Downtown Pensacola

Downtown Pensacola is a vibrant waterfront district with historic charm and exceptional dining and nightlife.

Welcome to Downtown Pensacola

Charming historic downtown area with a dynamic dining scene

Downtown Pensacola is a vibrant waterfront district with historic charm and exceptional dining and nightlife. Founded in 1559, Pensacola was the first community established by European settlers in the entire United States. Though this first settlement was abandoned a few years later, Pensacola has been continuously inhabited since the mid-1600s. Downtown Pensacola is a major hub of arts and culture with historic theaters and many annual festivals.
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Pensacola is known as the City of Five Flags as it has been controlled by Spain, France, Great Britain, the United States, and the Confederacy throughout its long history. Downtown Pensacola has many well-preserved historic buildings, mostly dating back to the 19th century. Housing options include Queen Anne Victorians and classic Craftsman properties alongside stylish loft conversions and contemporary townhouses, villas, and single-family homes.

What to Love

  • Historic charm and modern amenities
  • Unique local shops
  • Dynamic dining scene
  • Many festivals and events
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People & Lifestyle

Downtown is at the heart of everything in Pensacola. Residents enjoy having a fantastic variety of restaurants and retailers right on their doorstep. This charming historic downtown area hosts many events and festivals throughout the year.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Palafox Street in Downtown Pensacola offers a dynamic dining scene and lots of unique retailers. Bodacious Shops is home to a café and a coffee roastery alongside specialist shops selling salads, olive oils, and kitchen wares. Cooking classes are regularly held at Bodacious Shops, teaching skills such as sushi rolling, steak searing, and preparing pizza and authentic Mexican street food. You can also join special social events such as wine dinners and charcuterie nights. Rusted Arrow Mercantile is a home boutique offering a curated collection of furniture, gifts, and home décor items. Global Grill is a hip modern eatery serving elegant entrées and tapas small plates in a refined space decorated with local artwork. Restaurant Iron brings contemporary panache to classic Southern cooking. Start your meal with innovative appetizers such as foie gras peanut butter and jelly or black garlic butter escargot and gnocchi. Restaurant Iron’s creative main course include Gulf shrimp and Atlantic mussels served with Spanish chorizo in an heirloom tomato seafood broth, marsala braised duck roulade, peppercorn crusted wild boar rack, and their signature Iron SmashBurger made with 100% ground CAB ribeye and served on a brioche bun. Pot Roast & Pinot serves gourmet American comfort food alongside an impressive and extensive wine list.

Things to Do

Pensacola’s vibrant downtown district hosts many special events throughout the year. On the third Friday of each month, Gallery Night sees part of Palafox Street close to traffic as Downtown Pensacola’s streets are filled with art booths, food trucks, and live performance stages. Pensacola Winterfest runs from the Friday after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. This holiday celebration features visits from Santa and other costumed characters. The whole family can enjoy rides on the Polar Express and special Cajun-style Christmas games and food. The three-day Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival in November is one of the top juried art shows in the United States. Talented artists and craftspeople from around the world participate in the festival. There are hands-on activities for kids and live performances from folk and ballet dancers, as well as bluegrass, blues, Cajun, classical, and jazz musicians. Pensacon takes place over three days in February. This pop culture celebration sees cosplayers mingling with celebrity guests in multiple venues and events across Downtown Pensacola. In November, Pensacola Seafood Festival attracts around 100,000 attendees for three days of delicious food, art, and live music.

Schools

Downtown Pensacola is served by the Escambia Public School District.

  • Global Learning Academy, Public, PK-5
  • Pensacola High School, Public, 9-12
  • N.B. Cook Elementary School, Public, Magnet, PK-5

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