Must-Sees in Downtown Pensacola
It’s no secret Pensacola, Florida is a common tourist destination for people in the United States. Northwest Florida is home to beautiful, white-sand beaches you can’t find anywhere else in the country. So, people travel across the country to visit the beaches. Many people even move here to embrace the Southern beach culture and lifestyle. But, did you know the beaches aren’t the only great thing about the area? Downtown Pensacola also has some amazing, must-see attractions. In this blog post, we introduce you to some of these attractions that make both locals and tourists love our city.
A Very Brief Overview
Our city has put in a lot of work to make downtown Pensacola safe and fun. The town has its own improvement board who focuses on the experience of visitors through regular meetings. This board is responsible for making the area charming and pleasant to visit. Many of the board members are business owners who have a deep appreciation for the area. So, you can trust you will enjoy visiting downtown Pensacola, and you will want to spend many afternoons here.
Must-Sees in Downtown Pensacola
The feel of downtown Pensacola is often a primary reason people want to move to the area. Sure, the beach is fun, but it won’t be the only thing you want to do when you live in Pensacola permanently. Our fun downtown is what seals the deal for people wanting to relocate to somewhere special. When planning your visiting to downtown Pensacola, consider going to the following places.
Pensacola Museum of Art
Downtown Pensacola has a beautiful art museum with a great collection. Funded by the University of West Florida, the Pensacola Museum of Art has pieces from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. They have a permanent collection featuring contemporary art which you won’t be able to find anywhere else. It’s a great place to visit with your kids, as they have children’s classes and camps. They also have adult art workshops, which make for a great date night activity after getting a nearby dinner. No matter if you are just visiting Pensacola or are a long-time local, consider visiting the Pensacola Museum of Art.
Palafox Market is a busy farmer’s market in the heart of downtown Pensacola. Every Saturday, local farmers bring their fresh produce to Palafox Street and sell it to customers. There are several farmers who come to the market, all of whom have a different selection of items. Some have baked goods, canned goods, and even pickled produce. One of the best items you can find at the Palafox Market is local honey, which can be difficult to find at grocery stores. Consider stopping by and supporting your local farmers by shopping their high-quality produce. And produce isn't the only thing sold at the Palafox Market. It's not uncommon to find dog bandanas, candels, or a wide assortment of other handcrafted items for sale. You never know, shopping at Palafox Market may become one of your regular Saturday morning activities!
Historic Pensacola Village
A major attraction in downtown Pensacola is the Historic Pensacola Village. This is a neighborhood in downtown Pensacola that depicts the 19th century, back when Pensacola was inhabited by Spaniards. A good way to describe the neighborhood is as a live-action Spanish colony. Here, you will see employees reenacting what a day in the life of Spanish settlers looked like. From open hearth cooking, candle making, doing laundry, and gardening, you will get a great lesson of how people used to live in the downtown Penacola area. They also change the village every season so it’s more realistic and accurate. Visiting Historical Pensacola Village is a great history lesson for kids especially, as they can learn as they are watching.
Bubba’s Sweet Spot
There’s nothing like getting some homemade fudge and ice cream after a long day of laying on the beach! If you ask people about places to get ice cream in Pensacola, they will likely recommend Bubba’s Sweet Spot. This delightful ice cream shop is well known for their unique ice cream flavors and homemade treats. Although it’s relatively new compared to many of the other businesses in downtown Pensacola, it has already become a favorite for both tourists and locals. You can’t miss this place if you’re in downtown Pensacola!
One characteristic of this local favorite is that it's owned by Bubba Watson, the famous golfer who has won the Masters Tournament multiple times. This makes Bubba Sweet Spot a must-see for any golfing enthusiasts.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Did you know Pensacola has a baseball team? Affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, our hometown baseball team, the Blue Wahoos, offers a great afternoon or evening of entertainment. The stadium is on the Westside of downtown Pensacola, right on the bay. It’s a fun experience and the stadium is beautifully kept. This is a popular spot in Pensacola during baseball season. When it’s not baseball season, the stadium frequently hosts events like movie nights, fireworks, concerts, and comedy shows. We highly recommend purchasing some tickets and supporting the Blue Wahoos or attending one of their other events!
A downtown Pensacola location with multiple activities is Bodacious. This is a boutique and a market with fun kitchen gadgets and other household goods. They also have a fantastic selection of wine, cheese, olive oil, aged balsamic vinegars, and more. Bodacious also serves food ranging from gourmet coffee, breakfast omelets [arguably the best in Pensacola], salads, pastas, and more. Also, their meeting room upstairs is a great spot for off-site business meetings with your team.
In addition to those activities, they also offer cooking classes that enable you to learn tips and tricks in the kitchen. As you can see, this is a one-stop-shop for shopping, activities, and eating. Be sure to visit this downtown Pensacola boutique to eat brunch, and then finish off your visit by shopping at Bodacious and moving on to other downtown Pensacola boutiques.
Visiting the ballet is always a fun experience for the whole family. The dancers who dedicate their lives and careers to ballet are astonishing, no matter what type of performance they’re doing. Thankfully, you can watch a ballet performance in Pensacola at the Ballet Pensacola. Since 1978, Ballet Pensacola has served downtown Pensacola with beautiful performances with their amazing ballet company. They have very talented dancers who put on performances all throughout the year. This is a great place to go if you are a lover of ballet or if you have a child who is taking ballet classes.
T.T. Wentworth Museum
When you visit downtown Pensacola, you won’t be able to miss the T.T. Wentworth Museum. It has a grand appearance because of its three-story Mediterranean Revival architecture. This museum has permanent exhibits that cover the history of Pensacola and the State of Florida. They also have changing exhibits that range from local history to international history. These exhibits are incredibly detailed and high-quality, so you don’t want to miss this museum in the heart of downtown. It’s a great way to learn about Pensacola’s history and spend an afternoon.
One of the more up-scale places to visit in downtown Pensacola is Jackson’s Steakhouse. The building this wonderful restaurant is in, less than a block away from T.T. Wentworth Museum, is from the 1860s. It originally housed H Pfeiffer & Company Mercantile and looks over Plaza Ferdinand. This is where General Andrew Jackson accepted Florida as one of the United States from Spain. In this plaza, General Jackson raised the flag to celebrate the victory. This steakhouse has many details inspired by the war hero, such as their logo, which is a recreation of Jackson’s signature. When you eat at this steakhouse, it feels like you’re taken back in time to the mid 1800s.
Other than the historical aspects of Jackson’s Steakhouse, they also serve amazing food. Their grain-fed beef and fresh seafood make for a great dinner whether it be for a celebration or date night. They also wet-age their beef, bringing out amazing flavors that are hard to find anywhere else. The restaurant has been named one of Florida’s top 25 restaurants, so it’s safe to say you should take advantage of it when you’re in Pensacola.
Do you have a passion for watching opera live? If so, you will be pleasantly surprised to find out about the Pensacola Opera! This is a non-profit organization who puts on professional performances. One of their goals is to provide innovative education through their performances. They also have educational programs and events for both kids and adults. It’s a fantastic place to go for a night of entertainment and amazement of their talents.
Pensacola Symphony Orchestra
If you love classical music or visiting symphonies, be sure you visit the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. The talented orchestra plays beautiful symphonic music starting in February each year, so if you are in town after then, consider visiting! It makes for a great date night, or an event for your kids who are in orchestra at school. There’s something about watching passionate musicians play live that give a whole new appreciation for their work!
Moving to Pensacola?
Downtown Pensacola is truly a special place to be no matter if you are visiting or plan to live here for decades. It’s very common for Pensacola to be a vacation spot for people, and they simply don’t want to leave. So, they move here and become locals. If you are in the same boat and want to become a Pensacola local, contact our team to help you find your new home. Our team knows the best Pensacola neighborhoods and can give you advice on where you should be located depending on your interests. We look forward to hearing from you!