Fun things to do in Pensacola

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Pensacola is a charming city with a rich history and vibrant culture. With its stunning beaches, diverse attractions, and delightful cuisine, Pensacola offers a plethora of fun activities for visitors and locals alike. 

Sun, Sand, and Surf

Pensacola is renowned for its pristine beaches, making it a paradise for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. Pensacola Beach, located on Santa Rosa Island, is a picture-perfect destination with crystal-clear waters and sugary-white sands. Spend your day lounging on the beach, building sandcastles, or playing beach volleyball with friends and family. For the adventurous souls, try water sports such as paddleboarding, jet-skiing, or parasailing, and witness the stunning coastline from a different perspective.

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Historic Downtown Pensacola

Step back in time by exploring historic downtown Pensacola. Stroll along Palafox Street, the heart of downtown, where you’ll find a mix of boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and charming cafes. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Pensacola Historic Village, a collection of beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings, offering insight into the city’s past. Make sure to visit the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum, housing artifacts and exhibits that narrate Florida’s captivating history.

Naval Aviation Museum

One of the city’s most famous attractions is the National Naval Aviation Museum, the largest of its kind in the world. Located on Naval Air Station Pensacola, this museum showcases a remarkable collection of aircraft and aviation-related exhibits. Explore over 150 restored aircraft, including historic planes and modern jets. Don’t forget to catch the thrilling Blue Angels flight demonstration, a true spectacle that leaves visitors in awe.

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

Climb 177 steps to the top of the Pensacola Lighthouse, built in 1859, for a breathtaking view of the Gulf Coast and the surrounding area. The Lighthouse and Museum offer a fascinating glimpse into maritime history and the life of lighthouse keepers. The nearby Fort Barrancas, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, is also worth a visit to explore its historic significance and scenic nature trails.

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Perdido Key State Park

Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Perdido Key State Park. This hidden gem features unspoiled beaches, undisturbed dunes, and nature trails that lead you through a diverse coastal ecosystem. Enjoy birdwatching, picnicking, or simply savoring the peace and solitude of this pristine natural oasis.

Explore the Pensacola Bay Brewery Trail

For beer enthusiasts, Pensacola offers a vibrant brewery scene. Embark on the Pensacola Bay Brewery Trail and taste the finest craft brews in town. From IPAs and stouts to lagers and ales, each brewery offers a unique experience. Engage with friendly locals, learn about the brewing process, and enjoy delicious food pairings at the taprooms.

Pensacola Saenger Theatre

Indulge in the city’s cultural side at the historic Pensacola Saenger Theatre. This beautifully restored venue hosts an array of entertainment, from Broadway shows and concerts to ballet performances and classic movie screenings. Check the schedule to catch a live performance and experience the grandeur of this architectural gem.

Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway

Take a scenic drive along the Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway, also known as the W. Blount Street Scenic Highway. This picturesque route offers breathtaking views of Pensacola Bay and is especially captivating during sunrise and sunset. Pull over at the designated stops, breathe in the fresh sea air, and capture stunning photos of the coastline.

Go Fishing

For fishing enthusiasts, Pensacola is a dream destination. Whether you prefer saltwater or freshwater fishing, the area offers a plethora of fishing charters and guides that can take you to the best spots. Catch species such as redfish, snapper, and grouper in the Gulf of Mexico, or head to one of the local rivers for bass fishing.

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Pensacola Children’s Museum

Families traveling with kids will love the Pensacola Children’s Museum, part of the Pensacola Museum of History. This interactive museum offers a hands-on experience for children to learn about the city’s past through play and exploration. From dress-up opportunities to old-time storefronts, the museum provides an educational and entertaining experience for young ones.

Palafox Market

If you’re visiting Pensacola on a Saturday, don’t miss the Palafox Market. This vibrant farmers’ market offers an assortment of locally grown produce, handmade crafts, artisanal goods, and delectable food vendors. Join the locals as they gather to shop, eat, and enjoy live music and entertainment.

Try Gulf Coast Cuisine

No visit to Pensacola would be complete without savoring the delicious Gulf Coast cuisine. Indulge in fresh seafood, including shrimp, oysters, and grouper, prepared in a variety of mouthwatering dishes. Don’t forget to try the famous “Bushwacker,” a frozen cocktail perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

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