Rated #1 in Best Places to Live in Escambia County by Niche.com, Niche gives Pensacola an overall grade of “A-”. Living in Pensacola offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Pensacola there are a lot of restaurants and parks. Many young professionals and retirees live in Pensacola and residents tend to have moderate political views. The public schools in Pensacola are above average.
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida. As of 2019, the population was estimated to be 52,713. Pensacola is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the Gulf Coast region, the largest between New Orleans and Tampa.
The city has been referred to as "The Cradle of Naval Aviation". Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP) was the first Naval Air Station commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1914. Tens of thousands naval aviators have received their training there, including John H. Glenn, USMC, who became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962, and Neil Armstrong, who became the first man to set foot on the moon in 1969. The Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, is stationed there.
The National Museum of Naval Aviation is located on the Naval Air Station and is free to the public. The museum cares for and exhibits hundreds of vintage Naval Aviation aircraft and preserves the history of Naval Aviation through displays, symposiums, IMAX movies and tours.
Family Friendly Attractions
Pensacola is home to a number of annual festivals, events, historic tours, and landmarks. The Pensacola Seafood Festival and the Pensacola Crawfish Festival have featured live music for nearly 30 years in the heart of Pensacola’s historic downtown has been held for nearly 30 years. The Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival is held annually in November in Seville Square, and often draws more than 200 regional and international artists. The Children's Art Festival, also held in Seville Square, displays art by local schoolchildren. Pensacon is a comic convention held each February, with nearly 25,000 attendees from around the world.
There are several walking tours of restored 18th-century-era neighborhoods in Pensacola.
Pensacola is the site of the Vietnam Veterans' Wall South. There are a number of historical military installations from the Civil War, including Fort Barrancas. Fort Pickens served as a temporary prison for Geronimo. Other military landmarks include the National Naval Aviation Museum and Pensacola Lighthouse at NAS Pensacola.
The area was originally inhabited by Muskogean-speaking peoples. The Pensacola people lived there at the time of European contact, and Creek people frequently visited and traded from present-day southern Alabama. Spanish explorer Tristán de Luna founded a short-lived settlement in 1559. In 1698 the Spanish established a presidio in the area, from which the modern city gradually developed. The area changed hands several times as European powers competed in North America. During Florida's British rule (1763–1781), fortifications were strengthened.
It is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags", due to the five governments that have ruled it during its history: the flags of Spain (Castile), France, Great Britain, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America. Other nicknames include "World's Whitest Beaches" (due to the white sand of Florida panhandle beaches), "Cradle of Naval Aviation", "Western Gate to the Sunshine State", "America's First Settlement", "Emerald Coast", "Red Snapper Capital of the World", and "P-Cola".