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What are Some Tourist Attractions in Pensacola, Florida?

Pensacola, Florida, is a treasure trove of white sandy beaches and historical landmarks. From the vibrant Pensacola Beach Boardwalk to the storied walls of Fort Pickens, visitors are immersed in both relaxation and rich heritage. Discover the National Naval Aviation Museum, where the spirit of flight comes alive. Ready to explore the blend of culture and coastal charm?
Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus

Pensacola, Florida has something for everyone. Tourist attractions in Pensacola range from beaches and parks to historic and military museums. Pensacola Beach, Hawkshaw Lagoon Memorial Park, Historic Pensacola Village and the National Museum of Naval Aviation are just some of the popular tourist attractions in Pensacola.

The National Museum of Naval Aviation is located at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola. The NAS began training virtually all American WW II pilots and other military air personnel in 1914. The National Museum of Naval Aviation features more than 130 Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft from the biplane to modern aircraft. Corsair, Hellcat and Avenger aircraft from World War II are located here as well as a display of four Blue Angels Skyhawk planes.

There are many beaches to enjoy in Pensacola, Florida.
There are many beaches to enjoy in Pensacola, Florida.

Historic Pensacola Village is one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Pensacola as it features some original nineteenth century homes of local residents. For example, Julee Cottage belonged to a free black woman named Julee Panton and some of the artifacts inside the home represent some of Pensacola's black history. Another original home here is the 1805 French Creole house that belonged to Charles LaValle. The LaValle home is complete with furnishings common to the period. Historic Pensacola Village also has a print shop and a harness shop exhibit.

Sea life, including dolphins, might be seen from the pier in Pensacola.
Sea life, including dolphins, might be seen from the pier in Pensacola.

Hawkshaw Lagoon Memorial Park is one of the most unique tourist attractions in Pensacola as it has the only Missing Children's Memorial in the United States. The memorial sculpture is called The Sanctuary, and it can be viewed from an observation deck in the Park. The Hawkshaw Lagoon Memorial Park also has a pedestrian bridge and is known for its ecosystem that includes sea life, animals, birds and plants.

Of course, some of the best tourist attractions in Pensacola are its beaches. Pensacola Beach is popular with tourists and has the distinction of being one of the world's longest barrier islands. Besides just relaxing and enjoying the sun and the sand, you can walk out on the pier known for fishing and for watching sea life such as rays, dolphins, crabs and sharks. Pensacola Beach is also a popular spot for water sports such as sailing and surfing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions to visit in Pensacola, Florida?

The top attractions in Pensacola include the National Naval Aviation Museum, which is the world's largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in Florida. Pensacola Beach and the historic Pensacola Village are also must-see destinations, offering beautiful beaches and a glimpse into the city's rich history.

Can visitors tour the Pensacola Lighthouse and what can they expect?

Yes, visitors can tour the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. They can climb the 177 steps to the top for a panoramic view of the Gulf Coast and learn about the history of the lighthouse through interactive exhibits. The lighthouse is also known for its haunted tours and beautiful sunset views.

Are there any historical sites to explore in Pensacola?

Pensacola is rich in history, with sites like Fort Barrancas, a 19th-century military fort, and the Historic Pensacola Village, which features 28 preserved buildings and museums. The T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum is another historical gem where visitors can delve into local history.

What outdoor activities are available in Pensacola?

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Pensacola, from snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico to hiking and bird watching in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Fishing charters and sailing are also popular activities, taking advantage of the area's rich marine life and beautiful coastlines.

Is Pensacola suitable for family vacations, and what are some family-friendly attractions?

Pensacola is very family-friendly, with attractions like the Pensacola Children's Museum, the Gulf Breeze Zoo, and the Perdido Key State Park, which offers calm waters for kids to swim. The Blue Angels practice sessions at the National Naval Aviation Museum are also a thrilling experience for all ages.

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Discussion Comments

Drentel

Animandel - Speaking of powerful, any list of things to do in Pensacola should include a visit to Hawkshaw Lagoon Memorial Park.

Though it might not be appropriate for everyone, visiting the missing children's memorial is a spiritual experience. Reading what you wrote about feeling like you are paying respect to the military members at the naval museum reminded me of how I felt at the children's memorial. To borrow your phrase, It was powerful.

Animandel

Sporkasia - I have visited the naval aviation museum in Pensacola, and I couldn't agree more. I went with a group of kids and they absolutely loved the aircraft. The Blue Angels Skyhawk planes were the biggest hit with the kids.

Seeing all the planes was great, but there were so much more. The visit was like paying respect to all the men and women who have done so much for this country while serving in the military. It was powerful.

Also, you're right about the restaurants and we found a great old Pensacola bakery. Yummy!

Sporkasia

The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a must-see. I know Florida has more attractions than a person can visit in one lifetime and choosing which ones to see can strain the mind. However, if there is any way possible, stop in at the naval museum.

The visit is worth your time, and there are plenty other things to do in Pensacola while you are there, including sampling the many Pensacola restaurants.

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    • There are many beaches to enjoy in Pensacola, Florida.
      By: dareon
      There are many beaches to enjoy in Pensacola, Florida.
    • Sea life, including dolphins, might be seen from the pier in Pensacola.
      By: crisod
      Sea life, including dolphins, might be seen from the pier in Pensacola.