History Buffs Pensacola
There’s a lot of buff people on the beach — shout out to our boy Larry at the lifeguard shack! 😉 But if you’re more of a history buff, we can dig it. (Is there an archaeology joke in there?) Contrary to popular belief, Pensacola was the very first European settlement in America. That means that we have a whole heap of history right here in our hometown. From monuments and museums to historic forts, you can flex your brain and give that sunburn a day off.
Pensacola is the Cradle of Naval Aviation. It even says so on our water tower as you come off the highway. The National Naval Aviation Museum is the largest aviation museum in the world. It houses more than 150 aircraft of Navy and Marine Corps history that have been restored to their former beauty. Whether you’re an aviation lover or not, the museum is an awesome collection you simply can’t see anywhere else.
Built in 1859, the Pensacola Lighthouse is an iconic piece of Pensacola history. If you’re looking to send a chill up your spine, the Keeper’s Quarters make this lighthouse the most haunted in America. Hey, ghosts need friends, too.
In 1907, the former Pensacola City Hall building was erected in the Mediterranean Revival style. Today, that same building is a museum that features all things Pensacola. The wonderfully eclectic Trader Jon’s exhibit pays homage to local legend Martin Weissman, a veteran of WWII and owner of the former hottest bar in town. Scoot along through the museum and learn all about our rich, somewhat turbulent European history and why Pensacola is known as the “City of Five Flags.”
While the museums and landmarks in Pensacola are exciting and engaging, our streets and homes tell the story. Take a guided walking tour through the downtown streets with a passionate historian, highlighting the unique architecture and stories of the people who lived there. Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and are included in the price of admission.
Fort Pickens was built after the War of 1812 in an effort to better fortify the shores of Pensacola. Even though Fort Pickens was located in the South, it was controlled by the Union Army for the entire Civil War. Today, you can walk on the same walls that were once patrolled by Union soldiers. Fort Pickens is also one of the most breathtaking locations for sunsets.
Opened in 1925, this Spanish Baroque building is the center of theatre and show business in Pensacola. Make sure to check the schedule for any upcoming shows or performances taking place in this historic Pensacola landmark.
Old Christ Church, built in 1832, is the oldest standing church in the entire state of Florida. The beautifully preserved white exterior of this quaint church contrasts with the colorful streets of Downtown Pensacola. The guided tour stops here, and it is a popular spot to stop for photos … or get married, if you’re into that kinda thing.