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Pensacola is The Way to Beach in Summer 2024



This summer, Pensacola, Fla. is a must-visit destination for LGBTQ+ travelers, sunshine seekers, city explorers, and adventure lovers. With new direct flight routes, delectable new dining options, endless outdoor adventures, and anniversary celebrations, there’s something for everyone in Pensacola this season.


Soak in the Sunshine this Summer

 

Known for its sugar-white sands and emerald waters, Pensacola is The Way to Beach™ year-round, and this summer is no exception. With nearly 40 miles of shoreline stretching along Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key to explore, locals and visitors alike can enjoy free public beach access all summer long paired with endless water activities, shopping, delicious eats, and more. More information on how to reserve a view of the sugar-white shoreline can be found here.   

 

Along Pensacola Beach, visitors can enjoy snorkeling, diving, and boating while exploring the waters from both above and below. With Condor Sailing Adventures, visitors can embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, as Pensacola is the only place you’ll be able to find yourself sailing on a Condor with up to five of their closest friends. Visitors can climb aboard a rare 40 ft. Condor racing trimaran (only 21 ever built in the world!) and setting sail across the Santa Rosa Sound or Pensacola Bay while dangling their feet off the boat, watching for dolphins, enjoying the sunset views, or flying on the bows. Laguna’s Beach Bar + Grill is a one-of-a-kind spot for friends and family members of all ages, featuring activities like go-karts, parasailing, jetski and boat rentals, and most recently, the addition of the longest zip rail in Northwest Florida. Aside from all the fun and adventure it offers, Laguna’s also houses live entertainment, brick-oven pizzas, and Fat Tuesday frozen drinks with a vibrant food menu to match. 

 

This summer, a free trolley service will return to Pensacola Beach starting May 27, 2024, and running through September 2, 2024, accessible daily from 4 p.m. until midnight. The open-air trolley is a great way to easily traverse Pensacola Beach without using a personal vehicle this summer.

 

Those looking to take in some sun without the sand can enjoy the recently opened Navy Federal Recreation Center. With a multipurpose field, a full-size basketball court, multiple pickleball courts to satisfy pickleball fans, sand volleyball, a yoga lawn, and more, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Pensacola weather in more ways than one. 

 

Adventure seekers can also enjoy camping at Pensacola Beach’s RV resort, which boasts its own Tiki Bar, picnic tables, complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas, and more. Out by the Gulf Islands National Seashore, history-loving campers can take in the sights of Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico with five camping loops among the dunes and live oaks. For more insight into all the ways to camp around Pensacola, visit here.

 

With public beach access throughout Perdido Key, visitors can enjoy the sights from their spot in the sand, or snorkel, rent a jet ski, kayak, or paddleboard from the nearby Flora-Bama Marina and Watersports for a sun-filled day on the water.  

 

Can’t Miss Events in Summer 2024

Every Tuesday on Pensacola Beach from now through October, visitors and music lovers can set up their chairs or lay down their beach towels and enjoy local acts with Bands on the Beach—a treasured tradition that not only gives space for local musicians to make their mark but also gives back to their community. 

 

This Memorial Day Weekend, Pensacola PRIDE will commemorate its 30th Anniversary in the destination with celebrations from May 23, 2024, through May 27, 2024. With four jam-packed days filled with sun, sand, DJ performances, and themed parties, there’s no better place to celebrate PRIDE this year than in Pensacola – one of the nation’s largest PRIDE celebrations. 

 

2024 marks the 75th Anniversary of the Grand Fiesta Parade. On Friday, May 31, 2024, celebrators of all ages are invited to catch beads and take in the sounds from local marching bands while admiring intricate floats constructed by local Mardi Gras krewes as the Grand Fiesta Parade embarks through Pensacola. 

 

Pensacola is also the home of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, officially known as the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. This July, locals and visitors are invited to experience the annual Pensacola Beach Air Show (July 10-13, 2024) and to keep their eyes on the sky as the Blue Angels perform breathtaking aerial feats over Pensacola. Throughout the summer, the Blue Angels can also be spotted flying high during weekly practices leading up to the show. To explore the practice schedule, visit here. Before visiting this summer, travelers can also experience “The Blue Angels,” a new documentary film on the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels set to air in IMAX theaters beginning May 17, 2024, and on Prime Video on May 23, 2024. 

 



This August, the legendary Flora-Bama – located on Perdido Key and straddling the Florida/Alabama line – will celebrate its momentous 60th Anniversary. Known as one of the world’s most iconic beach bars, the beachside honky-tonk has been a must-see landmark since 1964. Boasting five stages for live music that’s performed 365 days a year, delectable Gulf Coast cuisine at the Flora-Bama Oyster Bar, and unforgettable experiences such as the annual Mullet Toss (April), the 40th Annual Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival (November), the Polar Bear Dip (January), and much more, 2024 is sure to be another can’t-miss year of celebrations as the Flora-Bama celebrates its 60th birthday on the beach.  


Explore New & Returning Destination Offerings 

 

Home to world-renowned parks, Perdido Key’s Johnson Beach at Gulf Islands National Seashore recently unveiled access to seven new beach crossovers, a half-mile-long trail, and new parking lots. Nearby, Perdido Key Perdido State Park and Big Lagoon State Park also offer accessible walking trails, bike trails, water activities, fishing charters, a small boat launch area, and more for the entire family or groups to enjoy this season.

 

Expected to begin opening by April 20, 2024, Pensacola is welcoming the first phase of Bruce Beach Park, giving Downtown Pensacola its very own beach feel. The first phase will include a central plaza with a walkway, shade structures, two public lawn areas with seat walls, a learning garden and a children’s playground, and a pedestrian bridge over Washerwoman Creek, connecting the park to Community Maritime Park. Expected to be fully complete later this year, phase two of the project will include the planting of over 190 trees, and the additions of a sand volleyball court, picnic area, kayak launch, and more. 

 

The Pensacola Bay City Ferry has officially resumed operations of its two 149-passenger, catamaran-style vessels, the “Turtle Runner” and “Pelican Perch.” Offering an air-conditioned interior and covered exterior seating with a bar, bicycle racks, and storage areas, the Pensacola Bay City Ferry is the perfect way to explore Downtown Pensacola, Fort Pickens, and Pensacola Beach. With the option to purchase hop-on/hop-off tickets, visitors can spend the day taking in all of the sights from aboard the ferry, with boarding times available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 31, 2024. 

 

The Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier has been undergoing recent renovations that include the addition of a new pedestrian railing, viewing scopes, benches, and fishing line receptacles. Soon, those looking to cast their line from the pier will be able to do so beginning this May. 

 

A local favorite, Pensacola Little Theatre recently underwent a revamp, bringing a new luxe elegance to the historic building. With a signature cocktail bar, a fine art gallery specializing in showcasing minority work, and a renovated theater with leather seats and green plaid carpeting, Pensacola Little Theatre’s updated interiors are a must-visit to explore and enjoy a show. 

 

Pensacola has also recently welcomed new event spaces, including Culinary Productions and The Sanctuary. Culinary Productions is an all-inclusive and full-service catering company that recently opened a new 5,000-square-foot downtown venue. The beautiful indoor space can be utilized for any event, with tables, chairs, linens, and even set-up/breakdown provided. The Sanctuary offers both an indoor and outdoor venue with 14,000 square feet of event space. Featuring century-old oak trees and a customizable courtyard, it is the perfect place for any upcoming special occasion.


Indulge in New Culinary Experiences

 

Pensacola is home to locally sourced chefs, tastemakers, and restaurants that are owned and operated by Chefs and mixologists who hail from the Pensacola area, have traveled to hone their skills, and have returned to the destination to present new and exciting culinary experiences. Pensacola is proud to offer a variety of new restaurants and opportunities to enjoy beloved local eateries. 

 

Located in Marcus Pointe Golf Club, A Rustyc Spoon is a new unique dining experience offering a variety of dishes that span the warmth of Southern comfort food to elegant fine dining. The menu caters to every palate ranging from hearty, flavor-packed crunchwraps, burgers, and burritos, to exquisite Grouper, Ribeye, and other fine dining selections. Both cozy and refined, A Rustyc Spoon is a must-try this summer. 

 

Pensacola staple, Atlas Oyster House, which offers pristine views of Seville Harbor and Marina, is now offering a Sunday Brunch service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Executive Chef Jason Hughes has created an all-new brunch menu offering tasty selections such as a Crab Monte Cristo, a Crawfish and Tasso Omelette, a Crispy Chicken Biscuit Benedict and other indulgent dishes. Atlas also offers $4 Bloody Marys and $12.95 bottles of champagne for those looking to partake in a boozy brunch.

 

Also joining the Sunday Funday celebrations is BarSteak, offering a brunch service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featuring a menu of locally sourced items, guests can enjoy BarSteak classics such as steak and eggs, a breakfast platter and avocado toast – as well as omelets, salads, and the BarSteak special featuring a hangover skillet, sunrise burger and more. Guests can also divulge in BarSteak's extensive wine and cocktail list. 

 

For those on the go or looking for a quick healthy option, BarSteak’s owners are also set to open Pensacola’s new Salad N’ Dash this April. Each top-quality salad will feature fresh produce from local farmers created to-go in a matter of minutes. 

 

Relax in Unparalleled Accommodations

 

Pensacola has several idyllic hotel accommodations to suit every kind of traveler, including the newly-rebranded Pensacola Beach Resort, the newly-opened Fairfield Inn & Suites Pensacola Beach, and the recently renovated Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach, Hampton Inn Pensacola Beach, and the Hilton Garden Inn Pensacola Downtown, with expanded offerings and amenities that make Pensacola a must-stay for solo travelers, bleisure travelers, couples, and groups.

 

Take Flight with New Travel Options

 

Launching June 28, 2024, travelers can soon enjoy the addition of Breeze Airways which will bring new nonstop flights from Pensacola to Tampa, Florida, and one-stop/no change of plane service to Norfolk, Virginia. Direct flights on Delta Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and others will also remain available from other major hubs such as New York, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Nashville. 

 

For those living in neighboring states such as Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana, the destination can be traversed via road trip in five hours or less - making a sunny beach trip easier than ever. 

 

For more information on Pensacola or how to plan a visit, go to VisitPensacola.com.

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