Pensacola Places

TripWhat's travel guide to Pensacola; our list of the best things to see, including Fort Barrancas, Fort Pickens and The Blue Angels.
  • The best place in Pensacola: Fort Barrancas

    Fort Barrancas

    Taylor Rd
    Meaning 'bluffs' in Spanish, Barrancas has been a popular site for military forts; the British, the Spanish, and the U.S. have built forts here to protect Pensacola Bay. One of three military forts built around Pensacola Bay by the United States, Fort Barrancas is still in extraordinary condition, and easily accessible, unlike its sister forts Mcree and Pickens. Tours of the main fort are offered daily at 2PM, and tours of the advanced redoubt are available Saturdays at 11AM. The remainder of the time, the fort is relatively abandoned, and you can oftentimes get free reign of the ruins to explore. Free.
    food nearby
  • Fort Pickens

    Fort Pickens

    Fort Pickens Road
    Daily 8AM-sunset. Built to defend Pensacola Bay in the 1830s. Self-guided tours open to hikers, bikers, and boaters. It saw heavy use in the Civil War and World War II. Access to some areas is restricted due to storm damage, as of October 2006.
    eat nearby
  • The elite jet-fighter pilots of the U.S. Navy are stationed at NAS Pensacola for part of the year, and if you're in the west portion of Pensacola at 8:30AM when they practice, you may be able to see them performing flight maneuvers overhead. Typically, the Blue Angels perform two public air shows a year for Pensacola; one at the beach, and one at NAS Pensacola, and these air shows are massively attended. However, locals in the know skip the air shows, and go to the Naval Aviation museum for their Tuesday and Wednesday 8:30AM practices instead; a few times a month, the Blue Angels practice just above the museum. The museum even has a special viewing area for you to do this, and afterwards on Wednesdays, the Blue Angels will sign autographs and answer questions for spectators. Try that at the air show! Free.
    restaurants nearby
  • National Museum of Naval Aviation

    National Museum of Naval Aviation

    1750 Radford Blvd
    The Naval Aviation Museum is the most popular tourist destination in Pensacola, and it offers a comprehensive look at the history of flight in the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. The 150 beautifully restored aircraft are the biggest draw here; make sure to check out the Blue Angels jets hanging in the atrium! Kids will enjoy the flight simulator, and the IMAX theater shows a visually stunning documentary, the History of Flight. Free, but donations welcome. $8 for IMAX tickets.
    food nearby
  • Birdwatchers

    Birdwatchers

    just west of the city
    At Big Lagoon, keep an eye out in early spring after particularly heavy showers, when migrating birds are often forced to land and many unusual birds can be spotted. The University of West Florida's Edward Ball nature trail meanders through swampland, allowing a rare glimpse at wetland birds, such as brilliant yellow tanagers and red-winged blackbirds. And of course, shore birds and seabirds are easily spotted near the coast.
    eat nearby
  • Downtown Pensacola

    Downtown Pensacola

    Palafox Pl
    Offers an eclectic shopping experience, mainly on Palafox Street and the surrounding area. Popular shops include Distinctive Kitchens, a kitchen accessories store with chef-led cooking classes, Running Wild, a specialty store for runners and joggers, and Dollarhide's, an upscale music store. Most businesses are open until 5PM on weekdays, until 2PM on Saturdays, and closed Sundays.
  • Palafox Market

    Palafox Market

    Martin Luther King Jr
    Plaza, Palafox Street (just north of Hwy 98), e-mail: www.PalafoxMarket.com. Sa 8AM-2PM May-Sep. Fresh produce, live plants, baked goods and antiques are just a few of the items offered by vendors at Palafox Market in Downtown Pensacola. The market is open every Saturday, rain or shine. Many items originate directly from vendors who grow, make, or create the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and art for sale.
    food nearby
  • New Year's Eve Pelican Drop

    New Year's Eve Pelican Drop

    Throughout the evening the giant Pelican (14 feet tall, with a 20-foot wingspan) is perched above the celebration on a 100-foot platform at the intersection of Palafox and Government Streets. Although Palafox and Government Street will be closed to traffic, area restaurants are open and additional vendors will be providing refreshments). Live performances on three outdoor stages provide ongoing entertainment throughout the evening. The popular kids' area features the special kids' countdown at 8PM with confetti and the "bubble stomp." At the stroke of midnight, the whole city celebrates as the Pelican descends amidst fireworks and more confetti.
    eat nearby
  • Les Petits Enfants Cordova Mall Ball

    Les Petits Enfants Cordova Mall Ball

    Cordova Mall, 5100 9th Ave
    One Sa in Jan. $50. Pensacola's most popular Mardi Gras ball is limited to the first 2500 ticket buyers. Features a silent auction and catered food from some of Pensacola's best restaurants. All proceeds go the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Black-tie formal.
    restaurants nearby
  • J.W. Renfroe Pecan Company

    J.W. Renfroe Pecan Company

    2400 W Fairfield Dr
    This rustic store has built a thriving business off the humble pecan, which you can still buy here in a traditional burlap sack, shelled or unshelled. Besides plain nuts, they also sell them in candies and conserves alongside a wide selection of traditional Southern food. Try their fudge or praline; they're always generous with the free samples!
  • Pensacola Museum of Art

    Pensacola Museum of Art

    407 S Jefferson St
    Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa-Su Noon-5PM, M closed. This museum is housed in the Old City Jail, a Spanish revival structure in downtown Pensacola. The collection focuses mainly on art from the 20th and 21st century and has many well known artists represented in their collection including Alexander Calder, Miriam Schapiro and Louis Comfort Tiffany. They present many special exhibitions throughout the years, and have previously hosted exhibitions of art by Picasso, Rodin, and Andy Warhol. $5 admission, $2 for students and military, free on Tuesdays.
    eat nearby
  • MBT Divers

    MBT Divers

    3920 Barrancas Ave
    M-Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 8AM-3PM.
    restaurants nearby
  • Dive Pros

    Dive Pros

    7203 W Hwy 98
    Summer M-F 9AM-7PM, Sa 7AM-7PM, Su 9AM-5PM; Winter M-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 9AM-5PM.
    food nearby
  • Delray Beach Tennis Center

    Delray Beach Tennis Center

    201 W
    Atlantic Avenue, +1 561 243-7360, [10]. A world-class tennis facility featuring top player matches (Fed Cup, Davis Cup). Public tennis facility with 14 clay courts, 7 hard courts, and an 8,200 seat stadium, located in downtown. Classes and camps are offered to all ages and skill levels. There is a Pro Shop with locker rooms, equipment, racquet stringing.
    eat nearby
  • Peg Leg Pete's

    Peg Leg Pete's

    1010 Fort Pickens Rd
    peglegs1@aol.com. $12-25. This popular little eatery offers live music, boat slips for diners, and a range of food, from burgers to seafood. As the owners of Maria's Seafood in Pensacola, they can offer incredible seafood at good prices; try their local, Gulf-caught shrimp.
  • McGuire's Pub and Restaurant

    McGuire's Pub and Restaurant

    600 E Gregory St
    A popular Irish pub, McGuire's is the most well-known restaurant in Pensacola, loved for its quirky sense of humor, community involvement, Irish food in addition to bar food, and their award-winning in-house beer brewery. During evenings, live entertainment and music can get rowdy. They serve handmade draft beers brewed on site, in addition to a full bar, and a few oddball house specialties. By the time you've finished their infamous Irish Wake, you'll be drunk enough to kiss the stuffed moose, and possibly even enjoy the bagpipers! You also get to keep the souvenir mason jar the drink is served in. First-time visitors are expected to pin a dollar bill to the wall with their name on it, a tradition that has resulted in over a half-million dollars papering the walls and ceiling. Sunday brunch is amazing, with giant six egg omelets, bottomless Mimosa's, and good prices. See "Events" for information on McGuire's Running Club on Tuesday nights. Dinner $12-25. $5 draft.
  • The Fish House

    The Fish House

    600 S Barracks St
    Su-M 11AM-until, brunch Su 11AM-2PM. This is the height of 'fancy eats' in Escambia county, with its unique take on southern seafood, beautiful views of Pensacola Bay, and high (for Pensacola) prices. The restaurant's signature dish, the 'Grits a Ya Ya,' features grits with smoked gouda cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and Gulf shrimp, but it can't top the chef's excellent key lime pie. $15-30.
  • Seville Quarter

    Seville Quarter

    130 E Government St
    A collection of entertainment and dining venues located in downtown Pensacola. First opened in 1967, beginning with Rosie O'Grady's bar, it has since been expanded to include two more pubs, banquet halls, a fine-dining restaurant (Lili Marlene's,) billiards hall (Fast Eddie's,) and dance club (Phineas Phogg's.) During the evenings, Seville Quarter is a popular party spot for college students and military men and women.
  • Hopjacks Trivia Night

    Hopjacks Trivia Night

    10 S Palafox, downtown
    A popular destination in downtown Pensacola on Wednesday nights. Often between 10 and 20 teams competing for numerous prizes; including free bar tabs, a $50 Hopjacks gift card, and boot schwag. Entry is free and there is a team size limit of 8. The best team name each week also wins a round of shots. Sprinkled throughout the game are several "fast finger" questions, in which the first team to scrawl the correct answer on a piece of paper and bring it up to the judge wins a separate prize (usually a bottle of wine or hats/key chains). Be sure to check out the surprisingly gourmet bar menu, famous for their pizzas, and the impressive beer list.
  • Palafox Farmer's Market

    Martin Luther King Plaza, Palafox St
    Jun-Oct, Sa 8AM-1PM. As the only farmer's market in Pensacola, this Saturday summertime event attracts farmers, cooks and artists.
  • Naval Air Station Pensacola

    S. end of Navy Blvd
    The Naval Air Station is the single largest employer in Pensacola, and is the driving force of the city's economy. Pensacola holds a high degree of respect for its military base, and NAS Pensacola returns the favor by offering attractions for the public and allowing public access. First built in 1826 as a Navy Yard, the location was chosen due to Pensacola Bay's deep waters and importance as a naval port on the Gulf of Mexico. In 1913, following the invention of the airplane, Pensacola was chosen to become the first naval aviation station in the country, and today, still remains the primary training base for all Navy and Marine flight officers. Visitors to the base can get a brief glimpse of a military base in person, and can visit the many historic attractions. When you first drive into the base, a guard will ask which attractions you wish to see, and will issue you a vehicle hangtag for those destinations. Most of these attractions are on Radford Boulevard or Taylor Road; if you stray too far off the beaten path, prepare to be interrogated by a very inquisitive military police officer. The Blue Angels. The elite jet-fighter pilots of the U.S. Navy are stationed at NAS Pensacola for part of the year, and if you're in the west portion of Pensacola at 8:30AM when they practice, you may be able to see them performing flight maneuvers overhead. Typically, the Blue Angels perform two public air shows a year for Pensacola; one at the beach, and one at NAS Pensacola, and these air shows are massively attended. However, locals in the know skip the air shows, and go to the Naval Aviation museum for their Tuesday and Wednesday 8:30AM practices instead; a few times a month, the Blue Angels practice just above the museum. The museum even has a special viewing area for you to do this, and afterwards on Wednesdays, the Blue Angels will sign autographs and answer questions for spectators. Try that at the air show! Free.Fort Barrancas, Taylor Rd, ☎ +1 850 455-5167. Meaning 'bluffs' in Spanish, Barrancas has been a popular site for military forts; the British, the Spanish, and the U.S. have built forts here to protect Pensacola Bay. One of three military forts built around Pensacola Bay by the United States, Fort Barrancas is still in extraordinary condition, and easily accessible, unlike its sister forts Mcree and Pickens. Tours of the main fort are offered daily at 2PM, and tours of the advanced redoubt are available Saturdays at 11AM. The remainder of the time, the fort is relatively abandoned, and you can oftentimes get free reign of the ruins to explore. Free.National Museum of Naval Aviation, 1750 Radford Blvd, ☎ +1 850 452-3604. 9AM-5PM. The Naval Aviation Museum is the most popular tourist destination in Pensacola, and it offers a comprehensive look at the history of flight in the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps. The 150 beautifully restored aircraft are the biggest draw here; make sure to check out the Blue Angels jets hanging in the atrium! Kids will enjoy the flight simulator, and the IMAX theater shows a visually stunning documentary, the History of Flight. Free, but donations welcome. $8 for IMAX tickets.Pensacola Lighthouse, 190 Radford Blvd. Lighthouse lovers may want to check out the black-and-white Pensacola Lighthouse. Built in 1858 to replace an earlier, inferior lighthouse, it became a target during the Civil War for Union soldiers at Fort Pickens, aiming for the Confederate-held Fort Barrancas. Due to safety concerns, tours are no longer available, but access to the grounds is still available. Free.
    restaurants nearby
  • Fiesta of Five Flags

    Multiple venues
    The Fiesta of Five Flags celebrates the history of Pensacola and its founding by Spanish governor Don Tristan de Luna. Many separate events are included under the Fiesta of Five Flags banner, and include float parades, boat parades, balls, golf tournaments, scavenger hunts and sand castle contests, among other events. The fiesta's most popular event is a stylized re-enactment of the landing of Don Tristan de Luna. Free.
    food nearby
  • The Island Cross

    located on the south side of Fort Pickens Road
    Built in 1959 by the Knights of Columbus to honor the quadricentennial of the discovery of Pensacola, the 10-foot concrete cross and the sand dune on which it stands have been batted repeatedly by hurricanes, all without even the slightest scratch! Perhaps it's the will of God?
    eat nearby
  • Scuba Shack

    711 S Palafox Pl
    M-Sa 9AM-4PM, Su 9AM-3PM.
    restaurants nearby
  • University Mall

    7171 N Davis Hwy
    M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. Located directly off Interstate 10 on Davis Hwy, it is the second mall in the Pensacola area; beginning in 2008, major renovations began to convert the mall into an outdoor shopping center. Until these renovations are complete, only the anchor stores Belk, Sears, and JCPenney remain open.
  • Cordova Mall

    Cordova Mall

    5100 N 9th Ave
    M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. A large indoor shopping mall located at the intersection of 9th Avenue and Bayou Boulevard. It is surrounded by many small shopping areas and provides a great place to wander around on a rainy day.
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EDIT THIS ITINERARY Our list of places in Pensacola uses some content from Wikipedia and Wikivoyage.