The optimal beach getaway to Pensacola Beach, FL

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  • Post last modified:February 12, 2024
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Pensacola Beach in Northwest Florida is a fantastic place for a vacation. There are so many great things to do in Pensacola Beach and vicinity. Enjoy beautiful beaches, visit historic Fort Pickens and don’t miss to check out the charming Downtown Pensacola. A beach getaway to Pensacola Beach has all you need for an amazing time in the Sunshine State.

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Head to the spectacular beach

Pensacola Beach is located on Santa Rosa Island in the Florida Panhandle. In Pensacola Beach you’re almost as far west as you can go in Florida before entering Alabama.

The state of Florida is spoiled with stunning beaches. But even in the tough competition Pensacola Beach is up there as one of the very best beaches in Florida.

Not only does Pensacola Beach have postcard sugar white sand and crystal clear water. Pensacola Beach also offers so much space that you always can find your very own perfect beach spot.

Casino Beach is located near the bridge to Gulf Breeze. In the area around Casino Beach it’s usually pretty crowded. But all you need to do if you prefer to dodge the crowds is to make a short drive west or east.

If you drive west you get to the Fort Pickens area, where you always find a lot of private space. In the eastern direction you have even more miles of sandy dunes all the way to Navarre Beach. So it’s easy to find your very own Pensacola Beach vacation spot.

But no matter which way you go, heading to the beach is one of the best things to do in Pensacola. The sandy beach and blue Mexican Gulf make up for a spectacular Pensacola Beach getaway.

Beach day on Pensacola Beach, FL
On Pensacola Beach you always find your own spot.

Visit Fort Pickens for history and scenery

Fort Pickens is located on the very western side of Santa Rosa Island. It’s a historic fort that was built to protect the important waterways and seaports in the Pensacola area. The fort was completed in 1834 and still in use 100 years later.

Today visiting Fort Pickens is one of the best Pensacola Beach things to do especially for the history interested. There is a lot to learn about the history of Fort Pickens if that’s what you want.

But going to Fort Pickens is a fun thing to do in Pensacola for anyone. It’s hard not to appreciate the beautiful scenery on the western end of Santa Rosa Island where Fort Pickens stands.

The white sandy beaches in the Fort Pickens area are stunning. And the peacefulness at Fort Pickens makes it a great place to unwind when visiting Pensacola Beach.

A pro tip is that Fort Pickens also is one of the best sunset spots around. A sunset at Fort Pickens is a wonderful experience and one of the most romantic things to do in Pensacola Beach.

The entrance of the historic Fort Pickens
The entrance of Fort Pickens.

Stroll on Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier

On Casino Beach you find the iconic Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier. The 1,471 feet (448 m) long pier beautifully stretches out into the Gulf of Mexico.

When you go for a stroll on the Pensacola Beach pier, you experience much more than just a walk. It’s a great spot to take in the views of the white coastline, breathe fresh salty air and observe friendly fishermen, who happily show you their latest catches.

It’s hard not to be inspired as you walk Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier. The atmosphere and views makes the pier a must to include on a Pensacola Beach itinerary.

Pensacola Beach sunset
Sunset at the Pensacola Beach pier.

Check out Downtown Pensacola

The Spanish founded Pensacola as early as in the year 1559. Already then the area was highly valued and of significant strategic importance.

More than 450 years later the historic Downtown Pensacola still is one of the proudest parts of the region. Having made several ownership changes back in the days, the Florida Panhandle city is known as the “City of Five Flags”.

The heart of the historic city is Downtown Pensacola. It possesses an exciting blend of history and forward progress. Visiting the downtown area is one of the best things to do in Pensacola if you want something else than a beach day.

Above all the Downtown Pensacola entertainment scene offers something for everyone to enjoy. In the downtown area you find educational museums, authentic shops, cozy cafés, great dining spots and fun bars.

The result of a rich historic past and a vibrating modern scene is a grand mix of fun things to do. That’s perfect when you want some quality time off the beach. Downtown Pensacola is as fun for cultural daytime exploration as for memorable night-time dinner and drinks.

Entrance of high-rise building in Downtown Pensacola
Downtown Pensacola.

Experience a top class naval aviation museum

One of the most popular things to do in Pensacola is to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum. The museum that focuses on the proud history of naval aviation is truly huge and one of the most visited museums in the entire state of Florida.

The National Naval Aviation Museum presents more than 150 restored historic aircraft that are found both inside the museum and outside on its large grounds. And the icing on the cake is that the Pensacola area is home to the legendary Blue Angels, a US Navy flight squadron.

Hearing their roaring engines and watching the Blue Angels going on full speed across the sky never gets old. Visiting Pensacola’s National Naval Aviation Museum is both educational and exciting.

Blue airplanes on blue sky
The Blue Angels in Pensacola.

Discover the beach next door

The Gulf Coast has more beautiful beaches than you can count. Not far from Pensacola Beach you find another pretty beach to explore. Navarre Beach is located further east on Santa Rosa Island and a great alternative for where to stay in the Florida Panhandle.

The beaches further east on Santa Rosa Island are as beautiful but also quieter than the busy parts of Pensacola Beach. If you want a quiet beach day and to see something new, going to Navarre Beach is a great thing to do on your Pensacola Beach vacation.

Crashing waves on Navarre Beach
Waves crashing in on Navarre Beach.

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