From the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic, the Sunshine State boasts 825 miles of beaches, many of which are ranked among the best on the planet. With an average of 230 days of sunshine a year, Florida's shores are hard to resist for vacationers looking for sun, sand and sea. Each year USA Today challenges its readers to choose a favorite Florida Beach for its annual Readers Choice Awards and remarkably, Pensacola Beach has won the esteemed accolade and been named to the list multiple times. So, what make Pensacola Beach so special? Read below to find out why our slice of paradise tops the charts time and time again.

The Beach is Just the Beginning….

What's your daydream? Days spent lazing on sugar-white sand? Soaking up the charms of a locals-love-it downtown? Roaming the halls of a pre-Civil War fort? Getting in touch with your outdoorsy side? Pensacola Beach is just the beginning to an entire area that delivers the experience you crave. Even better – you have options...pick just one way to spend your time with us or mix and match as it suits you. 

Big Lagoon State Park

 

Play Outside

Loading up the SUV for an outdoor adventure in Pensacola might take a while. Rolling hills skirt bayous and wetlands. Freshwater streams merge into bays that serve as a haven for sailing, rowing, angling, and paddling. These bays, in turn, feed the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Offshore grouper, snapper, and amberjack prowl a scattered fleet of sunken ships and artificial reefs just a short boat ride from Pensacola Pass. Combine our climate with this unique geography, and you get so many opportunities for outdoor activities, we bet you can't pick just one. To discover Pensacola’s outdoor bounty, click here.

Couple paddleboarding

 

Explore 450 Years of History

Consider yourself a history buff? Do you revel in the smallest battle details? Maybe you know your Navy Hellcat from its brother Bearcat and Wildcat. Or it might be that you're simply a student of life – curious about local architecture, museums, and cultural influences. Regardless of where your love of history falls, Pensacola offers centuries of stories and sites to explore.

Fort Pickens at sunset

 

Satisfy Your Tastebuds

With delectable dining establishments, lively libation locales and charming culinary festivals aplenty, the food & drink scene in the Pensacola Bay Area serves up some serious flavor. Food critic connoisseurs and casual-dining foodies alike can satisfy their cravings for breathtaking water-front dining restaurants, historic hole-in-the-wall eateries, sophisticated martini bars, and lively up-and-coming hotspots. 

BBQ Shrimp at Fisherman's Corner

 

Find Family Fun

Add one-part activity, one-part relaxation, and one-part value, and you'll see why the Pensacola Bay Area provides the perfect recipe for an unforgettable and affordable family vacation. Attractions and activities of every kind mean big family fun for visitors. Whether you’re climbing into the flight simulator at the world’s largest naval aviation museum, or kicking it on the beach, there's something for everyone. 

Naval Aviation Museum Blue Angels display

 

Be a Beach Bum

Last but not least, what you all came for, a beautiful beach experience! Undulating with the Panhandle’s patent dunes of talcum sands, Pensacola Beach and the surrounding beaches of Pensacola boast eight miles of sugar-white sand and emerald green water that are yours for the taking. Pensacola Beach is backed by a boardwalk filled with cozy boutiques and restaurants that serve delicious gulf-catch seafood. Beachgoers enjoy the clear, warm waters and gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico, perfect for swimming, paddling and snorkeling, along with a relaxed Old Florida feel. The Gulf Islands National Seashore and Perdido Key waver a more laid pack primitive continuum of platinum sandscape that feels otherworldly and primitive.

Family heading to the beach