Traditionally, crowds have gathered at Naval Air Station Pensacola to watch Blue Angels practices. The naval base continues to be an outstanding option for taking in a practice show, with some important limitations to note.
Access to NAS Pensacola is currently limited to individuals with a Department of Defense ID card and their guests.
Generally speaking, this includes active-duty service members, retirees and their families. Guests must be accompanied by a DOD ID-card holder.
ACCESS TO NAS PENSACOLA NOW 7 DAYS A WEEK TO PUBLIC
Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola is scheduled to allow seven-day access to areas of public interest on the installation. Visitors to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola will now only be required to show a single government-issued identification card! State-issued driving licenses and passports are acceptable.
Fort Barrancas will be open on Saturday - Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
If you meet these criteria to visit the base, allow extra time for traffic and security checkpoints at the entrance gate. Once on base, follow signs to the National Naval Aviation Museum, which hosts visitors on the flight line behind the museum to view Blue Angels practices. The Tuesday and Wednesday practice demonstrations are typically scheduled for 10:30 a.m., and gates will open at 9:30 a.m. All visitors ages 16 and over will be required to show ID to access the museum flight line. Sunscreen and hearing protection (for noise sensitive spectators) are recommended. Bleacher seating can accommodate up to 500 guests, and chairs are available to purchase for day-use. Concessions and merchandise are available, as well.
So, what makes watching a Blue Angels practice at the museum special? Frequently, retired military personnel who volunteer at the museum will narrate the show, explaining many of the aerial maneuvers and sharing stories of interest. Following Wednesday practices, members of the Blue Angels often visit the museum to meet the public and sign autographs. For Blue Angels fans, this is the ultimate way to experience a practice performance and afterwards you can enjoy the military aircraft displays and flight simulators at the museum.
Other options for watching the Blue Angels practice from Naval Air Station Pensacola include:
Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum – Climb the 177 steps to the top of the lighthouse for a birds-eye view of the show. Children must be at least 7 years old or 44" tall to climb the lighthouse steps. Appropriate footwear is required, and admission fees apply.
Fort Barrancas – For a surreal blend of past and present military might, watch a Blue Angels practice from atop this historic fort, which saw combat action during the Civil War. Its location on a bluff overlooking Pensacola Bay make it an ideal spot to see the Blues in action.
National Flight Academy – In years’ past, the National Flight Academy offered limited roof-top seating for Blue Angels practices for DOD ID-card holders. Contact the NFA for current availability and pricing.
Remember, while Naval Air Station Pensacola offers many ways to take in a Blue Angels practice, access to the base remains limited as of this writing. For the latest admission information, consult NAS Pensacola.