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Pensacola, FL
Travel Guide

Pensacola Beach which includes a beach, a sunset and general coastal views

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

Surf & Sand Hotel
Surf & Sand Hotel
2 out of 5
40 Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, FL
The price is $149 per night from May 13 to May 13
Offering direct access to the beach, this Pensacola Beach hotel is in the city center, 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Pensacola Beach Pier, and within 9 mi (15 km) of ...
3.7/5Good! (1,567 reviews)
"Friendly staff . Great amenities needs bathroom doors replaced ."

Reviewed on May 2, 2021

Surf & Sand Hotel
Hilton Pensacola Beach
Hilton Pensacola Beach
4 out of 5
12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL
The price is $299 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in Pensacola Beach, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of Casino Beach and Pensacola Beach Pier. Opal Beach and ...
4/5Very Good! (937 reviews)
"I like the beach access, pools, etc. I was a bit surprised they don't clean the rooms and provide clean sheets/towels unless you request it."

Reviewed on May 3, 2021

Hilton Pensacola Beach
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
14 Via De Luna Drive, Pensacola Beach, FL
The price is $545 per night from May 30 to May 30
Located in Pensacola Beach, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 15-minute walk of Casino Beach and Pensacola Beach Pier. Opal Beach and ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (959 reviews)
"On the beach- nice pool area. Rooms were clean, microwave, fridge and keurig coffee maker in room. Riptide in hotel for quick lunch or dinner. We were aware but to park in the hotel parking lot was $15, if you want to rent chairs and umbrella on the beach was $40/day or $10/hour which seemed like ..."

Reviewed on May 1, 2021

Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, an IHG Hotel
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.
Newly Renovated!! The Gathering Place!!
Newly Renovated!! The Gathering Place!!
Pensacola, FL
The price is $229 per night from May 10 to May 10
Located in Southeast Pensacola, this vacation home is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Cordova Mall. Roger Scott ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (2 reviews)
Pensacola
"The residence was very clean and well maintained."

Reviewed on Apr 12, 2021

Newly Renovated!! The Gathering Place!!
Great Views of the Water From Your Covered Balcony! Boat Parking Available
Great Views of the Water From Your Covered Balcony! Boat Parking Available
Pensacola Beach, FL
Located in Villa Sabine, this condo building is within a 15-minute walk of Casino Beach and Pensacola Beach Pier. Portofino Boardwalk and Opal Beach are also ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
A week long getaway
"Everything was fantastic from the booking process, the condo is well equipped as advertised and the view is excellent. The only complaint is the weather refused to cooperate with us. There's still plenty of activities to enjoy even when it's raining. We took advantage of all we could. We will be ..."

Reviewed on May 4, 2021

Great Views of the Water From Your Covered Balcony! Boat Parking Available
Beautiful 3 bedroom/3 bath Starboard Village Condo. Steps to Pool and Beach!
Beautiful 3 bedroom/3 bath Starboard Village Condo. Steps to Pool and Beach!
Pensacola Beach, FL
Situated by the sea, this historic condo building is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Park West On-Leash Dog Beach and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Pensacola Beach Pier. Casino ...
5/5Exceptional! (33 reviews)
Pensacola beach. Starboard village
"Great property , beautiful beach, attentive managers. Would stay again !"

Reviewed on Apr 25, 2021

Beautiful 3 bedroom/3 bath Starboard Village Condo. Steps to Pool and Beach!
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.

Popular places to visit in Pensacola

Top things to do in Pensacola

Reviews of Pensacola

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
957
5 - Excellent 41.0025706940874%
4 - Good
991
4 - Good 42.45929734361611%
3 - Okay
314
3 - Okay 13.453299057412169%
2 - Disappointing
45
2 - Disappointing 1.9280205655526992%
1 - Terrible
27
1 - Terrible 1.1568123393316196%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 7, 2020

I was only passing through this trip.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 7, 2020

It was good!

5/5 - Excellent

Lily

Jun 6, 2020

Hit up the restaurant the Fish House. Call ahead for a reservation. It's right next door.

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Jun 5, 2020

Staff was nice, the rooms where dirty

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 4, 2020

It's my hometown. I love seeing my family and friends

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

I

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