Where to stay in Pensacola, Florida

  • Post last modified:May 25, 2021
  • Reading time:5 mins read
Where to stay in Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola is located in the Florida Panhandle in Northwestern Florida. Here sunny days, crystal clear water and sugar-like white beaches are parts of the daily life. But where to stay in Pensacola and the surrounding area for the ultimate stay?

Pensacola Beach, Downtown Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Navarre Beach are all great options for where to stay when visiting the Pensacola area.

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Where to stay in Pensacola

Pensacola Beach – Stay on the incredible beach

Pensacola Beach is a great option for where to stay in the Pensacola area. Located on Santa Rosa Island, Pensacola Beach offers mile after mile of sandy dunes. And in Pensacola Beach the sand is as white as sand gets and the water as clear as water gets.

You can walk for miles on quiet and relaxing stretches of the beach, or you can choose to base yourself on the contrasting Casino Beach. There you find a more busy beach scene.

A great thing with Pensacola Beach is that is has a good selection of restaurants and bars on the island too. That means that you don’t necessarily need to leave the island during your stay.

People come from near and far to experience Pensacola Beach. Unfortunately that also means that the hotels in Pensacola Beach tend to be pricier compared to if you look in other nearby areas.

To sum up, Pensacola Beach is a great choice for where to stay when visiting the Pensacola area. In Pensacola Beach you literally stay on the beach, and step right out on the sandy dunes as soon as you wake up in the morning.

  • Stay in Pensacola Beach for: Best possible access to the dreamy beach.
Crystal clear water and white sand on Pensacola Beach.
Crystal-clear water and white sand on Pensacola Beach.

Downtown Pensacola – A city stay near Pensacola Beach

Downtown Pensacola has more than 450 years of history behind it, with the Spanish founding the city in 1559. Today, the historic downtown is the pumping heart of the city.

In the downtown area you find a good selection of educational museums, fun shops, cozy cafés, award-winning restaurants and bars ready to cool you off. And the area is very walkable, so you don’t have to rely on your car while you discover what the city has to offer.

You don’t have direct beach access when you stay in Downtown Pensacola. But if you want to trade the city for the beach for a change, you can reach the white dunes in about 20 minutes.

All in all, in Downtown Pensacola you have a rich selection of entertainment, places to eat and bars where you can cool off during hot Florida days or nights. And all that in the beautiful historic environment of one of the first European settlements in America.

Stay in Downtown Pensacola for: Enjoying all that Downtown Pensacola has to offer.

Entrance of high-rise building
Downtown Pensacola.

Gulf Breeze – A convenient place to stay for Pensacola Beach on budget

Gult Breeze is located south of Pensacola, but north of Pensacola Beach. When you stay in Gulf Breeze you are just a short drive away from both.

So this is the option if you can’t decide if you want to stay downtown or on the beach. Or if you simply want to go a lot to both places and therefore stay in between them.

Another advantage with Gulf Breeze is that it’s often cheaper than if you stay directly on the beach. So you can pay lower rates when you stay here, even if you’re only a 10 or 15 minute drive away from the sandy snow-white dunes.

In other words, Gulf Breeze is a great choice if you look for cheaper rates and think that it’s fine to drive to the beach and downtown when you want to go there.

Stay in Gulf Breeze for: Being near both Downtown Pensacola and Pensacola Beach and budget-friendliness.

Sunset over Pensacola Bay
Sunset over Pensacola Bay.

Navarre Beach is an excellent option to Pensacola Beach. It’s also situated on Santa Rosa Island, but further east.

All that separates the two is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. And to drive the distance takes about 30 minutes.

The beach in Navarre is just as pretty as it is in the neighbouring community. Instead, the main difference is that Navarre is quieter. Here you find smaller crowds, less to do and fewer places to eat.

Also, it’s longer from Navarre Beach to all the things to do in Downtown Pensacola. So if you plan to go a lot there you should look into the other suggested areas to stay in.

All in all, Navarre Beach is a great option for where to stay near Pensacola if you want a quiet beach stay. It’s quieter than Pensacola Beach, but the beach is as beautiful.

Stay in Navarre Beach for: A quieter beach a scenic drive away from Pensacola Beach.

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

Search for a hotel in Pensacola

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

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