Visit Pensacola Beach Florida! Whatever your dream beach vacation looks like, Pensacola has it. Want a relaxing, low-key getaway in a quaint beach bungalow? Want a sport fishing, parasailing or scuba diving adventure? Or how about luxurious spa treatments, fine dining and shopping? Or nature trails, dolphins and shorebirds? Whatever you want on your vacation, Pensacola has just what you’re looking for when it comes to the perfect place to vacation! The Pensacola Bay Area offers big family fun with attractions and activities of every kind, and I could go on and on with a list of activities. Let’s not forget the beaches. Swimming in gentle surf, building castles on the sand and fresh seafood lunch in a casual waterfront restaurant add up to quiet, connected time together with your family or partner. Add in a reasonable price tag, and everyone is happy. Come to the Pensacola Bay Area and discover why it’s called one of the top family-friendly destinations. Visit the area beaches in Pensacola and along the Emerald Coast.
Pensacola Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Pensacola is between mid-September and October when both spring breakers and family vacationers have departed the city, leaving the beaches, attractions and restaurants devoid of peak season crowds. The weather is still moderate this time of year, and the risk of hurricanes wanes, too. The late fall and winter months of November through February are considered low season, with dropping temperatures and room rates. Heavy crowds of students and families swarm the city and its beaches in peak season’s early spring and summer to take advantage of the prime beach weather.
Historic Pensacola Village
The Historic Pensacola Village is a more than 8-acre complex encompassing nearly 30 properties (11 of which are open to the public). This district, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places, includes properties like the Lavalle House, the Lear-Rocheblave House, the Dorr House and Old Christ Church, which visitors can experience with a costumed tour guide. It also contains must-sees, such as the Wentworth Museum and the Voices of Pensacola multicultural center.
National Naval Aviation Museum
The National Naval Aviation Museum is based on board the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola. Founded in 1914, it’s the oldest air station in the country and it’s a rite of passage for all aviators and naval flight officers. Along with exhibiting more than 150 preserved aircraft, the museum also features exhibits showcasing the people and events that defined aviation history. NAS Pensacola is also home base for the Blue Angels, a demonstration squadron perhaps best known for its truly awe-inspiring aerobatic maneuvers.
Pensacola Beach outlines the Santa Rosa barrier island and offers visitors two very different beach experiences. On the Gulf side, visitors are treated to unparalleled Gulf Coast views, as well as a powdery white shoreline and emerald waters. The soft sands that ribbon the Santa Rosa Sound side of the island are popular among families since they offer gentle waves and access to a boardwalk filled with fun shops and restaurants.
Perdido Key State Park
Perdido Key State Park is a 247-acre barrier island positioned near Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico. Here, there are wide swaths of white sandy beaches and undulating sand dunes, sprouting with sea oats and other beach vegetation. Although sunbathing and swimming are the main activities here, surf fishing is also popular. You will appreciate how clean and peaceful this state park is. There are just enough fellow visitors to make Perdido Key feel not completely isolated. Also enjoy the nearby amenities including restaurants, a perfect for if you work up an appetite.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Recreation, exploration, and education…you can do it all at Gulf Islands National Seashore. Millions of visitors are drawn to the islands in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the white sandy beaches, the aquamarine waters, a boat ride, a camping spot, a tour of an old fort, or a place to fish. Gulf Islands National Seashore stretches for 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi and Florida, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. There is a an incredible variety of activities for visitors throughout the seashore year-round.
Things To Do In Pensacola
Pensacola Peddle Trolley
The Pedal Trolley is a 14 person, pedal powered, rolling party. You can reserve the entire Pedal Trolley, or just your own seat! Choose from either a pub crawl or historical tour, on which you will share a memorable experience with friends, co-workers, or even make new friends while experiencing local breweries and bars on a downtown pub crawl or uncovering the “best kept secrets” of America’s 1st Settlement on tours of the city’s historic districts and more! Telephone: 850-483-1405 Web: Pensacola Peddle Trolley
Emerald Coast Tours
Downtown Pensacola’s Premier Touring Company. Historical Tours of Downtown Pensacola by Segway or Bicycle. The only Segway Tour Operator in the Florida Panhandle. Bicycle Rentals. Walking Pub Tours. FREE Walking History Tours. Come as a tourist, leave as a local. Telephone: 850-417-9292 Web: Emerald Coast Tours
They offer two hour to full day private and shared cruises aboard their vessels. Sail, snorkel, observe dolphins and other wildlife, do some beachcombing, enjoy the sunset, paddleboard, dine, and more! Private and shared trips are available year round. Telephone: 850-723-6142 Web: Jolly Sailing.
Aquatic Charters offers 2 hour Dolphin adventures in Pensacola Bay and surrounding waters. Chase-n-Fins is a 50 foot twin diesel converted Navy Launch certified for 49 passengers. With plenty of open deck space, passengers can move about to position for the perfect photo or take advantage of the shaded area. The crew of Chase-n-Fins is very knowledgeable about Dolphins and the area marine life as well as the local and historical landmarks. The Dolphin are willing to entertain you in their natural environment. Telephone: 850-492-6337 Web: Chase-N-Fins.
Located in the heart of Pensacola Beach at the Portifino Boardwalk, they are easy to get to and accessible by trolley. Established in 1974 for the watersport enthusiast, Key Sailing is, and remains, the premier facility for paddle-boarding, Hobie sailing, parasailing, wave runners, kayaks, pontoon boat rentals and much more! Telephone: 850-932-5520 Web: Key Sailing.
Best Pensacola Restaurants
The Native Café $11 – 30
Native Café is a place to taste all the flavors that the Gulf Coast has to offer. It is known to the locals as being the best breakfast restaurant on Pensacola Beach. Tantalize your taste buds with their hearty homemade breakfast, sensational southern-style sandwiches, and Gulf seafood. You must try their signature dish, The Original Florida Fish Tacos, which has gained praise from local and distant communities as among the best anywhere. Telephone: 850-934-4848 Web: The Native Café.
The Grand Marlin Pensacola $31 – 60
The Grand Marlin offers a tranquil, relaxed atmosphere where patrons can enjoy the most memorable dining experience on the Gulf Coast. They have the area’s best selection of seafood, highlighted by daily specials from the kitchen of prize-winning Chef Gregg McCarthy. Printing its menu daily, The Grand Marlin ensures its choice of fish and shellfish will be the freshest on the Gulf Coast. And for those in the mood for something other than seafood, they offer steaks, poultry dishes and other fare to meet your every taste. They also have the area’s best-stocked, most tempting oyster bar where the finest oysters are shucked to order. It’s a perfect place for a quick lunch, to meet friends for their daily Happy Hour or to sample the specialty baked oysters. Telephone: 850-677-9153 Web: The Grand Marlin Pensacola.
Restaurant IRON $31 – 60
Restaurant IRON serves southern contemporary cuisine fueled by local vegetables and herbs from the creative minds of true Southerners. They bring together fresh local and regional specialties with the finest flavors and ingredients across the nation and beyond. Telephone: 850-476-7776 Web: Restaurant IRON.
Global Grill $31 – 60
Global Grill is an upscale tapas bar and restaurant in Downtown Pensacola. Executive Chef Frank and his wife, Jane, serve up the tapas style of dining. The Global Grill offers unique culinary creations combined with Mediterranean, European, Asian and American influences. The Global Grill takes pride in using the freshest local seasonal seafood and produce to create innovative and exciting tapas and main plates. Telephone: 850-469-9966 Web: Global Grill.
Jackson’s Steakhouse $31 – 60
Jackson’s Steakhouse is the cornerstone of Pensacola’s restaurant scene. They use only the freshest local and seasonal ingredients possible, and pair them with Midwestern wet-aged beef that has been selected by hand, and the best game meats available. The team at Jackson’s continually strives to provide an unparalleled food and wine experience for every guest, every night. Telephone: 850-469-9898 Web: Jackson’s Steakhouse.
Best Pensacola Bars & Nightlife
Casino Beach Bar & Grill
Casino Beach Bar and Grille is known for its beachfront dining featuring fresh island cocktails, quality coastal cuisine, and picturesque views. Go on over and check out their weekly drink specials, happy hour and special events featuring live music. Telephone: 850-426-4283 Web: Casino Beach Bar & Grill.
The Shaka Bar is tucked away behind Aloha Wine & Liquor on Pensacola Beach. This little Tiki Bar is home to fishermen, surfers and friends of the Aloha Family. There is a casual outside deck bar overlooking Little Sabine Bay that is open March thru October. The small bar upstairs is open year round. Telephone: 850-932-2411 Web: Shaka Bar
Peg Leg Pete’s Oyster Bar
Peg Leg Pete’s sells only oysters, shrimp and a few sandwiches. There is always a great selection on the jukebox or a talented musician on the stage in the dining room. Peg Leg Pete’s is one of the hot spots on Pensacola Beach. Locals loved the year round great prices. Tourists are treated as if they were a local. Peg Leg Pete’s represented Pensacola Beach hospitality at its best! Telephone: 850-932-4139 Web: Peg Leg Pete’s Oyster Bar.
Paradise Bar & Grill
Paradise Bar & Grill on Pensacola Beach invites you to “boat it, bike it or walk it” to the hottest spot on the island. On any given night you may be treated to national touring bands or one of the best local entertainers. Sip a cocktail and enjoy the view while the grill prepares one of its famous burgers, sandwiches or seafood dishes. Telephone: 850-916-5087 Web: Paradise Bar & Grill.
The Wine Bar & Bistro
They have the best by the glass wine list in the area, there are always 30 or more wines offered by the glass. Regular wine tasting every Friday beginning at 5:30; for only $5, sample six fantastic wines and then receive $5 off any bottle to go. This is a very cozy environment where you can relax, take your time and enjoy. Telephone: 850-916-1009 Web: Wine Bar & Bistro.
Best Pensacola Hotels
Hilton Pensacola Beach
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. This Pensacola Beach hotel overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 3 on-site restaurants and a free 24-hour business center. H20 A Cajun-Asian Grill at the Pensacola Beach Hilton is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a beach view. Guests can also enjoy sushi in the hotel’s Bonsai Sushi and Lounge or a drink in Latitudes Beach Bar.
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pensacola Beach
Featuring direct access to Pensacola Beach, this hotel offers a hot buffet breakfast and suites free WiFi. Facilities include an outdoor pool, and Gulf Islands National Seashore is 6 minutes’ drive away. A fitness room, 24-hour front desk, an on-site cash machine are available at this Pensacola Beach SpringHill Suites. Laundry and dry cleaning facilities are offered as well. The breakfast room offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. The SunRays Sandwich shop offers a variety of sandwiches and snacks.
Margaritaville Beach Hotel
In Pensacola Beach, this Florida resort features an outdoor pool and on-site restaurant. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, and the resort is less than half a mile from Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier. A fitness center, bike rental, and seasonal paddle board lessons to all Margaritaville Beach Hotel guests. The entertainment staff offers classes such as and margarita-making for adults and a kid’s club. Frank & Lola Love Pensacola Café serves fresh seafood as well as an extensive burger all day. Seasonal LandShark Landing Beach Bar offers drinks and snacks on the beach with live music during weekends.
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. This beachfront hotel boasts an outdoor swimming pool with a cascading waterfall, 2 hot tubs, and a 250-foot heated seasonal lazy river. A Gulf-front sun terrace with a fire pit is offered on site. The fitness center has a beach view. Seasonal children’s activities, including poolside movies and pirate and mermaid shows are available. Riptides Sports Grill and Beachfront Tiki Bar serves casual American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as cocktails.