Soak up the astonishing surroundings during a year-long lineup of events
Our fearless approach to having fun starts with the Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day, and the momentum rolls on from there. Mardi Gras events soon follow, and include a pet-and-kid parade a few days before the massive bead-slinging floats rumble down Via de Luna. Holiday events cap off the festive year beach-style with a Lighted Boat Parade and Surfing Santa Parade. In between, visitors find plenty of events on Pensacola Beach to come out to eat, to dance and to join the festivities.
Standing Room Only
The Blue Angels draw huge crowds to Pensacola Beach every July for the Pensacola Beach Air Show to see the U.S. Navy's flight demonstration team perform thrilling maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico. When the powerful F/A-18 Hornets zoom by in diamond formation, the spectacle literally rattles your cage. When the awesome aircrafts roll, spin and perform the “knife edge pass,” thousands of spectators collectively gasp. Several civilian airshow teams warm up the crowd with precision formation acrobatics that leave hearts racing. Find the perfect accommodations on the beach and set up early to avoid the event traffic and ensure the best views.
Holiday weekends during the summer see our beaches fill to capacity, too. Join the crowd during Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day for epic beach vacations. Or come any time of the year to enjoy the natural beauty of Pensacola Beach. The water might get a little chilly in the winter months, but the setting, food and people are just as sensational.
Food & Drink
Any day of the year on Pensacola Beach, the fresh catch expertly prepared and served up at our restaurants is cause for celebration. Taste of the Beach (Sept. 19–21, 2014) puts it all on display. Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods, headlined a previous Taste and The Chew's Carla Hall is headlining this year's event. Local legend Dog House Deli topped their gourmet hot dogs with Andouille mac-and-cheese to coax Zimmern to their tent. That spirit of creativity shines among all chefs who participate in the weekend of cooking demonstrations and savory samples. Guests get to graze on amazing signature dishes and fresh seafood for only $5 a pop!
Art & Wine Festival (Oct. 19) transforms the Portofino Boardwalk into an artisan village, with area artists on site to sell their work. Enjoy fine wine and local food during the art crawl. Spirited stops include some of the finest restaurants along the boardwalk, which welcome visitors to sample regional and national wines and nosh amazing small plates. At each sensory stop along the tour, see more local artists on display.
Live from Pensacola Beach
April through October, Bands on the Beach stages live concerts every Tuesday night at the Gulfside Pavilion on Casino Beach. Sink a lawn chair into the sand and enjoy Southern staples such as classic rock and country. Check the lineup to see which week oldies, tribute, jazz and party bands hit the beach. Who knows, Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs might move to the top of your summer playlist.
You'll always join a laid-back crowd at Pensacola Beach, but everyone is on their very best behavior on Mother's Day. The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra stages Symphony by the Sea in May, a tribute to Moms with popular numbers at Gulfside Pavilion overlooking the Gulf. Gulf Coast Summer Fest at the end of August bids adieu to another great summer soundtrack on the beach with a popular concert that ends under the light of the moon.
Break a Sweat
In October, Santa Rosa Island Triathlon challenges athletes with a 600-yard ocean swim, an 18-miles bike ride along the National Seashore and a 3.1-mile run through the scenic neighborhoods of Pensacola Beach. This “sprint triathlon” draws 1,250 competitors and their fans to the beach each year.
Runners find opportunities year-round to add a great workout to their vacations. The long ribbon of bridge that spans the bay hosts seasonal bridge runs, and the white sands of Pensacola Beach see a steady stream of runners as well. The Double Bridge Run in Spring stages a 15K for serious runners across Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. Or you can opt for the 5K run/walk that crosses the bridge over the Santa Rosa Sound. Or take it easy by renting a bike and touring Santa Rosa Island at your own pace.
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