Pensacola, Florida was my first home in the sunshine state when I joined the Navy many years ago.
Pensacola is not only a historic town, it is a military town as well.
Naval Air Station Pensacola and other military operations in the area are a key component of the town's culture and economy.
The name Pensacola came from the Spanish word for the Indians they found in this area in the 1500's when Panfilo de Narvaez and Hernando de Soto were stomping around.
Pensacola, Florida celebrated its 450th birthday in 2009.
Tristan de Luna y Arellano came to Pensacola in 1559 with 1400 people on 11 ships to settle the area. A giant hurricane came along shortly after they landed and killed hundreds of people.
The Spanish decided not to settle northwest Florida for a while and abandoned the area for more than 100 years.
Pensacola Harbor Scene
Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763, but Britain gave it back
after the Revolutionary War. Finally Spain sold Florida to the United
States and Pensacola was in the United States as of 1821.
strategic location on the northern Gulf Coast has helped make it an
important military city. Locals refer to Pensacola as "The Cradle of Naval Aviation", since Naval Air Station Pensacola was the first naval aviation training base set up by the Navy in 1914.
Thousands of naval aviators got their training at NAS Pensacola, and the Navy's aerobatic squadron known as the Blue Angels is based in Pensacola.
Things To Do In Pensacola Florida
The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a great place to visit on the base, and is free to the public. The museum is home to hundreds of historic and modern aircraft.
National Museum of Naval Aviation
Other interesting places to visit include Fort Barrancas and Fort Pickens where poor old Geronimo was held as a prisoner many years ago.
addition to the military presence, Pensacola Florida has many annual
art and music festivals, historic tours and ancient restored
neighborhoods from the earliest days of its settlement.
The Pensacola Seafood Festival and the Pensacola Crawfish Festival are held each year at Seville Square in the heart of downtown.
The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is also held each year in November and attracts more than 200 artists.
and St. Augustine continually compete for the title of most ancient
city in America. Pensacola is actually a tad older, but St. Augustine
touts itself as being the oldest "continuously occupied" city in
The video below by Holden Hardman shows Pensacola as it was 100 years ago and how it is in 2017. It is one of several such videos he produced and published on Youtube.
PENSACOLA HERITAGE SITES
As Florida's oldest city, the State of Florida has designated many heritage sites in the area.
Alger--Sullivan Lumber Company Residential Historic District
Barrancas National Cemetery
Big Lagoon State Park
British Fort of Pensacola
Charles William Jones House
Crystal Ice Co. Building
Escambia County Courthouse
Fort Barrancas Historical District
Fort George Site
Fort San Carlos de Barrancas
Greater Mount Lily Baptist Church
Gulf Islands National Seashore
Historic Pensacola Village
Julee Cottage Museum
L & N Marine Terminal Building
L & N Passenger Terminal
National Museum of Naval Aviation
North Hill Preservation District
Old Christ Church
Pensacola Historic District
Pensacola Historical Museum
Pensacola Lighthouse and Keepers Quarters
Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District
Pensacola Resource Learning Center and Library
Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Scenic Highway
Perdido Key Historic District
Perdido Key State Park
Plaza Ferdinand VII
St. Joseph's Church Buildings
St. Michael's Creole Benevolent Association Meeting Hall
The Empire Building
Pensacola Beach is a short hop across the waterway and has some of the finest white sand beaches in Florida.
McGuires Irish Pub 600 E. Gregory Street Pensacola, Florida 32502 Tel: 850-433-6789
may be older than St Augustine as far as Spanish settlement in Florida,
but there is nothing like an Irish Pub to stimulate the senses in a
pleasant setting not far from downtown.
get to Pensacola too often, but when I do I like to stop at McGuire's.
They have great steaks and a wide variety of beer. The food portions
are very large, so you'd better be hungry.
The waits are usually not too long, but there is a nice gift shop to
browse through and a lot of celebrity photos to look at while you wait.
I don't want to spoil your fun, but it's also a laugh to see people try
to figure out which restroom to use.
The place is huge, with numerous large and small dining rooms, and is
loaded with charm and local history. The bathroom fixtures, for example,
are from an old hotel that once stood in downtown Pensacola. The walls
and ceilings are covered with thousands of dollar bills, signed and
dated by previous diners.
They have very large hamburgers and delicious fries. Typical pub style
meals like shepherd's pie and fish and chips are also available. They
also have pasta dishes that are very good. The bread is warm and
excellent, and they have some very good seafood platters. They have a
fantastic bean soup for only 18 cents. Yes!
For something different, try the liverwurst sandwich. It's a half pound
of liverwurst with onions, chips and a beer for $5.99. It will fill most
people up, so you might consider sharing it with your partner. Another
nice dish is the salad plate with chicken rolled in almonds and served
McGuire's has it's own microbrewery on the premises, and serve a variety
of their own beers along with other popular brands. They also have a
wide selection of wine and liquor.
Prices are fairly high by Pensacola standards, and it is somewhat of a
"tourist trap". There are enough locals that come in to keep prices and
quality on a better level than most places that just cater to tourists.
McGuires has live entertainment in the main dining area. The music is
typically Irish pub style rowdy music and drinking songs. Once in a
while they even have a bag piper.