Pensacola, Fla. (June 21, 2023) – As the highly-anticipated summer season kicks off, Pensacola, Fla. is setting up to welcome travelers and intrigue locals with freshly-completed renovations, exciting grand openings and new outdoor amenities across the destination.
Rebrands and Reopenings
A city booming with growth and revitalization, Pensacola and its residents are welcoming change with the reopenings of popular destinations like Naval Air Station Pensacola, home to the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola Lighthouse, and Fort Barrancas. Naval Air Station Pensacola reopened to the public on May 17, 2023, following a nearly three-year closure to the public.
The Hilton at Pensacola Beach will also see changes to its onsite restaurant this summer. Salt, formally H20, will focus on Gulf-to-table cuisine featuring vibrant flavors and rich cultural traditions of the Mediterranean served alongside unique cocktails like Salt of the Earth made with Maestro Dobel tequila, Cointreau, sumac, and beet. Guests can now make reservations for their next relaxing lunch or candlelight dinner. The Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach, answers the island’s call for delicious New York-style pizzas with the newly-opened Piazza Pizza. The highly-anticipated pizzeria will serve made-from-scratch 14-inch pies, crafted with house-made dough, old-style red sauce, and an array of topping choices. Makers Cafe & Espresso Bar recently opened on Pensacola’s award-winning Palafox Street. Known for serving high-quality coffee, with a focus on espresso-based drinks, Maker's also offers a variety of freshly-baked pastries and goods made with locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Native Cafe, a favorite of locals and beach-goers alike and known for its hearty homemade breakfast, is currently undergoing an expansion to accommodate guest demand and is slated to reopen on Pensacola Beach in late Summer 2023.
Enhancements continue to take effect around Pensacola with new resorts including the now-open Pensacola Beach Resort, formally known as Margaritaville Beach Hotel. The change in name is accompanied by 1,200 square feet of renovated event space, a new restaurant – Windrose, and a vibrant beach bar, while maintaining beloved resort elements like 161 waterfront guest rooms, beach access, an elevated pool deck and signature southern hospitality.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Pensacola Beach is also one of the latest additions to Pensacola’s growing list of lodging options, which will begin checking-in travelers in Summer 2023. Providing simplicity and comfort, the waterfront hotel boasts over 200 rooms and a large, covered outdoor deck for bar fare and drinks by the pool and Gulf of Mexico. The pool is complete with a lazy river surrounded by palm trees, tropical plants and flowers, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere for guests to soak in the rays.
Open Air Amenities
While stunning nature trails and pristine beaches are positioned along the Pensacola cityscape, the coastal community has developed new outdoor facilities perfectly intertwined with the city itself. Community Maritime Park, located amidst the walkable downtown Pensacola, has recently opened a public marina at the Pensacola Bay Pier. The Downtown Pensacola marina will provide free public waterfront access points and feature floating docks, 48 boat slips, kayak launch docks, kayak storage racks, a fishing weigh station and more. Available seasonally from March through October and November through February, the marina is an exciting and budget-friendly way to explore the city's downtown area from a new perspective. Pensacola’s latest outdoor installment is the Blake Doyle Skatepark, sprawling over one city block and positioned beneath the Interstate 110 overpass. Modeled after iconic skate parks in Los Angeles, the Blake Doyle Skatepark includes a beginner area for those new to skateboarding, a multi-level skate plaza, two skate bowls and sidewalks traversing the park.
The world-famous Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, will take to the skies throughout select dates this summer to show off their dazzling tricks and perilous maneuvers. While the Blue Angels launch from Naval Air Station Pensacola, the destination offers several watch points including Fort Pickens, Pensacola Beach, various points throughout Historic Downtown Pensacola, and even on the water with select boat cruises. Visitors can witness the Blue Angels during their scheduled practices throughout June, July and August, as well as during the annual summer air show on Saturday, July 8, 2023. For more information on scheduled shows and practices, visit here.
Electric Serenade offers a mic, a stage and over 60,000 songs to choose from for a harmonious karaoke night. The vintage Green Room boasts a Hollywood meets Rock ‘n’ Roll aesthetic with lounge couches, a big screen TV, boom speakers and a disco ball. Singers and 11 of their closest friends can staff their private room with a concierge bartender or opt for private bottle service for a one-of-a-kind karaoke-concert experience.
Refined DiningFollowing the recent opening of Lily Hall, a new boutique lodging house in Historic Downtown Pensacola, the property’s signature restaurant, Brother Fox, has launched a Spanish-inspired weekend brunch. Menu items include dishes such as Pan Con Tomate, Tortilla Espanola, a Bikini Sandwich, cured meats and cheeses, and more that can be accompanied by bottomless mimosas, signature Bloody Mary offerings or even a zero-proof Aperol Spritz.
Union Public House is Pensacola’s southern pub satisfying appetites for high-quality meals, crafty cocktails and a laid back atmosphere. Slated to open its new Garden Street location this August, the restaurant’s latest iteration will continue to offer its ever-evolving menu of signature favorites and more.
After a three-year hiatus, Atlas Oyster House will reopen mid-July 2023 with a slew of renovations, including an all-new covered outdoor seating area offering pristine views of Seville Harbor and Marina, a revamped menu helmed by Executive Chef Jason Hughes with six raw oyster options, seafood towers, 16 beers on tap and a brand new handcrafted cocktail menu, and a fresh new look inside, featuring new seating, ambient lighting and artwork that shares Pensacola’s rich maritime history. Atlas Oyster House will be open from 5 p.m. daily for dinner service; walk-in service only. The laid-back eatery also plans to offer brunch, slated to launch later this year.
When planning a visit to the destination, getting to Pensacola has never been easier, with direct flights from major hubs like Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Nashville. For those living in neighboring states such as Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the destination can also be accessed via road trip in five hours or less - making a sunny beach trip all the more convenient.
For more information about Visit Pensacola and upcoming happenings around the city this summer, visit www.visitpensacola.com.