Pensacola is famous for its gorgeous, sandy-white beaches and emerald waters, as well as the amazing Blue Angels and aviation history, but Pensacola is so much more than just a beach destination.
Published: March 24, 2013
By: Carol Muse Evans
Pensacola is famous for its gorgeous, sandy-white beaches and emerald waters, as well as the amazing Blue Angels and aviation history, but Pensacola is so much more than just a beach destination. It is a town that is brimming with history, great food and shopping, culture, fun kids’ activities and more. Pensacola has a vibrant downtown with boutiques, art museums, restaurants, history, sports and more that makes Pensacola not only a great place to visit but a great place to live, work, and play.
You could spend your whole vacation right on the beach without leaving, but too much in Pensacola is calling to come and take a look. One of our first stops was the Naval Aviation Museum (www.navalaviationmuseum.org) Admission is FREE, but donations are appreciated. Be sure to check out the website to plan what you want to see – there really is something for everyone, and kids of all ages will be fascinated, especially about getting to ride onto a real Air Force base to get there.
Check out the website or www.visitpensacola.com for a time to see the Blue Angels practice or in a show. Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels, officially known as the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. The “Blues” perform two shows a year in the Pensacola Bay area, one in July and another in November, but at 8:30 a.m. each Tuesday and Wednesday morning March through November they practice over Naval Air Station Pensacola.
While on the base there, try to make time to visit the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum (http://www.pensacolalighthouse.org) a great way to learn more about Pensacola’s history and get the best view of Pensacola. Admission is $5 for adults.
Your child may not be the “museum type,” but there are fascinating stories and artifacts to satisfy everyone in your family at the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum in downtown Pensacola, right in the heart of Historic Pensacola Village (www.historicpensacola.org). Then, take a walk across the street to the growing Pensacola Children’s Museum. This small museum packs a big punch of fun with history, crafts, play, dress up and more. Be sure to call ahead to make sure it’s open to the public (850-595-1559), as it frequently entertains school groups and birthday parties.
Historic Pensacola Village includes 27 properties in the Pensacola National Register Historic District. Eleven of these properties are interpreted facilities that are open to the public.
But it’s not just fun and history in downtown Pensacola. There’s art! Stroll down Palafox Street and enjoy many different art galleries, including the Artel Gallery, (www.artegallery.org), as well as boutiques and restaurants.
Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent, and the beach is always calling her name.
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