Looking for things to do in Pensacola? Pensacola has a lot to offer someone looking for a unique beach vacation. They have the stunning beauty of being on the Florida panhandle, the history of being one of Americas oldest cities, and a beautiful stretch of beach known as "Gulf Islands National Seashore." Paranormal activity is another one of their interesting claims to fame so this is a place you won't want to miss!
The City itself is over 450 years old! A fact that impressed me the first time I visited. One of the debates in Florida is whether or not Pensacola or St Augustine is Americas oldest city. While Pensacola was technically founded first, tragedy struck in the form of a major hurricane that killed hundreds. As a result, the settlement was abandoned for over 100 years. Meanwhile, though St Augustine was founded a bit later it has remained continuously settled ever since. So no matter who you side with it's undeniable that Pensacola has lots of historical points of interest to offer anyone wanting to visit this unique city.
Three Historic Forts: The historic civil war forts are something that I think everyone should experience at least once. Walking through the ruins truly feels like stepping back through time. You can literally feel the past in the very air and echo of footsteps all around you. It can be a little unsettling but also an amazing experience. Adults will appreciate the significant role the forts played in our history while the kids will love climbing through the tunnels and exploring the forts. If we are being honest the adults will probably enjoy that too. (No worries I won't tell.) They really offer something for the whole family and also make for some great photography.
The Three forts are located in different areas of the city but for me personally the real show stopper was Fort Pickens Civil War Fort located on the absolutely stunning Santa Rosa Island. Pack a lunch and make a day out of it Because Santa Rosa Island also is home to part of Gulf Islands National Seashore which is incredible in its own right. If you are looking for miles of untouched unspoiled pristine beaches without a soul in site then this is your place. The views are absolutely incredible and its easy to find a spot you can have all to yourself with no one as far as the eye can see. With luck even just for a day, you might actually think you have your own private island paradise. Who wouldn't want that?
Some other great things to do in Pensacola is the Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum: If you have ever watched Ghost Hunters then you probably know all about Pensacola's famously haunted lighthouse which was featured on their show. They make no effort to hide their haunted status and even offer overnight ghost hunts a few times a month if you are the adventurous and not easily scared sort.
If you are not into the paranormal don't let that stop you from visiting. The lighthouse dates all the way back to the civil war and has a great museum in the old living quarters. The lighthouse itself is awe inspiring to see from the ground but if you really want to see it in all its glory you got to make the climb up to the top where you will be treated to amazing panoramic views of Pensacola bay. The climb is definitely not for the faint of heart but is well worth the effort. Be sure to wear tennis shoes as flip flops are not allowed for safety reasons and you will have to climb up barefoot if that's all you have.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you can buy tickets to see the famous blue angels air show from the top of the lighthouse. It's well worth planning your vacation around that experience on its own. A Birdseye view of the blue angels is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Historic Village: The historic village is a large collection of historic sites, preserved structures, and museums that showcase the city's rich heritage. There are guided tours available for a small fee. There are many many structures and sites to explore so plan on spending a good chunk of time there. when you are finished head over and walk the Colonial Archaeological trail. It provides a unique walking tour of historic ruins and exhibits that show historical structures that date from 1552-1821. You can even see artifacts that have been recovered from excavations of the downtown district.
I have listed only a few of many things to do in Pensacola, and I hope you will add it to your list of future places to visit. Continue exploring the links below as I help you dive deep into all the best local activities and adventures on Florida's Gulf Coast.
Florida Gulf Coast > Things To Do In Pensacola