Pensacola is a beach city with miles of white-sand shoreline. Enjoy snorkeling, diving, swimming, sailing, sunbathing and other activities centering on the water. But Pensacola also charms with its museums, galleries, family attractions and history and traditions of its downtown area.
A 1559 Spanish outpost at this location was one of the oldest European settlements in the United States. Pensacola is known as the “City of Five Flags” because Spain, Britain, France, the Confederacy and the United States have each ruled the area at various times.
Investigate Pensacola’s diverse past with a walk through the historic downtown district. Note the mixture of building styles, including British timber cottages and stucco homes with wrought-iron balconies that reflect Spanish influences. Stand in Plaza Ferdinand where General Andrew Jackson, who would later become the president of the United States, claimed Florida from Spain in 1821.
Visit Historic Pensacola Village, comprising 27 properties and museums, including an 18th-century church and early 19th-century homes. While you are here, follow the Colonial Archeological Trail, a self-guided walking tour that takes you to colonial ruins, fortresses and other structures.
With Pensacola’s year-round sunshine and a moderately warm climate, most visitors head directly to the beach; there are many to choose from. One of the most popular is Pensacola Beach, a 10-minute drive from downtown, on the western end of Santa Rosa Island. Cross the Pensacola Bay Bridge to reach this long and narrow barrier island.
Lie on the sand or choose from the many water activities: parasailing, surfing, kayaking and more. Enjoy free events and activities. Bands on the Beach concerts are held every Tuesday from April through October. One annual highlight in July is the Pensacola Beach Air Show, featuring the Blue Angels, the United States Navy's flight demonstration squadron.
Treat yourself to a great night out by heading back downtown. Watch a live performance at the Saenger Theatre and relax in the oyster bars, international restaurants and clubs.