The optimal beach getaway to Pensacola Beach, Florida

  • Post last modified:July 26, 2021
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Pensacola Beach in Northwest Florida is a fantastic place for a beach vacation. Great Pensacola things to do include to go to the beautiful beach, visit historic Fort Pickens and check out Downtown Pensacola. A beach getaway to Pensacola Beach has all you need for an amazing time.

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Head to the spectacular beach

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

And among all the beaches in Florida, Pensacola Beach is definitely up there among the best.

Not only does it 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. Here, around the pier, it’s usually pretty crowded. But if you prefer to dodge the crowds, a short drive west or east is all you need.

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.

No matter which way you go, heading to the beach is one of the best things to do in Pensacola. The white and sandy beach is just spectacular.

Crystal clear water and white sand on Pensacola Beach.
Crystal water and white sand on Pensacola Beach.

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 area. The fort was completed in 1834 and still in use 100 years later.

The fort is especially a dream place to visit for the history interested. 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 sits. A pro tip is that the fort is one of the best sunset spots around.

While you are on the very western end of Santa Rosa Island, take your time and check out the white sandy beaches in the area too. When you visit Pensacola Beach a great beach is never far away.

Entrance of Fort Pickens
The entrance of Fort Pickens.

Check out Downtown Pensacola

The Spanish founded Pensacola as early as 1559. Already then the area was of high strategic importance. And more than 450 years later the historic downtown area 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”. Downtown Pensacola is the heart of the city and it possesses an exciting blend of impressive history and forward progress. And visiting the historic downtown area is one of the best things to do in Pensacola.

Much of the city’s rich heritage can be taken in when you stroll through the downtown district. A lot of Pensacola’s history is written in its architecture. The pretty historic buildings are like something straight out of a romantic movie set.

And the entertainment scene that Downtown Pensacola offers has something for everyone. In the downtown area you find educational museums, authentic shops, cozy cafés, great dining spots and fun places to have a drink.

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

Entrance of high-rise building
Downtown Pensacola.

Discover the beach next door

Pensacola Beach is not the only beautiful place in the area. Further east on Santa Rosa Island you find Navarre Beach.

The beach here is as beautiful as it is in Pensacola, but it’s quieter compared to it’s neighbor. If you want a quiet beach day, going to Navarre Beach is a great thing to do when visiting Pensacola Beach.

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

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 Pensacola area is home to the legendary Blue Angels, a US Navy flight squadron. Hearing their roaring engines and watching them going on full speed across the sky never gets old. That the National Naval Aviation Museum is both exciting and educational makes it one of the best things to when visiting Pensacola.

Blue airplanes on blue sky
The Blue Angels in Pensacola.

Find a hotel for your Pensacola Beach vacation

Use the booking tool below to find the perfect Pensacola Beach accommodation. Browse the map for options in various areas, or click on the search button to get all options listed.

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