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. 

Downtown 15Palafox Street 15Palafox Street Website: https://downtownpensacola.com/ 850-434-5371 didn’t used to be anywhere you would want to wander, locals tell me. But this central avenue began to thrive during the past decade, with new restaurants and bars moving in. Some of the resurgence was due to the infusion of cash the community received as a result of the oil spill, says Rennie, the jeweler, of Blue Morning Gallery. Palafox offers a lovely stretch for window-shopping, a long walk or serious buying: It’s lined with appealing eateries, specialty shops and boutiques, with a weekend farmers market at the north end and the bay at the south. The third Friday of every month is Gallery Night, when food trucks and live bands set up, and shops stay open until 11 p.m. Early in the morning, you might walk all the way down Palafox to the pier, watch people fishing, then grab a coffee at the two-story Bodacious Brew. For $3.50, they’ll put all the major food groups into a bowl of Bodacious Grits: Gouda cheese, green onion, roasted corn, olive oil and heavy cream. And blanketed under it all, grits elevated to an art form.
Located in Pensacola Beach, this nonsmoking beachfront hotel is 5 minutes' walk to the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier. It features an outdoor pool, on-site fitness center, and an in-room flat-screen TV. The night staff who received us was so helpfull! Our Booking reservation had not arrived and he went out of his way to solve the problem! The sea view was a plus. Breakfast was great
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.
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Downtown 15Palafox Street 15Palafox Street Website: https://downtownpensacola.com/ 850-434-5371 didn’t used to be anywhere you would want to wander, locals tell me. But this central avenue began to thrive during the past decade, with new restaurants and bars moving in. Some of the resurgence was due to the infusion of cash the community received as a result of the oil spill, says Rennie, the jeweler, of Blue Morning Gallery. Palafox offers a lovely stretch for window-shopping, a long walk or serious buying: It’s lined with appealing eateries, specialty shops and boutiques, with a weekend farmers market at the north end and the bay at the south. The third Friday of every month is Gallery Night, when food trucks and live bands set up, and shops stay open until 11 p.m. Early in the morning, you might walk all the way down Palafox to the pier, watch people fishing, then grab a coffee at the two-story Bodacious Brew. For $3.50, they’ll put all the major food groups into a bowl of Bodacious Grits: Gouda cheese, green onion, roasted corn, olive oil and heavy cream. And blanketed under it all, grits elevated to an art form.
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.
The resurgence of Pensacola’s downtown in the past few years means several old factories and warehouses near the bay got spruced up and repurposed. One of these was a former box factory, which has been converted into the 14New World Inn. 14New World Inn Google Map: 600 S. Palafox St. Website: https://skopelosatnewworld.com/stay/about-new-world/ 850-432-4111 It also houses Skopelos, a gourmet restaurant. Each room in this upscale hotel is decorated differently and named for a figure from Pensacola’s rich history. The most popular, according to manager Amanda Kirk-Pennington, is the Rachel and Andrew Jackson suite, a favorite of newlyweds, with its California king bed, antique writing desk and separate lounge area. Other rooms — especially those on the second floor — look out onto the waterfront, such as the Vicente Sebastián Pintado, named for a Spanish surveyor who in the early 1800s drew up the plan for Pensacola’s streets. But, um, beware: “We do have a reputation for being haunted,” Kirk-Pennington says. “You’ll hear doors opening or doorknobs that’ll shake. We recently had a guest call down and say things were shaking in his room. But it’s all very benign,” she assures me. “The building is 120 years old, so it stands to reason it would have some quirks.” 
During the early years of settlement, a tri-racial creole society developed. As a fortified trading post, the Spanish had mostly men stationed here. Some married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, and their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos. The Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683.[23]
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