Pensacola, FL

Travel Guide

This northwest Florida coastal city is famous for its beautiful beaches and for being one spot where Europeans first settled in the United States.

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.

Where to stay in Pensacola

Quality Inn & Suites Pensacola Bayview
Quality Inn & Suites Pensacola Bayview
2.5 out of 5
7601 Scenic Highway, Pensacola, FL, 32504
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $99 per night from May 23 to May 24
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Pensacola. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and an outdoor pool. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
3.5/5 Good! (977 reviews)
"Couldn’t get a handicap room, had use toilet in bathroom close to the lobby, which was a full handicap bathroom."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Quality Inn & Suites Pensacola Bayview
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Pensacola West, FL
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Pensacola West, FL
2.5 out of 5
2607 Wilde Lake Blvd, Pensacola, FL, 32526
The price is $140 per night from Jun 19 to Jun 20
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Pensacola. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the pool in our reviews. ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (949 reviews)
"The staff are super friendly and helpful!"

Reviewed on May 17, 2022

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Pensacola West, FL
Hotel Pensacola
Hotel Pensacola
2.5 out of 5
6703 Pensacola Blvd, Pensacola, FL, 32505
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $139 per night from May 23 to May 24
Stay at this business-friendly hotel in Pensacola. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,048 reviews)
"Service was great! Clean hotel. We left a different hotel less than a mile away because it was so dirty and unsafe- this was a relief."

Reviewed on May 13, 2022

Hotel Pensacola
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Extended Stay
Extended Stay
2.5 out of 5
6950 Pensacola Blvd., Pensacola, FL, 32505
Stay at this aparthotel in Pensacola. Enjoy free parking, WiFi, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the WiFi and the convenient parking in our reviews. ...
2/5 (112 reviews)
"Was so bad that I canceled my next stay"

Reviewed on May 8, 2022

Extended Stay
Beachfront Windemere Condos by Hosteeva
Beachfront Windemere Condos by Hosteeva
3.5 out of 5
14511 Perdido Key Drive, Pensacola, FL, 32507
Stay at this 3.5-star beach condo in Pensacola. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the pool and the spacious rooms in our ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (10 reviews)
"parking was ridiculous. no assigned spot for the unit. it was a crapshoot whether we had a spot or if we had to park across the street and play frogger with my children and senior citizen mother unit was relatively clean, but did notice quite a few bugs really wish there was more on-site support--folks ..."

Reviewed on Apr 4, 2022

Beachfront Windemere Condos by Hosteeva
Tropical Oasis at the Beach! Balcony with Beach Views & Easy Walk to the Gulf
Tropical Oasis at the Beach! Balcony with Beach Views & Easy Walk to the Gulf
Pensacola, FL
Stay at this condo in Pensacola. Enjoy free WiFi, a spa tub, and an in-room DVD player. Popular attractions Lost Key Golf Club and Big Lagoon State Park are ...
5/5 Exceptional! (2 reviews)
2021 beach vac
"Great location good rental. Appliances need updating."

Reviewed on Nov 4, 2021

Tropical Oasis at the Beach! Balcony with Beach Views & Easy Walk to the Gulf
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Pensacola

Public transportation options are not extensive in Pensacola, so car rental may be the best way to explore the city and its surroundings. There’s plenty of free parking across the city, although you may have to pay to park downtown. Cycling is another option if you plan to see a relatively small area. Bus routes in the city do not go everywhere and are of more use to commuters. Visit the Escambia County Area Transit website.Browse Pensacola rental cars.

Best time to visit

Pensacola is a very popular summer vacation spot for families in summer, so you’ll have more space to yourself if you visit in the fall instead. Temperatures at this time are also less hot and more pleasant, while there is less risk of hurricanes. Both those things are also true in spring, but at this time of year spring breakers descend on the city, making fall the perfect time for good weather and smaller crowds.

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