If you’ve never been to Pensacola before, what are you waiting for? Start planning today with some insider advice.
Visiting Pensacola for the first time is exciting. The anticipation may have you dreaming of beautiful beach scenes and warm breezes from the Gulf of Mexico. The area is rich in sunshine, sand and outdoor opportunities, to be sure, but there is so much more – over 400 years of history, delicious dining options, museums and shopping, to name a few. You will want to plan ahead to take advantage of all that the Pensacola area has to offer.
All roads lead to Pensacola. Traveling by car is an option for many visitors, as you can map a route to Pensacola easily from the region’s major interstate highways – Interstate 65 and Interstate 10.
If Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key is your chosen destination, there are hotels, condos and camping options galore. Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front is one hotel that especially caters to families, with a 250-foot lazy river pool and on-site kids’ activities. In Perdido, choose from several condo options that make it possible to truly unwind while still being close to attractions such as Big Lagoon State Park and the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Downtown Pensacola hotels offer easy access to shopping, dining and entertainment venues along Palafox Street, as well as the Blue Wahoos Stadium and Historic Pensacola Village. You will find a few national hotel chains, but new boutique lodging has really elevated the options for guests. The Celestine is a charming bed and breakfast in the city’s North Hill neighborhood. At Oyster Bay, a boutique hotel, guests can enjoy views of Pensacola Bay from the front porch or relax among luxurious amenities just steps from popular dining and nightlife spots.
In whatever area of Pensacola you decide to stay, there are options to fit every budget. If you are flexible with the time of year you visit, you may be able to save some money. Many properties offer more affordable rates during spring and fall.
When you visit Pensacola, you won’t have to ask what there is to do, but you might ask how to fit in all the activities that you’ll want to do. As a local, I still haven’t figured that out, but vacation is a great time to start.
Fried shrimp, oyster platters, the perfect piece of fish – For many visitors, seafood is what it’s all about when dining out in Pensacola. Experience casual dockside dining at Peg Leg Pete’s on Pensacola Beach, or enjoy the waterfront views at Perdido’s Sunset Grille or Jaco’s in Downtown Pensacola. Whether you’ve just stepped off the beach in flip-flops to grab a burger or want to dress up for a night of award-winning cuisine, Pensacola has something to whet every appetite.
With these ideas and the trip planning resources available for your visit to Pensacola, you can look forward to a fun and memorable first-time stay.