Get your free Visitors Guide

Search

 

Explore History

The Pensacola Bay Area has been loved by explorers for more than 450 years. From forts and cannons to shipwrecks and railroad bandits, our story is one of conflict, courage and perseverance. It’s the stuff bedtime stories are made of.

 

Fort Barrancas

Pensacola Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL
850.455.5167
www.nps.gov/guis

Built around previously constructed 17th and 18th-century Spanish forts as well as the Advanced Redoubt nearby, Fort Barrancas was constructed in 1939 as a United States military fort overlooking Pensacola Bay on the grounds of what is now Naval Air Station Pensacola. The fort was later designated as a National Historic Landmark and transferred to the control of the National Park Service.

 

Fort George

501 N Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL 32501
850.436.5670
www.exploresouthernhistory.com

A small park at the intersection of Palafox and La Rua Streets in Pensacola, Florida, preserves a portion of the site of old Fort George. Built by the British when they occupied the city from 1763-1781, the fort was a major target during the Battle of Pensacola, one of the least known yet most significant battles of the American Revolution.

 

Fort Pickens

1400 Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
850.934.2635
Details | www.nps.gov/guis

Fort Pickens, named after American Revolutionary War hero Andrew Pickens, is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay and its navy yard. Construction on the fort began in 1829 and was completed in 1834. Fort Pickens was one of only four forts in the South that was never occupied by Confederate forces during the Civil War. The fort became part of a popular Florida State Park until the creation of Gulf Islands National Seashore in 1971. Following extensive repairs by the National Park Service, the fort was reopened in 1976.

 

Museum of Commerce

201 E Zaragoza Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
850.595.5985
Details | www.historicpensacola.org

Inside this brick turn-of-the-century warehouse is a reconstructed 1890s era Pensacola streetscape. On exhibit are historic shops featuring toys, hardware, music, households, leather goods as well as a print shop exhibit containing one of the most complete collections of antique presses and type in the Southeast. An interesting collection of horse-drawn buggies and an antique local trolley car are also part of this nostalgic recreation of yesteryear.

 

National Naval Aviation Museum

1750 Radford Boulevard, NAS Pensacola, FL 32508
850.452.3604
Details | www.navalaviationmuseum.org

One of TripAdvisor’s “Top 25 Museums in the United States,” the museum features nearly 350,000 square feet of displays and is one of the world’s largest aviation museums. Located aboard Pensacola Naval Air Station, the facility boasts more than 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation, and is one of Florida’s most visited museums. Be sure to visit Hangar Bay One, displaying aircraft of the post-WWII era including the presidential helicopter, Marine One. Among the countless things to touch, see and experience – thrilling 3D and HD flight simulators and the new Blue Angels 4D Experience. Learn about the magic of flight in the new laser powered Giant Screen digital theater.

 

Pensacola Children’s Museum

115 East Zaragoza Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
850.595.1559
Details | www.historicpensacola.org

This hands-on exploration of Pensacola history is geared for children age 10 and younger. The first floor Discovery Gallery recreates colonial life in Pensacola. The second floor explores Pensacola’s military, maritime, industrial, multicultural, Native American and Civil War history. Plenty of play area is located on each floor. The first floor Party Central room is where storytelling and special activities are held.

 

Museum of Industry

200 E. Zaragoza St., Pensacola, FL 32502
850.595.5985
www.historicpensacola.org

Lumbering, brick making, railroads and commercial fishing were among the industries that propelled Pensacola from a sleepy frontier garrison into a thriving commercial center in the 19th century. Step back in time and learn more about some of Pensacola's pivotal industries. The museum is a popular stop on the self-guided tour.

 

Old Christ Church

405 S. Adams St., Pensacola, FL 32502
850.595.5985
www.historicpensacola.org

Completed in 1832, Old Christ Church is one of the oldest surviving church buildings in Florida, serving the Pensacola community as an Episcopal Church, public library, and museum. The building was also occupied by federal troops during the Civil War. Today, it is a popular stop on the guided tour and continues to serve the public as a museum, special events venue and meeting hall as well as hosting weddings.

 

Pensacola Historic Village

120 Church Street, Pensacola FL, 32502
850.595.5985
Details | www.historicpensacola.org

Historic Pensacola Village is the museum operation of the UWF Historic Trust, which is a direct support organization of the University of West Florida. The Village consists of more than twenty properties in the Pensacola National Register Historic District. Historic Pensacola Village includes these self-guided museums: Museums of Commerce and Industry, Julee Patton Cottage, Manuel Barrios Cottage and the McMillen House. Costumed guides take visitors through the Lavalle House, the Lear-Rocheblave House, the Dorr House and Old Christ Church. Living History programs are presented throughout the week at the Lavalle Kitchen House. Tickets are purchased in the Tivoli High House Shop.

 

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

2081 Radford Boulevard, NAS Pensacola, FL 32508
850.393.1561
Details | www.pensacolalighthouse.org

Climb 177 steps up the historic Pensacola Lighthouse for one of the most beautiful views on the Gulf Coast. Built in 1859 and towering from on board NAS Pensacola, the lighthouse remains active and manned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The top of the tower offers stunning views of Pensacola Pass, three historic forts, the Pensacola skyline, and the historic Navy Yard. The fully restored Keepers' Quarters — built in 1869 — houses the Richard C. Callaway museum, which showcases several exhibits on local history and the lighthouse itself. Is the Pensacola Lighthouse haunted? The Travel Channel and SciFi's Ghost Hunters think so! In fact, it’s been called one of the most haunted lighthouses in America. But somethings you just have to see for yourself. Join us for a ghost hunt in the Keeper's Quarters — see if the local spirits will greet you. 

 

St. Michael’s Cemetery

6 N Alcaniz St, Pensacola, FL 32501
850.436.4643
www.stmichaelscemetery.org

The heart of historic Pensacola, Florida holds an eight-acre green space known as St. Michael's Cemetery. Officially designated a cemetery by the King of Spain in 1807, the land has served as a burial ground since the mid 18th century. This open air museum tells the story of Pensacola’s diverse history. The cemetery provides resting places for Captains of Industry, victims of Yellow Fever epidemics and steamship explosions, alongside those who died in childbirth, as infants, and of old age. Here you can see approximately 3200 marked graves, while subsurface anomalies indicate that possibly 4,000+ remain unmarked. The cemetery’s tombstones reflect not only the status and ethnicity of individuals but also society as a whole on the Florida Gulf Coast frontier. One has only to walk down the surviving colonial road bed at the site’s south end to experience the strong sense of place and identity – a feeling of community.

 

T.T. Wentworth Museum, Jr. Florida State Museum

330 South Jefferson Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
850.595.5990 
Details | www.historicpensacola.org

Housed in the three-story Mediterranean Revival architecture of the former Pensacola City Hall, built in 1907, the Wentworth Museum, a highlight of the self-guided tour, is a general history museum with galleries dedicated to both permanent and changing exhibits. The first floor houses the Wentworth Store and ticket desk. The City of Five Flags permanent exhibit tells the unique story of Pensacola through artifacts, photographs and stories told through archaeology and preservation efforts — all designed to help visitors experience life in Pensacola under five different flags.

 

University of West Florida - Florida Public Archaeology Network

207 E. Main Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
850.595.0050
www.flpublicarchaeology.org

The FPAN Volunteer Lab Program seeks enthusiastic volunteers of all ages to help rough sort artifacts recovered from local archaeological sites. Volunteers work with small screens, trays, brushes, magnets and other lab tools to clean and sort artifacts. Once artifacts have been cleaned, they are placed into groups of like materials (i.e. brick, glass, shell, ceramics, stone, etc.) No experience is needed, but all volunteers are given a brief orientation by a professional archaeologist their first day.

 

Veterans Memorial Park

200 S. 10th Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32502 
850.434.6119 
Details | www.veteransmemorialparkpensacola.com

Take a walk along Veterans Memorial Park’s winding sidewalks and reflect upon the service and sacrifice made by men and women in the armed services. The Pensacola community stands proud of its military tradition and continues to be enriched by a strong military presence. The focal point of the park is The Wall South, a half-scale version of Washington D.C.’s Vietnam Memorial Wall. The park features various service branches and includes memorials for the Revolutionary War, both World War I and II, the Korean War and the Global War on Terror. Veterans Memorial Park honors the memories of the lives sacrificed defending this nation. 

 

 


Get Your Passport and Be a Pensacola Explorer!

Download Your Passport

 

Explore 450 years of history right here in America’s First Settlement. Walk through forts, historic landmarks and the largest Naval Aviation Museum in America. Get hands on with real science and engineering experiments or blow your own glass. Discover new trails and habitats of seashore birds while biking, hiking or kayaking in our state and national parks.

 Download Your Passport 

 

Explore Nature

From nesting sea turtles to carnivorous plants, our natural beauty sets us apart.

Explore Science and Engineering

We might be rooted in the past, but our eyes are turned firmly toward the future.

Explore Arts and Culture

Our artistic spirit is alive and well – our sugar-white beaches and turquoise water have inspired artists for centuries.

Search for a Room