Florida

Pensacola, Florida

A- Overview:
This is the place to hear the roar and view the amazing feats of the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels flying overhead. Visitors to Pensacola, Florida will experience this and a host of other things to do and see from history and shopping to sports, natural beauty, and attractions.

Conveniently located and easily accessible at the western end of the Florida Panhandle, Pensacola lies only five miles inland from the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

With a moderate climate year round due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and its western Florida location, any time of year is suitable for a visit. Even in January the temperature averages a comfortable 52, with highs in the mid 60’s. It’s the time of year the Polar Bear Club holds its annual Polar Bear Dip. If you are lucky enough to be visiting in November, the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels, who are based in Pensacola, return home for their annual homecoming air show. Regardless of the time of year, there is something worth seeing and doing.

For a taste of the city, be sure to visit Flounder’s Restaurant. Known for its kid-friendly atmosphere, complete with a jungle-gym boat outside in the sand area, surrounded by dining tables along Santa Rosa sound and filled with antiques from around the globe, this is no ordinary restaurant.

A must see attraction in the area is the National Museum of Aviation with its IMAX Theater.

The Museum displays over 170 vintage aircraft and spans 300,000 square feet. Combine this with a movie at the IMAX and it makes for a perfect day of recreation with a historical flare.

No visit to the area is complete without spending some time at an amusement park. Sam’s Fun City is conveniently located and features over 20 rides, go-karts, bumper boats, and mini golf, as well as an arcade and water park.

Pensacola also is home to many beautiful parks with fountains, play areas and water access. Feed the ducks at Bayview Park or watch an osprey return to its nest with a freshly caught fish at Big Lagoon State Park. And speaking of fishing, the old Pensacola Bay Bridge is one of the longest fishing piers in the US and for just a small charge; you can fish right in the middle of the bay.

Downtown is a place for a leisurely walk and for terrific shopping. Stop at one of the coffee shops, cafes or eateries for lunch, or for an afternoon latte. The downtown area showcases art galleries featuring both local and regional art, as well as the traveling exhibits found in the Pensacola Museum of Art. If antique shopping entices you, antique stores and flea markets pepper the area from the elegant to the eclectic.

The city has been given many nicknames over the years; The Cradle of Naval Aviation, The Western Gate to the Sunshine State, America’s First Settlement, and the City of Five Flags. All such monikers are fitting in their descriptions of this vibrant and beautiful place.

Spend some time in Pensacola – you’ll see why they say it’s where thousands live the way millions wish they could.

B- City Information:
Population: 56,255

Elevation: 32 feet above sea level

Land Area: 22.7 square miles

Location: Located at the western end of the Florida Panhandle, on the northern bank of Pensacola Bay and five miles inland from the beach.

Time Zone: Located in the Central Time Zone. When it’s noon in Pensacola, it’s 1:00pm in New York City and 10:00am in Los Angeles

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
52.0
54.9
61.0
66.9
74.6
80.6
82.6
82.2
78.7
69.5
60.7
54.1

High temperature (°F)
61.2
64.4
70.2
76.2
83.4
89.0
90.7
90.1
87.0
79.3
70.3
63.4

Low temperature (°F)
42.6
45.3
51.6
57.5
65.7
72.0
74.4
74.1
70.3
59.5
51.0
44.6

Precipitation (in)
5.4
4.7
6.4
3.9
4.4
6.4
8.0
6.8
5.8
4.1
4.5
4.0

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precip.
10
9
9
6
7
10
14
13
9
5
8
9

Wind speed (mph)
9.0
9.3
9.8
9.5
8.6
7.6
6.9
6.7
7.6
7.9
8.2
8.8

Morning humidity (%)
82
82
84
86
87
84
86
87
85
82
82
81

Afternoon humidity (%)
65
61
62
60
62
61
65
66
63
57
61
65

Sunshine (%)
48
53
61
63
67
67
57
58
60
71
64
49

Days clear of clouds
8
9
9
10
9
7
4
6
10
13
11
9

Partly cloudy days
7
7
8
9
11
15
17
15
11
9
8
7

Cloudy days
16
13
14
11
11
8
10
10
9
9
11
16

Snowfall (in)
0.1
0.1
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

Pensacola has a very moderate climate year round due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and its western Florida location. Winter and summer are the two busiest times of year. In the winter, people from the north enjoy coming south for the warmer temperatures and numerous activities the city has to offer. Even in January the temperature averages a comfortable 52 F, with highs in the mid 60’s F. It’s the time for the Polar Bear Club to hold its annual Polar Bear Dip. Summer is busy as many people visit the area for its relaxing atmosphere, entertainment, and proximity to the beach, not to mention temperatures averaging in the low 80’s F. It’s ideal for watching the annual boat races held during this time while sipping a cool drink at the beach and working on that perfect tan. The Spring and Fall are less crowded and offer a great opportunity to enjoy a little more serenity. Spring is also time for the annual “Mullet Toss”, a must see local event. Fall is still warm enough for a nice day at the beach with a good book or a run in the sand. November is when the Blue Angels, who are based in Pensacola, return home for their annual homecoming air show. No matter what time of year you are visiting, this warm Florida city is alive with a multitude of things to do and see.

How to get there:

By Air:

Pensacola Regional Airport

2430 Airport Boulevard

Pensacola, FL 32504

850-436-5000

Served by many of the national airlines as well as regional carriers, the airport is located just three miles northeast of the central business district of the City of Pensacola.

By Car:

Pensacola is easily reached via I-10 from the west (New Orleans, Mobile), as well as from the east (Tallahassee). From the north take I-65 to state highway 29.

By Train:

Amtrak

80 East Heinberg Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

800-USA-RAIL

Offers wonderful vistas as you travel on the Sunset Limited.

By Bus:

Greyhound

505 West Burgess Road

Pensacola, Florida 32503

850-476-4800

Getting Around:

With so many things to see and do, the best way to get around Pensacola is by personal or rental car. Rental cars are available at both the airport and downtown.

Additional Transportation:

Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT)

1515 West Fairfield Drive

Pensacola, Florida 32501

850-395-3228

Included in the mass transportation system is fixed-route bus service, ADA paratransit service, seasonal Pensacola Beach trolley service for the Santa Rosa Island Authority, and University of West Florida (UWF) on-campus trolley service. All vehicles are ADA lift-equipped and all buses and trolleys are equipped with bicycle racks.

Yellow Cab Company

850-433-3333

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day: Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day: 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day: 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day: last Mon. in May

Independence Day: July 4

Labor Day: 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day: 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve: Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
National Museum of Naval Aviation and IMAX Theater

1750 Radford Blvd # 3465

Pensacola, FL 32508

850-453-2389

Open daily 9am-5pm. The IMAX Theater features two films daily, call for additional information.

Admission Free for museum, charge for IMAX Theater

The National Museum of Naval Aviation and IMAX Theater displays over 170 vintage aircraft and spans 300,000 square feet.

The ZOO

5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy

Pensacola, FL 32508

850-932-2229

Open daily 9am-5pm in the summer and 9am-4pm in the winter

Admission Charged

Catch a ride on the Safari Line train for an up-close, fun-filled excursion through 30 acres of free-roaming animals in their natural habitat.

T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum

830 S. Jefferson St. Plaza

Pensacola, FL 32502

904-444-8905

Hours: 10am – 4pm, Monday through Saturday and Sundays Easter through Labor Day.

Admission Charged

Offers a Discovery Gallery, which recreates old-time Pensacola, complete with a child-sized schoolhouse, hospital and jail, and even some oddities like a shrunken head.

Pensacola Museum of Art

407 South Jefferson Street

Pensacola, Florida 32501
850-432-6247

Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday – Sunday, Noon – 5pm, Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Admission Charged

The focus of the permanent collection of the Museum is 19th, 20th and 21st century works on paper including works by noted artist, John Marin, Salvador Dali, Miriam Scharpiro, Fairfield Porter, Thomas Hart Benton, Alex Katz, Lynda Benglis, Milton Avery and Alexander Calder. Additionally, the Museum has superb decorative art collections of European and American glass as well as African tribal art.

Wayside Park

At the foot of Three-Mile Bridge across Pensacola Bay.

Save some bread to feed the birds at Wayside Park.

Pensacola Junior College Planetarium

1000 College Boulevard
Pensacola, FL 32504

850-484-1956

Hours: Box office opens 6:30pm one Saturday each month, year round

Admission Charged

Pensacola Junior College Planetarium and Theater has a three-dimensional DIGISTAR computer graphic system that projects the heavens onto a 40 foot full dome.

Fast Eddie’s Fun Center

505 W. Michigan Avenue

Pensacola, FL 32505

850-433-7735

Admission Charged

Whether you’re young or old, short or tall, Fast Eddie’s is the place for fun! If you are looking for a fast, wild and fun spot, Fast Eddies is the place to be! Dedicated to providing affordable, safe, family fun in an atmosphere everyone is sure to enjoy. With four exciting tracks, there’s excitement at every turn.

Sam’s Fun City

6709 Pensacola Blvd.

Pensacola, FL 32505

Just south of I-10 on Hwy. 29

850-505-0800

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Sam’s Fun City features over 20 rides, go-karts, bumper boats, and mini golf, with an arcade and water park in the works.

Nearby attraction

Flounder’s Restaurant

800 Quietwater Beach Rd

Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

850-932-2003

Located on Pensacola Beach

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Known for its kid-friendly atmosphere, complete with a jungle-gym boat outside in the sand area, surrounded by dining tables along Santa Rosa sound and filled with antiques from around the globe, this is no ordinary restaurant. Fun for the whole family.

Museums

Pensacola Junior College Art Museum

Anna Lamar Switzer for Visual Arts
Pensacola Junior College
1000 College Blvd
Pensacola, FL 32504

850-484-2550

Hours: 8am-9pm Monday through Thursday; 8am-3:30pm Fridays; closed weekends and holidays.

Admission Free

The Visual Arts Gallery has a national reputation for quality exhibitions, a strong contemporary collection, plus noteworthy publications and events such as workshops and visiting artists.

Pensacola Museum of Art

407 South Jefferson Street

Pensacola, Florida 32501
850-432-6247

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The mission of the Pensacola Museum of Art is to be a bridge to the visual arts for the diverse populations of Pensacola and the surrounding communities.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Wayside Park

At the foot of Three-Mile Bridge across Pensacola Bay.

Save some bread to feed the birds at Wayside Park.

Fast Eddie’s Fun Center

505 W. Michigan Avenue

Pensacola, FL 32505

850-433-7735

Admission Charged

Whether you’re young or old, short or tall, Fast Eddie’s is the place for fun! If you are looking for a fast, wild and fun spot, Fast Eddie’s is the place to be! Dedicated to providing affordable, safe, family fun in an atmosphere everyone is sure to enjoy. With four exciting tracks, there’s excitement at every turn.

Sam’s Fun City

6709 Pensacola Blvd.

Pensacola, FL 32505

Just south of I-10 on Hwy. 29

850-505-0800

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Sam’s Fun City features over 20 rides, go-karts, bumper boats, and mini golf, with an arcade and water park in the works.

Flounder’s Restaurant

800 Quietwater Beach Rd,

Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

850-932-2003

Located on Pensacola Beach

Hours: Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Known for its kid-friendly atmosphere, complete with a jungle-gym boat outside in the sand area, surrounded by dining tables along Santa Rosa sound and filled with antiques from around the globe, this is no ordinary restaurant. Fun for the whole family.

The ZOO

5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy

Pensacola, FL 32508

850-932-2229

Open daily 9 am-5 pm in the summer and 9 am-4 pm in the winter

Admission Charge

Catch a ride on the Safari Line train for an up-close, fun-filled excursion through 30 acres of free-roaming animals in their natural habitat.

T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum

830 S. Jefferson St. Plaza

Pensacola, FL 32502

904-444-8905

Hours: 10am – 4pm, Monday through Saturday and Sundays Easter through Labor Day.

Admission Charged

Offers a Discovery Gallery, which recreates old-time Pensacola, complete with a child-sized schoolhouse, hospital and jail, and even some oddities like a shrunken head.

National Museum of Naval Aviation and IMAX Theater

1750 Radford Blvd # 3465

Pensacola, FL 32508

850-453-2389

Open daily 9am-5pm. The IMAX Theater features two films daily, call for additional information.

Admission Free for museum, charge for IMAX Theater

The National Museum of Naval Aviation and IMAX Theater displays over 170 vintage aircraft and spans 300,000 square feet.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

Polar Bear Dip

Held New Year’s Day

850-492-6838

The Flora-Bama Lounge on the Florida-Alabama state line on Perdido Key hosts this popular, annual splash-around in the Gulf of Mexico. Afterwards, everyone joins in a Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day and warms up with good music and beverages.

Mardi Gras

Held early January until Fat Tuesday

850-434-6211 or 800-874-1299

Call for a complete schedule of events

One of the country’s original celebration sites, Pensacola hosts family-oriented Mardi Gras fun at numerous parades, where crowds catch beads and moon pies tossed from floats, as well as various contests and culinary festivals.

February

Black History Month

Held throughout February

850-474-2405

Celebrate the evolution of African-American history at several area events including a black history recital and concert at the University of West Florida with music performed by the UWF Gospel Choir.

March

Pensacola Bay International Film & Television Festival

Usually held mid-March

850-435-6851

Call for exact dates and schedule

Four days of great films, symposiums, parties, awards, and plenty of glitz and glamour.

Gallery Night

Usually held in mid-March

850-432-9906

Admission Free

Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open late for this quarterly event, sponsored by the Arts Council of Northwest Florida. Trolley stops along the way provide free transportation.

April

Pensacola JazzFest

Usually held in early April

850-433-8382

Admission Free

Pensacola’s historic Seville Square hosts this event filled with great jazz music performed by local and national talents.

Blue Angels Classic Senior PGA Tournament

Usually held in mid-April

850-995-3300

The best players on the senior tour congregate at The Moors, a par-70 Scottish links-style course in Milton, Fla., five minutes east of Pensacola on Interstate 10.

Interstate Mullet Toss

Usually held the third week of April

850-492-6838

Call for additional information

The Flora-Bama Lounge on the Florida-Alabama state line hosts this wacky annual tournament that has participants compete in an actual mullet toss. Live music, food, and drinks accompany this weekend.

June

The Florida Springfest

Usually held mid-June

800-874-1234

Call for additional information

This two-day musical celebration draws national headliner musical groups and thousands of people to downtown Pensacola.

Fiesta Days Celebration and Boat Parade

Usually held early June

850-433-6512

Admission Free

The Fiesta of Five Flags is an annual celebration of the founding of Pensacola, the first European settlement in the United States in 1559 by Spanish Conquistador, Don Tristan de Luna.

Bud Light King Mackeral/Cobia Tournament

Usually held the later part of June

850-932-5726

Catch some of the largest King Mackerel and Cobia in the gulf. With over 1,200 anglers, this is a very large two-day boat event taking place in the Gulf of Mexico. Prize money and gifts are awarded.

July

Red, White, and Blues Week

Held around the 4th of July for one full week

850-932-1500

Admission Free

A big event held during Pensacola’s summer festivities; Red, White, and Blues week starts with a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. There is live music on the boardwalk each day and most nights. Festivities conclude with the world-famous Blue Angels flight show. Supported by civilian and military performers, the show is a must-see event.

Gallery Night

Usually held in mid-July

850-432-9906

Admission Free

Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open late for this quarterly event, sponsored by the Arts Council of Northwest Florida. Trolley stops along the way provide free transportation.

August

Thunder On the Gulf Power Boat Races

Usually held in mid-August

Annual Super Boat Grand Prix on the Gulf Coast is held in the Perdido Key area. See over 40 boats compete at speeds up to 170 mph.

September

Pensacola Seafood Festival

Usually held around the third week of September

850-434-6211

Held in the Seville Square area of historic downtown Pensacola, the festival features delicious fare and live entertainment.

October

Pensacola Interstate Fair

Pensacola Fairgrounds

U.S. Highway 90 West

Held each October

850-944-4500

Admission Charged

Pensacola Interstate Fair offers entertainment, rides, food and exhibits for 11 days every October. Fun for the family. The Pensacola Interstate Fair is a star-spangled parade of exhibits and features arranged and planned for everyone’s supreme satisfaction!

Haunted House Walking Tours and Trolley Tours

Usually held in late October

850-433-1559

Admission Charged

Narrated tours led by costumed guides visit 39 sites around the Seville and North Hill historic districts where ghostly sightings are researched and documented by the Pensacola Historical Society.

November

Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show

Pensacola Naval Air Station

Usually held the second week of November

850-452-BLUE

Admission Free

With Pensacola as its home base, the Navy’s precision flight-demonstration team, the Blue Angels, performs two air shows in the area each year.

Gallery Night

Usually held in mid-November

850-432-9906

Admission Free

Enjoy an evening of arts and culture by touring downtown art galleries open late for this quarterly event, sponsored by the Arts Council of Northwest Florida. Trolley stops along the way provide free transportation.

Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival

Usually held in early November

850-432-9906

Admission Free

The Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival hosts more than 200 fine art and craft exhibitors from around the country and attracts 150,000 art fans to Pensacola’s historic Seville Square. Also features activity-packed children’s arts area and live entertainment on several stages.

The Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival

Usually held in mid-November

850-492-7664

This annual event held at several Perdido Key and Pensacola venues, features songwriters from throughout the country who showcase their talent in a competition atmosphere.

December

St. Anne’s Christmas Lights

Held Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day

850-456-5966

Admission Free, Donation for Parking

Over a million lights illuminate the church grounds in a spectacular display that also features free refreshments.

ZOOLights

Held Thanksgiving throughout New Year’s Day

850-932-2229

Admission Charged

The ZOO in Gulf Breeze hosts this event with holiday and animal scenes decorated with more than a million lights. Nightly entertainment rounds out the fun.

Christmas on the Island

Usually held early December

800-635-4803

Celebrate Pensacola Beach’s holiday spirit with a land parade followed by a boat parade along Santa Rosa Sound.

Arts and Entertainment

The Pensacola Opera

75 South Tarragona Street

Pensacola, FL 32501

850-433-6737
Hours: Mon – Fri 9 AM – 5 PM

The Pensacola Symphony

205 E. Zaragoza Street

Pensacola, FL 32502

850-435-2533

Season runs October – May, call for additional information

Theater

Center for the Fine and Performing Arts

University of West Florida

11000 University Parkway

Pensacola, FL 32514

850-474-2000

Season runs October – April, call for additional information

Pensacola Little Theatre

400 South Jefferson Street

Pensacola, Florida 32502

850-432-2042

Season begins in September, call for additional information

Saenger Theatre

118 South Palafox Place
Pensacola, Florida 32501
850-444-7699

Call for additional information

Since 1925, the theatre has had a major presence in Pensacola. From Vaudeville to Broadway, it has hosted it all. Whether its music, a Broadway play or an individual performance, this “grand dame” has it all.

Sports

Five Flags Speedway

7451 Pine Forest Road

Pensacola, FL 32526

850-944-8400

Pensacola Greyhound Track offers live racing excitement and simulcast horse racing events.

Catch the thrill of high-speed action-packed greyhound racing. Join the fun in the fully-enclosed, climate-controlled Kennel Club, Lounge, or Grandstand– or enjoy rail side seating outdoors for a close-up look at the excitement!

The Pensacola Ice Pilots (East Coast Hockey League)

Play in the Pensacola Civic Center

Season is fall and winter

201 East Gregory Street – Rear
Pensacola, FL 32502-4956

850-432-PUCK (7825)

The Pensacola Pelicans

Play at the University of West Florida

Season is from June through August

850-934-8444

The Pensacola Power is part of the National Women’s Football Association. The Power have won multiple championships.