With several popular beach destinations on Florida’s Emerald Coast, it can be hard to pick the right spot to spend your time. Look no further than Pensacola, a city that’s been claimed by five countries since the 16th century and is home to the longest stretch of federally protected seashore in the U.S. When you land at Pensacola International Airport, you’re only a short drive away from downtown, where you can discover all the City of Five Flags has to offer.
First on your list should be the Historic Pensacola Village, an eight-acre complex that encompasses nearly 30 distinct properties and preserves the city’s fascinating history. This district, which appears on the National Register of Historic Places, includes properties known for their French architecture like the Lavalle House, the Dorr House, and Old Christ Church. The Historic Pensacola Village is also home to multiple museums, like the Museum of Industry, which offers visitors a chance to learn about some of Pensacola’s pivotal industries such as brick making and lumbering. If you love taking to the air, visit the National Naval Aviation Museum. This museum is onboard the Naval Air Station Pensacola, the oldest air station in the country. Along with exhibiting more than 150 preserved aircraft, the museum also features exhibits that showcase people who have defined aviation history.
But a trip to Pensacola isn’t complete without spending time at one of its many beaches. One of the most popular area beaches is Pensacola Beach, a barrier island anchored at the western tip of Florida, stretching for miles along the Gulf of Mexico. From its lively crowds at its lifeguarded main beaches, to the secluded beaches of Gulf Island National Seashore, you’re sure to find the perfect spot in the sand. The National Seashore is an undeveloped and preserved stretch of sand and sea reaching from Cat Island in Mississippi to Okaloosa in Florida.
For other beachy activities, check out the Perdido Key State Park, a 247-acre barrier island positioned near Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico. Perdido Key has white sand beaches and rolling dunes that make the park a favorite destination for swimmers and sunbathers alike. Beachgoers might also enjoy the views of the Gulf Coast when they visit the Pensacola Lighthouse. Established in 1859, this lighthouse serves as a history museum and an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. Climb the lighthouse’s 177 steps to take in the incredible vantage point and peek inside the old keeper’s quarters.
No matter if it’s a stroll through the historic downtown neighborhood, a day of surf and sand, or panoramic views of the Gulf Coast, Pensacola truly has it all. What are you waiting for? Learn how you can book a flight to Pensacola with Southwest®. Because when you book with Southwest, you can book with confidence. Discover more about what makes the Southwest® Experience so unique. Reserve your upcoming flight to Pensacola.
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Things to do in Pensacola.
- Fort Pickens
- Historic Pensacola
- Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
- Gulf Island National Seashore
- Pensacola Beach
- Perdido Key State Park
- Museum of Commerce
- National Naval Aviation Museum
- Pensacola Children’s Museum