Area Attractions

Looking for something to do with the kids?  We have so many great things to do and see here in Greater Pensacola.  Here’s a list of some of our top attractions.

arcadia-millsArcadia Mill Archaeological Site

Largest 19th-century water-powered industrial complex in northwest Florida. This site was the location of a multi-faceted operation that included a water-powered sawmill, a lumber mill with planing and lathing machines, gristmill, bucket and pail factory, shingle mill, cotton textile mill, and even an experimental silk cultivation operation. Arcadia Mill offers an historical experience as well as the opportunity to visit a unique wetland ecosystem. After a trip to the Visitor Center and Museum, visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk on an elevated boardwalk through the archaeological remains of the mills, across Mill Pond Creek and through the swamps associated with this historic water-powered operation. Guided tours offered. Arcadia Mill and Visitor Center are open for free, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Arcadia Mill is located at 5709 Mill Pond Lane in Milton. For more info, call Laura at (850) 626-3084 or visit

Big Lagoon State Park

This park separates the mainland from Perdido Key and the Gulf of Mexico. Natural areas, such as saltwater marshes and pine flatwoods, attract a wide variety of birds, while the beaches, shallow bays, nature trails and open woodlands offer opportunities for nature study. Crabbing in the shallow waters of Big Lagoon is a popular activity. The West Beach picnic area is shaded by pines and oaks. Located on Gulf Beach Hwy. at Bauer Road. Vehicle passes are $6 daily.

east-hillOur City/County Parks

Pensacola offers more than 90 parks within the city, two seasonal swimming pools, and 58 playground structures. From active parks with ball fields, playground equipment and picnic facilities to passive parks with benches and some of the best scenery in town, we have it all. Call Park and Recreation at (850) 436-5670 for details.

Fl-ArchaeologyFlorida Public Archaeology Network Resource Center

Providing interactive hands-on displays and shipwreck artifacts, experience 500 years of European history and 10,000 years of Native American history. Walk the Colonial Archaeological Trail that stretches from Ferdinand Plaza to Seville Square in downtown Pensacola and covers the area where the British Fort of Pensacola once stood. The partial reconstruction of Fort George, an advanced redoubt on a hill overlooking downtown Pensacola on what is now Palafox St., is also part of the trail. All of the trailside exhibits relate to features that were part of British Pensacola. Free. Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call (850) 595-0050 for details.

gulfariumFlorida’s Gulfarium

1010 Miracle Strip Pky. SE, Fort Walton Beach. Adults (ages 11 and over): $18.75 seniors (ages 62 and over): $16.75 children (ages 3-10) $11. Ages 2 and under are free when accompanied by a parent paying the regular rate. Call (850) 243-9046 for more info.

GBZooGulf Breeze Zoo

50 acres and hundreds of animals living in the lush surroundings of plants and trees. Take a safari train ride through the preserve and visit the petting zoo. Open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. rain or shine. Call (850) 932-2229.

Historic Forts

Located on Santa Rosa Island, Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay and its Navy yard. The fort was completed in 1834 and used until the 1940s. Ranger-guided tours at 2 p.m.; seven-day vehicle pass is $8.

Aboard NAS, Fort Barrancas sits on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay. The natural advantages of this location have inspired engineers of three nations to build forts. Ranger-guided tours 2 p.m. No cost.

The Advanced Redoubt was designed to support Barrancas in this second role by anchoring a line across the neck of the peninsula. Aboard NAS, the Advanced Redoubt of Fort Barrancas was built between 1845 and 1870 as part of a defensive network for the Pensacola It is unique among the American forts at Pensacola in being designed solely for resisting an infantry assault. Ranger-guided tours Saturday at 11 a.m., no charge.

On North Palafox, a small park preserves a portion of the site of old Fort George. Built by the British when they occupied the city from 1763-1781, the fort was a major target during the Battle of Pensacola, one of the least-known yet most significant battles of the American Revolution. No charge.

Aviation-MuseumNational Naval Aviation Museum

Located aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, this historic treasure boasts more than 150 restored aircraft, hands-on exhibits and more than 4,000 artifacts. Ride in a motion-based or Top Gun Air Combat simulator, have fun with the ultimate seven-story giant screen movie experience in the IMAX Theatre and dine in the Cubi Bar Café, an exhibit in itself. Enjoy a restful “time-out” while the kids enjoy the Kiddie Carrier. Free admission, free tours inside the Museum and on the flight line. Visit

butterfly-housePanhandle Butterfly House

Simply enjoy the elegant flight of the butterfly, delight in their brilliant colors and become immersed in the fragrances and beauty of the flowers. See for yourself the butterfly life cycle, our butterfly nursery, and butterflies in flight. There is a notable collection of mounted butterflies from around the world. We are  located at the foot of the Navarre Bridge on Highway 98 in Navarre. Open to the public Thursday through Sunday, spring through fall. Call (850) 623-3868.

Child-MuseumPensacola Children’s Museum

Located in the 1885 Arbona Building, the PCM brings history to life for children 12 months to 12 years. The first-floor Discovery Gallery recreates Colonial Pensacola with the Lavalle Cottage, a fort, a trading post, and a ship. The second floor is geared for older children to age 12 with interactive and interpretive exhibits. The Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Admission to the historic Pensacola complex including the Pensacola Children’s Museum, the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, and Historic Pensacola Village is $6/adults, $5/AAA, senior 65+, active military and dependents, and $3/children 3-15. Tickets are good for one week from purchase. For more info, visit or call (850) 595-1559.

Pensacola Historic Village

The historic village consists of 27 properties on the National Register Historic District. Eleven are interpreted facilities that are open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Guided tours are offered of our historic homes and buildings three times daily, and last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Visitors receive an in-depth tour of the 1805 French-Creole Lavalle House, the 1871 Dorr House, the 1832 Old Christ Church, and the 1890 Lear-Rocheblave House. Tours are subject to change due to renovation and repair, so please call for the most current and updated information. Adult ticket – $6/child (ages 3-15) – $3 discount ticket (senior citizens 65+, active military and dependents, AAA member) – $5. Call the Tivoli High House Store at (850) 595-5993 or our administrative office at (850) 595-5985. Tickets provide admission to Historic Pensacola Village, the Pensacola Children’s Museum and the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum and are good for one week from date of purchase.

Pensacola-LighthousePensacola Lighthouse and Museum

Climbing tours offered of the landmark 1859 lighthouse. Climb the 177 steps to see the most breathtaking view of Pensacola Bay. The Lighthouse, situated on Pensacola Bay across from the Naval Aviation Museum, offers indoor and outdoor history exhibits, gift shop, Light of the Moon Tours, Ghost Hunts, weddings and special events. Tower-top tour restrictions: climbers must be 44” or taller, no flip-flops or spike-heeled shoes. Smoking, food & drink, pets and wet clothing are not permitted on tour or in the museum. Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum: $5 for adults, $3 for children 7-11. Admission includes Museum exhibits and Lighthouse Tour. Call (850) 393-1561.

Pensacola Little Theatre

A non-profit community organization providing theatrical experiences that entertain, enrich, and educate adults and children who live in or visit Northwest Florida. In our beautiful facility, the Pensacola Cultural Center, you will find musicals, comedies, dramas, and children’s shows; adult and youth classes in acting and other theatre skills; a variety of volunteer opportunities; exciting fundraisers; and a family atmosphere. Call (850) 432-2042 or visit

messhall-logo-tealPensacola M.E.S.S. Hall

Kids get their hands dirty at the Pensacola M.E.S.S. Hall. The M.E.S.S. (Math, Engineering, Science & Stuff) Hall is not a typical science museum. Rather than exhibits with planned outcomes, visitors get to work like real hands-on scientists, developing questions and creating experiments, engaging in complex reasoning and learning science just through tinkering. Visit

pmaPensacola Museum of Art

407 S. Jefferson St., Pensacola. Open Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the PMA serves nearly 100,000 patrons annually. The Museum’s Permanent Collection comprises 19th and 20th century works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Louis Comfort Tiffany,  and many more. The museum also owns decorative arts collections of European and American glass and African art. The Museum offers a wide range of educational and cultural programs year round, including artist talks and lectures, adult art workshops, summer art camps for kids, Art in the Park, Suite Soiree, multicultural day events and more. Call (850) 432-6247 or visit

Pensacola Opera, Inc.

75 S. Tarragona St., Pensacola. Now in its 31st season, Pensacola Opera is a fully professional, regional opera company. Each season, the company produces two to three mainstage productions and reaches upwards of 6,000 audience members in its home performance venue, the Saenger Theatre in downtown Pensacola. Mainstage performances feature nationally-known opera stars and include collaborations with the Pensacola Symphony, Pensacola Ballet, Pensacola Museum of Art and the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, among others. Call (850) 433-6737 or visit

Perdido-Kids-ParkPerdido Kids Park

Multi-leveled wooden play area which includes two forts, a turtle slide, a lighthouse, a pirate ship, and Blue Angels planes. The handicap-accessible structure is a continuous playscape which will challenge children from ages 2-13 both physically and mentally while enhancing the Perdido Kids Park. Located on Gulf Beach Highway (CR292A) .8 miles west of Blue Angel Parkway (Hwy. 173).

Quayside Art Gallery

Located in the Historic District of Pensacola, Quayside  is one of the oldest and largest member-owned art galleries in the U.S. Call (850) 438-2363 or visit

Quietwater Beach or “Baby Beach”

Quietwater’s safe and shallow waters along Santa Rosa Sound especially appeal to parents with little ones. Nearby you’ll find businesses with waverunners, kayaks, jet skis, sailboats and other water-related rental equipment. Located east of the toll booth on the sound side.

veterans=parkVeterans Memorial Park

5.5-acre park in downtown Pensacola which includes a number of memorials to American armed forces personnel, including Wall South. Wall South is an exact replica (smaller scale) of “The Wall” monument in Washington, D.C. Wall South is the only permanent Vietnam Veterans Memorial outside of the nation’s capital — to list the names of all 58,217 Americans killed or missing in Southeast Asia. Beautiful, yet somber, the park also includes a World War I Memorial (relocated to the park from downtown Pensacola), a World War II Memorial, a monument dedicated to the World War II Submarine Lifesaving League, a Vietnam-era HU-1M Huey helicopter, and a Children of Vietnam Veterans memorial. The park is located in a triangle between Bayfront Parkway, Romana Street and 9th Avenue.

Staff Contributor

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