Looking for a great vacation spot with beautiful beaches and plenty of activities? Then look no further than Pensacola, Florida! This historic city has something for everyone, from miles of unspoiled beaches to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. And of course, don’t forget to try a Bushwacker! So what are you waiting for? Get ready to make memories and have a great vacation in Pensacola, FL!
1. The Gulf Islands National Seashore
The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a beautiful place to visit. There are miles of unspoiled beaches and plenty of historic sites to explore. You can enjoy many activities here, such as swimming, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. There is an entrance fee, but it’s definitely worth it to spend some time at this gorgeous location.
2. The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum
The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum is a historic site that offers visitors a chance to learn about the area’s past and see some of its most famous landmarks. The lighthouse is 175 feet tall and has a spiral staircase with 177 steps. The museum contains exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and the shipwrecks in the area.
The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for children ages 6-12. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for an additional fee. And there are also tours of the museum available for those looking to learn a bit more.
3. The Pensacola Prehistoric Village
The Pensacola Prehistoric Village is a living history museum that depicts the everyday life of Native Americans in Northwest Florida. The museum is located on 15 acres of land and features a village with thatched-roof huts, a ceremonial center, and several nature trails.
One of the best parts of the Pensacola Prehistoric Village is the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities. Visitors can try their hand at making pottery, arrowheads, and baskets. These activities are not only fun, but are also educational. They also provide a great opportunity to learn about the culture and history of the area. If you’re homeschooling this is a place to check out for a history lesson!
The Pensacola Prehistoric Village is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for children under 5 years old.
4. Pensacola Museum of History
The ensacola Museum of History great place to learn about Florida’s history and culture. The museum features a collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Florida’s past. The museum was named after T.T. Wentworth, Jr., a Pensacola businessman, and philanthropist. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
This a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about Florida’s history and culture. The museum offers something for everyone, with its permanent exhibit on Pensacola’s history and its rotating temporary exhibits on various aspects of Florida’s past.
5. The National Naval Aviation Museum
The National Naval Aviation Museum is the world’s largest naval aviation museum and is located in Pensacola NAS. The museum has over 150 restored aircraft and missiles on display. There are also interactive exhibits, simulators, and a 4D theater. The museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm and is free to the public.
The museum’s collection includes fighter jets, bombers, helicopters, transport planes, and more. Interactive exhibits that allow visitors to learn about the science of flight and the different roles that naval aviators play and the history of naval aviation.
6. Try a Bushwacker
There are many bars and restaurants in Pensacola that serve Bushwackers, and the annual Bushwacker Festival is a great opportunity to try this delicious frozen drink. Bushwackers are made with vodka, rum, coffee liqueur, and chocolate liqueur, and they are sure to give you a buzz. So if you’re looking for something to do in Pensacola, Florida, why not head to one of the local bars or restaurants and give a Bushwacker a try?
7. Perdido Key
Perdido Key is a great place to visit! If you are looking for places to really enjoy nature, Pensacola’s Perdido Key State Park is the place to go! There are a number of native and migratory species making it a great bird-watching destination. Wildlife is abundant! From loggerhead sea turtles to the tiny but mighty Perdido Key Beach Mouse.
8. Hike at Bay Bluffs Park
Hiking is a great way to see the natural beauty of Pensacola, Florida. Bay Bluffs Park offers over five miles of hiking trails, that wind through oak woodland and the unique Florida red chalk landscape. The trails vary in difficulty, so there is something for everyone. The views from the top of the bluffs are breathtaking. Hiking is a great way to see wildlife in its natural habitat. Be sure to bring water and sunscreen, as there is no shade on the trails.
9. Gulf Breeze Zoo
The Gulf Breeze Zoo is a great place to visit if you’re looking for something educational and fun to do with kids in Pensacola, FL. With over 800 animals from all over the world, the zoo offers something for everyone. The zoo is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and offers a variety of shows and exhibits throughout the day.
One of the most popular attractions at the Gulf Breeze Zoo is the giraffe feeding station. For just $5, you can purchase a cup of food to feed the giraffes. This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing animals. The zoo also has a petting zoo where kids can interact with goats, sheep, and pigs.
10. Pensacola Museum of Art
The Pensacola Museum of Art is a great place to see a variety of art, from paintings to sculptures. The museum also offers a variety of programs, classes, and events for the public to enjoy. The museum was founded in 1921 and is one of the oldest museums in the state of Florida. The museum’s permanent collection features over 4,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary pieces. The museum also has a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
If you’re looking for a great place to see some art and learn more about the history and culture of Pensacola, Florida, then be sure to check out the Pensacola Museum of Art.
11. Explore the city with a hop-on hop-off bus tour
I’ve always said that one of the best ways to see a new city is on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour!
The tours are a convenient way to ensure you see all the city’s most important landmarks. You can get off wherever you feel like exploring and get on the next bus when you are ready to move to the next point of interest. The audio guide and commentary let you learn about local history too! We highly recommended these for anyone looking for interesting and informative things to do in Pensacola.
12. Have some fun in the sun at Pensacola Beach
Miles of pristine white-sand beaches make Pensacola one of the Sunshine State’s best destinations at any time of year. There is no better place to enjoy Florida’s great weather than Pensacola Beach – it is the perfect coastal getaway for your vacation!
You can enjoy the beach or try a number of watersports including snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, surfing, or stand-up paddleboarding. If you want to fish, the Beach Gulf Pier is the place to go!
13. Attend a hockey game at Pensacola Bay Center
If you’re looking for entertaining things to do in Pensacola, then add seeing the Ice Flyers to your list! The Ice Flyers are the local pro-hocket team and play home matches at Pensacola Bay Center.
14. Surf some waves
Pensacola’s warm waters and the city’s location on the panhandle make it one of the best places to surf in Florida. During the summer, waves are perfect for beginners to take a surf lesson and catch some waves. There are great local surf instructors and surf classes you can book, so get ready to get on the water. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf, there is no better place!
15. Take the kids to Pensacola Children’s Museum
The Pensacola Children’s Museum is great for kids 11 and under. Exhibits appeal to all ages and are updated throughout the year. The museum is located in Historic Pensacola and entry is included in the Historic Village unified ticket.
16. Try an escape room!
If you’re looking for a fun thing to do in Pensacola with your family we recommend giving an escape room a try! The themed puzzle rooms are a great way to have family fun while putting your heads together to beat the clock. There are a number of themed escape rooms in the area to check out!
17. Plaza De Luna Memorial Monument
Plaza de Luna is one of the city’s best waterfront parks. The park is named after conquistador Don Tristan de Luna and is located at the tip of Palafox South Street. Plaza de Luna has excellent views of the marina and the wooden walkways are a great way to explore.
18. Explore the historic Fort Pickens
For over 100 years, Fort Pickens protected Pensacola Bay from enemy troops. The fort was built after the War of 1812 and was the largest of the defenses that guarded the bay. It was decommissioned in the 1940s and is open to the public as part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore Reserve.
19. Kayak Pensacola Bay
Pensacola Bay is popular for kayaking and one of our favorite things to do when in the area. The tranquil waters of the bay can be explored on your own or with a guide. You’ll be sure to see native wildlife that will make your trip memorable.
20. See Pensacola’s Graffiti Bridge
As you know, we are big fans of street art and murals. So, when we heard that Pensacola had a graffit bridge, we had to include it on our list! The bridge is covered with different forms of street art. From graffit to wheat paste, you’ll see it all. Art changes regularly too making it an ever changing piece of expression.
21. Stop by the Museum of Industry
One of our favorite things to do when we travel is to stop by local museums. In Pensacola, you don’t want to miss a visit the Museum of Industry. This museum focuses on tools of trade and has fantastic exhibits on various industries. You’ll see how the fishing, lumber, and brick-making industries in the 1800s contributed to making the area a bustling business center. This is certainly a one-of-a-kind museum.
22. Learn and Experiement at Pensacola MESS Hall
Pensacola’s MESS Hall – an acronym of Maths, Engineering, Science, and Stuff -is a fun and interactive science museum in downtown Pensacola. You can get hands-on with experiments and use your creativity, making it a great education and fun place to visit. Exhibits and activities do change periodically so come get your science lesson for the day with everyone in the family!
There is so much to do in Pensacola! Whether you are looking for a romantic weekend or planning for some family fun with the kids, you won’t run out of things to do. So, grab your swimsuits and sunscreen, your Pensacola, Florida vacation is going be a blast!