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Things To Do In Pensacola

Known for a rich history dating back almost 500 years, the coastal city of Pensacola is filled with fun and interesting things to do no matter your interests. Tourists here can see over 150 retired warplanes at the National Naval Aviation Museum or take a short drive to Pensacola Beach for a relaxing day in the surf. Downtown Pensacola offers a variety of popular shops and restaurants among 500 years of history for a one of a kind experience. Use the following list of things to do to make the most of your time on the Emerald Coast.

Whether you like fine arts or lively bars, Pensacola is sure to have a fun for you to do. Some of the best attractions here include walking the Historic Pensacola Village or experiencing a taste of Pensacola at Palafox Market.


The best activities to do near Pensacola include:

  • Historic Pensacola Village: several museums and historic properties to see
  • National Naval Aviation Museum: witness over 150 different veteran airplanes
  • Palafox Market: fine art, fresh produce, antiques, and much more
  • Downtown Pensacola: lively bars and restaurants among 500 years of history
  • Pensacola Beach: 11 square miles of white sand beaches, natural areas, and historic landmarks

Free & Affordable Things To Do in PensacolaView All

Pensacola is filled with a variety of free and affordable attractions to keep you and your wallet happy. Both Edward Ball Trail as well as Florida Great Birding and Wildlife Trail have amazing opportunities to view wildlife for a low price.

Cheap activities near Pensacola include:

  • Florida Great Birding and Wildlife Trail: 510 wildlife viewing sites across the state of Florida
  • Quayside Art: a large co-op gallery featuring local artists from Pensacola and the surrounding areas
  • Edward Ball Trail: a quiet one-mile loop shaded by cypress trees
  • Pensacola Beach Gulfside Pavilion: an outdoor community pavilion and music venue located on Casino Beach
  • Clara Barkley Dorr House: a historic home built in 1871 believed to be haunted

With a history dating back to before the Revolutionary War, Pensacola offers a number of historic landmarks and other unique things to do. Some of the most frequented include the Pensacola Light, The Graffiti Bridge, and Fort Barrancas.

Popular attractions near Pensacola include:

  • Pensacola Bay: explore beaches, preserved lands, and historic sites
  • Fort Barrancas: a wonderfully preserved brick fort overlooking Pensacola Bay
  • Pensacola Light: climb to the top for amazing views of the bay and city
  • The Graffiti Bridge: an informal local art expose
  • Seville Quarter: a large venue with seven themed rooms and multiple bars

Visitors looking for fun things to do in Pensacola today are in luck. The city offers many different activities that can be done at a moment’s notice.

Exciting activities happening near Pensacola today include:

  • Pensacola Museum of Art: the only art museum in Pensacola opened in 1954
  • Bay Bluffs Park: 42 acres of walking paths, trees, and wildlife
  • Johnson Beach: a quiet beach perfect for swimming
  • Bayview Park: tennis courts, picnic areas, and a dog park on the bay
  • Hangar Bay One: a museum inside a large hangar with restored aircraft and a flight simulator

Fun Group Activities for Adults

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When the Florida sun sets, there’s still much fun to be had in Pensacola. Nighttime excursions consist of whiskey tastings, live music, and so much more.

Nighttime attractions near Pensacola include:

  • Gulf Coast Brewery: a brewery with a wine and cigar lounge as well as ping pong and darts
  • Old Hickory Whiskey Bar: craft cocktails with high quality whiskey’s and other spirits
  • Jellyfish Restaurant: a full-service restaurant open late with a lively bar
  • Flora-Bama Lounge: a gulf front oyster and beach bar where Florida meets Alabama
  • Rosie O' Gradys Dueling Piano Show: cheap drinks and entertaining live music

There are many things to see and do in Pensacola this weekend. Santa Rosa Island is a 40-mile long barrier island with beaches and nature preserves to explore only a short drive away.

Weekend activities near Pensacola include:

  • Santa Rosa Island: a 40-mile barrier island with numerous beaches, historic landmarks, and nature preserves
  • Vince J. Whibbs Sr. Community Maritime Park: an open-air amphitheater and green space offering a variety of entertainment
  • Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve: this nature preserve has 7.5 miles of trails through coastal habitats
  • Fort George: a recreation of the British fort built in 1778
  • Blackwater River State Recreation Area: kayak or paddle through one of the purest sand-bottom rivers in the world

Pensacola is a very family-friendly city. It is home to a couple amusement and recreation parks as well as museums with interactive exhibits.

Family-Friendly things to do near Pensacola include:

  • Sam’s Fun City: an amusement park near the water with go-karts, laser tag, and more
  • Pensacola Children’s Museum: a kid-friendly museum devoted to Pensacola history with interactive exhibits
  • Pensacola MESS Hall: a hands-on science museum with interactive exhibits
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park: take your whole family to jump, spin, and flip through this indoor trampoline park
  • Fast Eddie’s Fun Center: four go-kart tracks, arcade games, and mini golf

Romance is abundant on the Emerald Coast, especially in Pensacola. From romantic sunset cruises to candlelit, oceanfront dinners, date nights are easy to come by around here.

Date night ideas near Pensacola include:

  • Condor Sailing Adventures: offering private charters and sunset cruises
  • SoGourmet & Kitchenry: eat and learn how to make gourmet dishes
  • Gulf Coast Air Tours: see Pensacola and its beauty from the sky
  • H20: a beachfront grill serving Cajun and Asian dishes
  • Flounder’s Chowder House: eat a romantic seafood meal on the water

There are a number of terrific group attractions in Pensacola. You can challenge your friends to bowling with beer or take the pedal trolley from bar to bar, among many other things.

Things to do with your friends near Pensacola include:

  • DeLuna Lanes and Peter B's Sport Grill: challenge your friends to a few frames with beer and sports games
  • Pensacola Pedal Trolley: take a tour of Pensacola’s best bars on this pedal trolley
  • Escape Zone 60: test your group’s resourcefulness and team work
  • Rock Bottom Charters: take a boat tour around Pensacola’s coastal areas
  • Intercoastal Safaris: the best way to catch big fish in Pensacola

Home to many museums, historic buildings, and interesting shops, there is plenty of fun to be had indoors in Pensacola. The T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum is the place to go for artifacts and exhibits related to Pensacola’s history

Things to do indoors near Pensacola include:

  • Museum of Industry: showcasing the history of lumber, transportation, brick making & fishing in Pensacola
  • Blue Morning Gallery: showcases local talent and encourages the growth of the arts community
  • Tivoli High House: a reproduction of a historic house that is now a museum
  • Historic Pensacola's Museum of Commerce: reconstruction of a Pensacola streetscene based on businesses that operated here in the early 1900s
  • T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum: dedicated to displaying artifacts from Pensacola’s colorful history

Pensacola offers many different things to do outdoors. You can visit the sight where Florida was given to the US from Spain or explore acres of wetlands, to name a couple.

Outdoor activities near Pensacola include:

  • Yellow River Marsh Preserve State Park: explore natural area home to nearly 20 endangered species of wildlife
  • Plaza Ferdinand VII: the site of the transfer of Florida from Spain to the US in 1821
  • Admiral Mason Park: the site of a former baseball stadium with green space on the water
  • Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve and Nature Trail: hike through wetlands while viewing a variety of wildlife
  • Shoreline Park: fishing, kayaking, swimming, and a playground

There are numerous hidden gems strewn about the Emerald Coast. The Gulf Breeze Zoo is a worthwhile stop due to its abundant wildlife attractions.

Must-see places near Pensacola include:

  • Gulf Breeze Zoo: home to more than 900 animals across 50 acres
  • Big Kahuna’s: take your kids down the tall water slides at this water park
  • Destin Harbor Boardwalk: the perfect place to take a stroll along the beach past popular shops and restaurants
  • Gulfarium: dolphin encounters and animal shows in a park built in 1955
  • Air Force Armament Museum: the museum in the United States dedicated to Air Force Armament