One of the great things about a getaway to the Pensacola Bay Area is you get the best of both worlds: a historic destination with natural scenic beauty, perfect for an outdoor adventure. For centuries people have been exploring the Pensacola Bay Area; from Native Americans before the historical era to the moment Tristan de Luna first hiked its shores. Today you and your family can spend the day exploring historic forts, hike on the site of a 19th-century water-powered industrial complex, walk around a charming downtown area all while discovering the history of the colonial period.

Want help preparing for a perfect Pensacola getaway? Here are some ideas to help you begin planning a sunshine-filled getaway to Pensacola.

1. The Florida National Scenic Trail in Fort Pickens

The trailhead of the westernmost part of the Florida National Scenic Trail is located in Fort Pickens, just outside the main fort area. The walk from the trailhead to Battery Worth is an easy walk just under one mile. The trail runs alongside salt marshes and small canals where you'll enjoy viewing turtles and other wildlife. It's here that Confederate and Union soldiers clashed as the Confederates made an attempt to retake this fortress.

Fort Pickens

2. Pensacola Lighthouse

The Pensacola Lighthouse, built in 1859, gives you the most stunning views of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and surrounding coastal areas. At the lighthouse you can experience the museum and then climb the 177 steps to the top, don't forget your camera. After visiting the lighthouse take your family on a hike under the canopy of large Oak and Pine trees. 


3. Colonial Archaeological Trail

The Colonial Archaeological Trail is a fascinating walking tour of history from the period of 1752-1821. You can access the trail at the Pensacola Museum of History located in beautiful downtown Pensacola. On the walk, you'll learn about the 18th-century colonization of Pensacola. The trail has interpretive signs to learn about the different sites as you explore the downtown Pensacola and the Historic Pensacola Village. While exploring you may enjoy getting coffee at a local coffee shop or grabbing a bite to eat at a nearby cafe.

Pensacola Museum of History

4. Pensacola Maritime Trail

Our natural deepwater bay was an invitation to early explorers and was the reason Pensacola has a rich maritime history. The Pensacola Maritime Trail is located in Downtown Pensacola along Pensacola Bay. The walking tour is made up of ten signs that discuss everything from the Native Americans, Spanish Exploration, 18th Century Pensacola and much more. 

Sign at Pensacola Maritime Trails

5. Arcadia Mill

Arcadia Mill is a unique archaeological site that represents a water-powered industrial complex. The site includes a small museum, a discovery pavilion, elevated boardwalk with interpretive signs and nature trails. Not only will you enjoy the outdoors you'll also take a stroll through 200 years of history.

Arcadia Mill