My Top Things to Do in Pensacola Florida / by JD Andrews

My first trip to Pensacola was last November while doing research on an article for Visit Florida. (confession: when I was a kid, I thought it was pronounced pepsi-cola) On my second day in town I was contacted by Visit Pensacola asking if I'd like to be shown around. After a few hours seeing the sights, I couldn't believe how much there was to do and see in this town that's only 45 minutes away from Alabama. My surprise and excitement was over whelming and I kept on saying "this place is great, more people need to know about Pensacola" After the trip, I contacted Visit Pensacola hoping we could work together and a few months later, I was back in town exploring and sharing more of my new favorite destination. 


Admission is FREE! It's the world's largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most-visited museums in the state of Florida. With over 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. Plus the world-famous Blue Angels are based at NAS Pensacola, and can be seen practicing over the Museum most Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from March to November.

Open Daily 9am - 5pm
1750 Radford Blvd., NAS Pensacola, FL 32508


I live in South Florida, we have beaches, parking is expensive, they are crowded and in the shadow of massive condos. If you like big, beautiful, un-crowed beaches with FREE parking - Pensacola should be your next destination.

Another thing you won't see in South Florida (unless there's a hurricane) is surfing! Also these beaches have been ranked among the best in the country by USA Today, TripAdvisor and the Travel Channel.


Big Lagoon State Park - A 705-acre Florida State Park located approximately 10 miles southwest of Pensacola.

Perdido Key State Park - A 290-acre Florida State Park located on a barrier island 15 miles southwest of Pensacola.

Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park - A 4,290-acre Florida State Park preserve located 10 miles southwest of Pensacola.

Fort Pickens - Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore - Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay during the American Civil War. Great beaches here as well!


Historic Pensacola - Come explore the 8 1/2 acres and 28 properties, eleven are open to the public.

Pensacola Lighthouse - Built in 1859, climb 177 steps up for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast. Open Daily 10am - 5:30pm

Downtown - More and more chic shops and trendy restaurants are  showing up around historic Palafox Street, the city’s award-winning main street.  


Aquatic Charters - Dolphin Cruise onboard Chase-N-Fins - A 2 hour Dolphin adventures in Pensacola Bay and surrounding waters. Learn about dolphins and the history of the area.

I didn't have enough time but there is tons more to do:

Parasailing, fishing, diving, snorkeling, surfing, paddle-boarding, sailing, wind-surfing, jet-skiing, kayaking, etc.


There are so many great bars, coffee shops and restaurants in Pensacola, below are the ones I had a chance to visit.

The Drowsy Poet - Great coffee shop, where the locals go.

McGuire's Irish Pub  - Estimated, over a million dollar bills hang from the ceiling and walls.

Flora-Bama Yacht Club - Right on the border, great food and views.

Native Cafe - My favorite B-fast place, get there early, always a line.

Old Hickory Whiskey Bar - mmmmmm whiskey

Five Sisters Blues Café - historic and delicious!

The Grand Marlin - Amazing location on the water with great seafood.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Visit Pensacola but as always, all opinions photographs and text are all mine.