Boasting some of the whitest sands and bluest waters you’ve ever seen, Pensacola, Florida is a national treasure. Pensacola Beach and nearby Perdido Key, meaning lost island, rank as some of the best beaches in the country, with abundant snorkeling and diving opportunities.
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Located just south of Alabama in the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola is just a stone crab’s throw away from fun-loving New Orleans.
Sitting along the shores of the mighty Gulf of Mexico, Pensacola offers vibrant downtown and uptown areas with plenty of eclectic shops and restaurants.
Originally founded by a Spanish sailor named Don Tristan de Luna in 1559, Pensacola was actually the first European settlement in the New World.
Known as the “City of Five Flags,” Pensacola was occupied at various times by Spain, Britain, France, the Confederacy and finally the United States. The area’s wide range of architectural styles from French Creole to Greek Revival further emphasizes the town’s checkered history.
A walk down the old-fashioned brick sidewalks of historic Pensacola Village and quaint museums offers a peak into the city’s past; while plentiful outdoor family-friendly attractions from water parks to bike trails provide a bridge to its future.
What To Do
Stroll through Palafox Street in downtown Pensacola, where quaint shops sell a variety of goods from high-end fashion to gourmet treats. Pamper body and soul at a nearby spa.
Walk along the bluffs on Escambia Bay, the Bayou Marcus Wetlands’ mile-long boardwalk, or verdant Edward Ball Nature Trail. Paddleboard over Big Lagoon State Park, Fillingim Landing, Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve and more. Scuba dive in the artificial reef housing the former USS Oriskany aircraft carrier, called the Mighty O and “The Great Carrier Reef.”
Watch dolphins play in the waves during a captivating boat cruise. Keep your eyes on the skies at Pensacola’s National Naval Aviation Museum. Spark your kid’s imagination at the interactive Pensacola Children's Museum.
Fire up your own imagination with an entertaining evening at the Pensacola Opera, the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Pensacola, historic Saenger Theatre or enriching Pensacola Museum of Art.
When to Go
Like most of northern Florida, Pensacola enjoys cooler winter months and hot, occasionally rainy summer days. Boasting around 343 days of blessed sunshine per year, plus an average daily temperature of 68 F, any time is clearly the right time to visit Pensacola. Swimmers and snorkelers will love the warm summer waters in the mid-80s. During the winter, waters remain around the mid-60s.