About Our City

Located in Florida’s panhandle, Pensacola is surrounded by 50-plus miles of coastline which includes the emerald-green Gulf of Mexico waters and crystal clear bay areas.  This makes Pensacola the perfect combination of a relaxed beach town and bustling metropolitan center. The temperate, climate and a friendly community that is driven toward success present an unparalleled quality of life. 

The city has a proud military heritage, thanks to the Naval Air Station. In addition to being the "Cradle of Naval Aviation," the Pensacola Bay Area is proud to call itself home to the renowned Blue Angels, officially known as the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.  Welcoming family or friends for a visit is convenient with our local Pensacola International Airport which offers nonstop air service to nine major U.S. cities, over 1300 domestic flights, and 21 international flights via six major airlines.

There is no shortage of entertainment, and Pensacola prides itself on its diverse and emerging cultures.  Annual festivals, events, and performances display the region’s greatest musicians, food, artists, shows, and vendors that captivate the heart and history of the area.  Residents benefit from an abundance of resources, from the more than 40 primary and secondary schools which boast some of the highest standardized test scores in the state, to area hospitals and retirement homes which have won numerous awards and continuously rank among the best in the state. Pensacola’s heritage includes a mix of many different cultures, making it the ideal place to learn, grow, work, and play. The variety of opportunities available in Pensacola attracts people from all backgrounds to the region. From military personnel to snowbirds, the area is rich in life, commerce, and southern culture.


City Facts & Figures

Population (2010):  51,923
Median Age (2009-2013):  41.9
Median Household Income (2009-2013): $44,144
Households (2009-2013):  22,150
Persons per household (2009-2013): 2.33
Persons per sq. mile (2010):  2,303.5
Land Area in sq. miles (2010):  22.54
Housing Units (2010):  26,848
# of Companies (2007):  7,986
Retail Sales, $1000 (2007):  $21,499
Retail sales per capita (2007):  1,160,355
Veterans (2009-2013):  5,895

Credit: U.S. Census Bureau


DID YOU KNOW?

⇒ Pensacola boasts the shortest average commute time in the country? Only 19 minutes!

⇒ The Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent Metro Area's cost of living is 5.80% lower than the U.S. National Average.

⇒ The Pensacola area averages 220 sunny days per year.

Credit:
FloridaWest Economic Development Alliance

History

Established in 1559 by Don Tristan de Luna and Spanish settlers, Pensacola is America’s First Settlement. Pensacola is proud of its rich heritage and significant place in America’s history. Often referred to as “The City of Five Flags”, Pensacola is known for having changed ownership several times. The Spanish, French, British, Confederate, and American flags have all flown over our beautiful city. The fascinating past of our city is celebrated every year at our many historic sites, festivals, and parades.

Recently, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain visited to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Pensacola along with the world’s third largest tall ship, the Elcano. The famous Royal Spanish Navy ship returned again in 2015, and the Port of Pensacola was one of two American ports the ship visited that year.

Like the story of our past, the many historical attractions in Pensacola are colorful and interesting. Historic Pensacola Village includes furnished period houses, several museums, and one of Florida’s oldest churches. The Veterans Memorial Park contains the only permanent replica of Washington D.C.'s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Visitors and residents alike also enjoy the Pensacola Lighthouse, the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, and the National Naval Aviation Museum.

More than 450 years after our founding, Pensacola is still a flourishing city, with its thriving economy, beautiful landscape, and remarkable past.

Pensacola Beach

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Pensacola Beach was awarded TripAdvisor's 2015 Traveler’s Choice Award for being one of the top 5 beaches in the nation. It has also been ranked among the best in the country by Dr. Beach and the Travel Channel. Located on Santa Rosa Island, our beach is one of the longest barrier islands in the world. In addition to the sugar white sand and crystal clear emerald waters, our beach also offers first-rate fishing, many local hang-outs and top-notch restaurants, as well as the historic Fort Pickens.

The famous 1,471 feet Pensacola Beach Pier is one of the longest in the Gulf of Mexico. The Portofino Boardwalk, on the Santa Rosa Sound, is home to local open-air bars and restaurants, shops, piers, and shallow water for children.

Another popular attraction is the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which is the longest stretch of protected seashore in the United States. Located on both sides of Pensacola Beach, Gulf Islands National Seashore earned the title of "No. 1 Best Florida Beach," in USA Today's "10 Best Readers' Choice" awards, chosen by voters of USA Today and 10Best. It is an ideal area for all kinds of aquatic and land activities, such as biking, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving, collecting seashells, or kayaking. During the summer, visitors can be entertained with free concerts four nights a week.

We are proud of our beautiful beach, which offers some of the best fishing and boating in Florida.

Downtown Pensacola

A combination of rich history and cosmopolitan success make Downtown Pensacola the heart and soul of our city. From award-winning restaurants, unique boutiques, incredible event venues, to the multiple beautiful and historical parks, there are arts and cultural experiences at every turn.

Downtown Pensacola is home to the historical district, filled with 500 years of great facts, as well as one of the American Planning Association’s “top 10 Great Streets in America”: Palafox Street. Palafox Street is a great place to discover all types of remarkable local businesses in Pensacola. Visitors and residents alike enjoy strolling through our beautiful parks, including Plaza Ferdinand, the Veterans Memorial Park, Alabama Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza and Plaza DeLuna. Many bike-ride and run next to the shining waters of Pensacola bay. Downtown is also filled with great art museums, such as the Pensacola Museum of Art and Artel Gallery. Children enjoy the Children’s Museum or Mess Hall where they can have hands on fun with science, math and engineering. Residents and visitors flock downtown for the endless festivals, art shows, Gallery Nights, parades, and performing and visual arts. Downtown is the heart of America’s first city; it’s where the city began, and where growth and progress continue to meet with a past more than 400 years old. Modern condominiums and historical houses complement each other right next to the waterfront, culture thrives, and excitement is never-ending.