the array of local art at the Artworks Studio & Gallery. There’s jewelry, pottery, canvas works and more on display. The quaint little shop has much to offer, even if you’re on a budget. Meet some artists and admire their work. It’s an ideal place to find some souvenirs and mementos of your vacation. You can even sign up for a painting class if you like the idea of learning. Take a break out of the hot sun, or spend an enjoyable time on a rainy day. If you take the art class, it’s more affordable than many beach activities.
Seafood restaurants crowd the waterfront, but the bustling Joe Patti’s Seafood market stands apart, under a towering neon shrimp sign. Enter by the beignet wagon, and you’ll find an enormous fish market, which is worth a visit just to gape at the sea-dwelling varieties and their sizes. The humble restaurant next door is 8Captain Joey Patti’s Seafood Restaurant. 8Captain Joey Patti's Seafood Restaurant Google Map: 610 S. C St. Website: http://captainjoeysdeli.com/ 850-434-3193 odd hours/days This low-ceilinged blue bunker has no view of the water. It has no atmosphere. Ceiling fans whirl overhead. You eat over paper place mats with plastic utensils. Start with the thick, fiery seafood gumbo but leave room for heaping platters of fried fish. Mullet — you might know it elsewhere as a bait fish — is a rich-flavored specialty. “Did y’all get coleslaw?” our server asks, sliding crisp, sweet bowls of it across the table. Everything here is fresh. Stick a fork in the fried oysters, and juice jumps out; the oysters melt in your mouth. Did the cheese grits descend from heaven? Maybe so; they are that luscious. My physiological limits vexingly got in the way of what I wanted to do here: eat it all and then some.
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.
Keep in mind that although the entire island's beaches are known as Pensacola Beach, there are also names for the smaller strips of sand therein. For instance, Quietwater Beach is located on the sound side, stretching from the Portofino Boardwalk to the Pensacola Beach bridge tollbooth, and it's very family-friendly with its lifeguard protection and its "quiet waters." Casino Beach is located on the Gulf and has a host of amenities, including restrooms, changing rooms, lifeguards, a fishing pier and more. You'll find this beach just south of the intersection of Via de Luna and Fort Pickens Road.
Birthplace of: Charles H. Percy - Businessman, Michael Hayes (wrestler) - Professional wrestler, Mike McCready - Musician, Roy Jones, Jr. - Rapper, Betty Skelton Erde - Aerobatic pilot, Bill Kurtis - Television producer, Katharine Jefferts Schori - Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the of America, Aaron Tippin - Country musician and record producer, Johanna Long - Race car driver, Norvell Austin - Retired professional wrestler.
Corry Station Naval Technical Training Center serves as an annex for the main base and the Center for Information Dominance. CWO3 Gary R. Schuetz Memorial Health Clinic is at Corry Station, Naval Hospital Pensacola, as is the main Navy Exchange and Defense Commissary Agency commissary complex for both Corry Station and NAS Pensacola. The Army National Guard B Troop 1-153 Cavalry, Bravo Company 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion is stationed in Pensacola.
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.
Time to break out the picnic basket, as we head on over to the next top pick: Bayview Park. Here you will be able to stretch out on the expansive lawn and enjoy a great time in the sunshine. When you feel the urge to stretch your legs, there are walking trails to get the blood flowing. This is a great place for dog owners, as there is an impressive dog park here, too. Spend some time letting your furry friend run around the park - while you get to barbecuing on the grills provided.
A sidewalk aroma tells you all you need to know about the fried-chicken haven that awaits you inside the 75 Sisters Blues Cafe 75 Sisters Blues Cafe Google Map: 421 W. Belmont St. Website: https://fivesistersbluescafe.com/ 850-912-4856 . This stylish restaurant serves up comfort food galore: The black-eyed peas are soft and velvety; the collards have a tart punch; the grits are so creamy they’re like an emotion. Sweet potatoes raise to ambrosial heights, honeyed and warm. Wash them down with the bloody mary of your dreams: garnished with okra and a fried chicken wing. “It’s your fix for the day,” says co-owner Jean-Pierre N’Dione with a laugh. Born in Senegal, raised in France, he’s lived in Pensacola for 20 years. With his cocktails, food, live music on many evenings and a Sunday jazz brunch, he strives to evoke the spirit of the restaurant’s Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood. Historically, it was an African American hot spot during segregation. “We owe it to those people,” N’Dione says, “to re-create that atmosphere.”
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.