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What are Some Tourist Attractions in Pensacola, Florida?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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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.

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.

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.

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Discussion Comments
By Drentel — On Jan 29, 2014

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.

By Animandel — On Jan 28, 2014

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!

By Sporkasia — On Jan 27, 2014

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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