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Pensacola Travel Guide, Florida

Pensacola abounds with sights, sounds, and things to do. Whether you're a historian or just plain folk, Pensacola is an enjoyable and relaxed city with an array of entertainment choices that's also remarkably well organized for visitors and should prove entertaining.

The city is mostly known for its historic buildings and it contains an extensive inventory of architecturally significant older buildings combining Old Spanish brickwork style with colonial French balconies and magnificent Victorian homes.

There is a growing consciousness of the need to preserve natural beauty and architecture of the city and the Pensacola Downtown Improvement Board has done everything to revitalize downtown. The once-abandoned, 125-year-old buildings are being occupied and many new businesses are opening downtown.

The city is full of rich history and a Mecca for history buffs. There are plenty of museums and historic sites to keep you busy throughout the day.

The National Museum of Naval Aviation is well worth a stop for the charming historical exhibits on the pilots who trained at Pensacola and the sense of local pride it contains. Besides historical exhibits you will be able to se up to date high-tech presentations of the navy's fastest fighters.

On the premises of the naval station is the historic Fort Barrancas that gives great views of the Santa Rosa Island. It is a meticulously restored structure built of brick by the Spanish in 1797 while the Americans added the brickwork of the fort's upper section between 1839 and 1844. The site is operated by the National Park Service that offer 1-hour free guided tours.

You shouldn’t miss the 1825 dating Pensacola Lighthouse even if it is not open to the public as there is a restaurant offering great views of the bay along excellent cuisine. Then you could walk the white-sand beaches of Pensacola Beach that attracts lots of tourists who love to get sun tanned and have their share of surfing and fun provided by the many venues on the beach most of them centered on Quietwater Boardwalk, a shopping-and-dining complex. You can party the night away at one of the bars listening to live music. The resort also caters to families who find the place very relaxing.

There are many historic districts in town and it will take you quite some time to visit them all. One of them is the Historic Pensacola Village, the Seville Historic District, the Palafox Historic District and the North Hill Preservation District. If you are thinking of taking a self guided tour, address to the Pensacola visitor center where you can get free walking-tour maps.

The Palafox Historic District has many attributes. Besides being full of historical buildings it is also a theme park and the downtown business district. It is home to museums of art and history, architecturally significant buildings in Spanish Renaissance, baroque and Mediterranean style and a wonderful dining place called the Hopkins' Boarding House that serves delicious food.

North of Palafox Historic District is the North Hill Preservation District, included in the National Register of Historic Places with buildings of astonishing architectural beauty where people of mixed culture still live here.

If you are in for a bit of entertainment the city awaits you with a wide range of venues and events. Florida Springfest, a 3-day music festival is one of them. It is a very popular festival that has big names on the performance list. Among other big draws are the Saenger Theatre boosting symphonic, opera and Broadway performance; the Seville Quarter a complex of pubs and restaurants and The Last Great Road House featuring top class country music and it is home to Frank Brown International Songwriters' Festival.

Pensacola is a vibrant and energetic city that's rich in history, architecture, culture and entertainment. So live it up in Pensacola!

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Pensacola City Ratings

  • Rating85%
    City Rank111
  • History & Culture: rated for 80%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 60%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 100%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 100%
  • Food: rated for 80%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 100%
  • Shopping: rated for 80%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 80%
  • Must visit this place: not rated
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