Looking for the adventure and cultural interests of a big city with a small town feel on the Gulf of Mexico? Look no further than Pensacola, Fla. A gem of a beach town located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Pensacola is The Way to Beach™—steeped in history and brimming with cultural experiences. A quick trip from Atlanta brings you to pristine beaches surrounded by history, art, and some of the finest dining on the Gulf.
Pensacola is a city with BIG culture. Lovers of the arts will find everything a large city has to offer in this thriving waterfront city. The Pensacola Opera, the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Pensacola, the historic Saenger Theatre, and the accredited Pensacola Museum of Art are just a few of the local professional companies creating and displaying art and cultural experiences throughout the year. Beyond the professional companies, the town of Pensacola has a deep-rooted love for emerging artists and celebrations of art and culture. Pensacola’s annual arts calendar is filled with festivals—such as the Foo Foo Festival (celebrating 10 years in November) and the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival (which recently celebrated 50 years in 2022), along with holiday themed celebrations and special performances throughout the year. There’s always something to see and do in Pensacola.
Award winning chefs with access to fresh Gulf seafood and local farms have been quietly making Pensacola a culinary destination in the southeast. Whether you’re looking for pub fare, homestyle southern cuisine or a white tablecloth experience, Pensacola has something for every palate. Around town you can enjoy craft cocktails at a sophisticated cocktail bar or have a casual drink at a historic watering hole, before or after dinner. Cuisine that emphasizes local ingredients and is influenced by local diversity makes dining in Pensacola a unique part of any visit. The settings cannot be beat from waterfront dining, casual beachside settings, or downtown dining—Pensacola has something for food lovers and food enthusiasts alike.
One of the oldest cities in not only Florida, but the United States, Pensacola has a rich history visitors can explore and experience. Serving as America’s First Settlement (est. 1559), visit the living history village, depicting examples of the architectural styles and properties interpreted in a variety of time periods such as Colonial, Victorian, and 1920s Pensacola. Or walk America’s First Settlement Trail throughout downtown and the Pensacola Historic District. If you prefer a museum experience, the Pensacola Museum of History and the National Naval Aviation Museum are filled with exhibits that will walk you through time and the changing landscape of this historic city and our U.S. Naval Aviators.
An easy drive or quick flight from Atlanta, Pensacola is perfect for a vacation that offers both relaxation and activity. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere lends to all types of visits. A community that loves art, amazing food, and a relaxing walk on the beach equally is ready to welcome visitors that feel the same.
To learn more about Pensacola’s arts and culture, visit VacationArtfully.com.
Written by Julie Tolar