Pensacola Beach-Navarre, Florida, Visitors Guide
The history of Pensacola Beach is both seen and felt. Visitors are first greeted with the classic Pensacola Beach marquee, and continue to encounter the community's cultural heritage during their stay. From the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, the longest in the Gulf of Mexico, to the centuries-old Fort Pickens, awe-inspiring landmarks surround visitors. Similarly, Navarre Beach is home to ancient wetlands harboring local wildlife not found anywhere else on earth. History aside, these versatile beach destinations deliver the same tours, attractions, dining, and nightlife that you'd expect out of any top-tier vacation spot. Whether you're in search of a quiet retreat with a loved one, a cultural adventure, or an authentic Florida beach getaway, Navarre and Pensacola Beach are the perfect choice.
If you’re looking to escape the “salt-life” for some time, head to the city of Pensacola, FL. From historical sights to bustling entertainment districts, downtown Pensacola is packed full of rich culture. Having been ruled by 5 different countries in its extensive history, Pensacola is nicknamed the "City of Five Flags," and remains a true melting pot when it comes to food, music, architecture, and more.
Enjoy a vacation filled with sunshine during your stay in Pensacola Beach and nearby Navarre, Florida! Northwest Florida receives an average of 320 days of sunshine a year. Mid-Western and New England residents, as well as many foreign visitors, find themselves unprepared for the warm, humid climate producing hot, hot, summers, and no dry season.
The "warm season", lasting May 24th to September 30th, produces an average temperature of 83.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the "cold season", lasting November 30th to March 5th, cools even the bravest beach goers with an average daily temperature of 56 degrees (and a low of only 46 degrees)! Be prepared to dress in layers in the late fall, winter, and early spring, and to peel those layers down to a bathing suit when May comes around.
Pensacola Beach is known for beautiful beaches, scrumptious seafood, and a busy nightlife. All of these features work together to provide travelers with stunning landmarks that help give a glimpse into the Gulf Coast lifestyle.
Perhaps the most memorable landmark is the retro Pensacola Beach flashing sign! Commissioned in the late 1950s, the sign was designed by Patricia Born, and built by Lamar Advertising in 1960. The sign can be visibly seen from US Hwy 98 and points the way to the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is one of the longest in the Gulf of Mexico at 1471ft. The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is located conveniently beside the Portofino Boardwalk which features bars, restaurants, and shops.
Not far down the road, Navarre, Florida stands as one of the most quiet and affordable beach destinations within the Emerald Coast. Just as you cross the Navarre Beach Bridge from the mainland onto the island of Navarre Beach, you can't help but recognize the large beach park on the east side of the strip. The Navarre Beach Marine Science Station is a public research center that allows public tours and educational visits. On the Science Station's website, www.navarresciencestation.org, the mission is stated as the appreciation, conservation, and understanding of the marine ecosystem of coastal Florida through education and service.
Historic Pensacola is known for its vintage architecture, variety of restaurants and taverns, and a strong military presence. All of these features work together to provide travelers with stunning landmarks that help give a glimpse into the Gulf Coast lifestyle.
The Pensacola Lighthouse was built in 1859, 38 years after the United States took control of Florida from Spain. The lighthouse sits on an active military base, the Naval Air Station Pensacola, and offers climbing tours, history lectures, sunset tours, children's programs, and hosts both weddings and special events. While in Pensacola also be sure to check out the Wall South Vietnam Veterans memorial, Crystal Ice Company building, and more historic and monumental attractions.
Dining & Nightlife
Coastal atmosphere and southern hospitality make dining and nightlife in Pensacola Beach and Navarre a pleasurable occasion. In the communities of Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach discover seafood restaurants with stellar views of the Gulf of Mexico. It is also easy to find familiar chain restaurants, as well as food trucks, which continue to grow in popularity in resort towns of the Florida panhandle.
Hit Navarre Beach for multiple watering holes including "Juana's Pagodas", a massive restaurant/bar/night club located directly on the beach. Enjoy live entertainment while dancing on the sand covered floors, relaxing on the deck, or lounging on one of the many beach chairs laid along the shoreline.
Head West to Pensacola Beach and make a stop at the Margaritaville Hotel for some Lunch or Dinner at their in-house restaurant. Stay a little later and head to the Landshark Bar outside the hotel for some Jimmy Buffet tunes and cocktails. Spend a day as a "Parrot Head" in Pensacola Beach and enjoy the fun, sun and sand!
Many restaurants in Pensacola are built among historic, century old structures, accentuating any patrons' dining experience. The nightlife is strongest in Pensacola's downtown historic district with bars and clubs like Seville Quarter, and multiple Pubs and Taverns leading an extensive roster of exciting party destinations.
Beachside Condos and Hotels are popular with visitors to Pensacola Beach and Navarre, Florida. The first thing to consider when looking for a rental in the Gulf Coast is: Hotel or Condo?
Hotels typically offer limited amenities, more traditional rental rooms, and less proximity to the beach. But the average Hotel makes up for what it lacks by offering lower and negotiable rates, and 24 hour service. Many renters consider Condos for their stay because of the large room size (to more easily accommodate larger families and longer stays), and proximity to the beach (many condos are Oceanside and feature gulf views and instant beach access). Also, condo management typically will include family-fun activities and events like movie nights, beach luaus, and pool parties to give guests more bang for their buck.
Remember that rates for Rental Homes, Condos, and Hotels fluctuate seasonally. Typically rental rates will increase in the spring and summer, and drop during fall and winter. If interested in booking a rental, always attempt to book in advance for the best prices and availability.
Top 10 Pensacola Beach-Navarre Travel Tips
- Never underestimate the sun, use sunblock at all times. The white sand may be cool to the touch, but it's also reflecting the sunlight upwards and accelerating the rate at which your skin will tan (or burn).
- Tour companies are typically slower on Saturdays and Sundays during the peak tourist season (June-August). Look for special deals and offers on these days to save on tickets.
- Visit the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk for shopping and dining. It's also a great way to hear live music daily during the Summer season.
- Joe Patties Seafood Market is one of the oldest and largest seafood markets in the area. Stop by for a bite to eat, or take some fresh local seafood home for a delicious meal.
- Hurricane season starts through June and run through November. Make sure to check the policy on hurricanes before booking lodging or activities. Some rental agencies are more restrictive than others.
- Head to the zoo for a fun non-beach day activity. It's inexpensive and even has a safari train that runs through the park.
- For those travelers who plan on going charter fishing, but don't know what to do with the meat, take it to a local seafood restaurant. Most seafood restaurants will prepare your fish into a meal for a fair price.
- Head over to Fort Pickens for some historic landmarks and history lessons.
- Pensacola NAS is home to two of the top museums in the country. The Naval Air Museum is home to several WWI and WWII aircraft and holds tours daily. There is also the Pensacola Lighthouse next door that is full of history and interesting artifacts. Climb to the top for great panoramic photos of Pensacola!
- McGuires Restaurant in Pensacola is a must visit. The atmosphere alone will make you pull out your camera and snap a few shots. There food portions are generous, but relatively inexpensive. Try some of their locally brewed beer or locally famous "boxleys".
What is Pensacola Beach-Navarre Known for
White Sand Beaches, Parks & Recreation, Fort Pickens, Blue Angels Air Show, Gulf Breeze Zoo, Palafox Street, Seville Quarter, City of 5 Flags, Pensacola NAS, Pensacola Beach Boardwalk, Historical Landmarks
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