Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach is an unincorporated community located on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. It is situated south of Pensacola, connected via bridges spanning to the Fairpoint Peninsula and then to the island, on the Gulf of Mexico. As of the 2000 census, the community had a total population of 2,738.

Pensacola Beach occupies land bound by a 1947 deed from the United States Department of Interior that it be administered in the public interest by the county or leased, but never "disposed"; its businesses and residents are thus long-term leaseholders and not property owners.

Pensacola Beach is part of the Pensacola–Ferry Pass–Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Escambia County and Santa Rosa counties.

History
 
Francisco Maldonado, a lieutenant under Conquistador Hernando de Soto, visited the area during the early Spanish exploration of North America. He anchored in Pensacola Bay for the winter of 1539–1540.

In 1559, Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano led the first settlement of the region. His 11 ships, with 1500 settlers,anchored in the bay and established its colony on the site of today's Naval Air Station Pensacola. A hurricane decimated the colony a few weeks later, killing hundreds and sinking 5 ships. Suffering long-term famine and fighting, this first settlement was finally abandoned in 1561. A presidio was constructed on Santa Rosa Island in 1722 near the location of the more recent Fort Pickens. Hurricanes in 1741 and 1752 forced its relocation to the mainland.

Geography
 
Pensacola Beach is located at 30°20'00?N 87°08'15W, on the barrier island of Santa Rosa. It is bordered to the south by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Santa Rosa Sound and Pensacola Bay, and to the east and west by the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Attractions
 
The Quietwater Beach Boardwalk
The Boardwalk is on the Santa Rosa Sound side of the island, directly across from Casino Beach. Retail shops, restaurants, nightclubs, street musicians and sidewalk artists line it. The Boardwalk has a large sea shell stage where concerts are held several times a year. Behind it, there is a beach silent except for the sounds of seagulls, and children making sand castles. Most events are held here, including The Lobster Fest, Bushwacker Fest, and the Independence Day fireworks. Behind the beach there is a boat dock where anyone can park their boats free of charge.  For the vacationer, there are ample vacation rentals, hotels and motels.  The white sand beaches and aqua blue waters attract millions of visitors every year.


Fort Pickens
Fort Pickens was completed in 1834 and used until WWII, when modern weapons made traditional coastal defense obsolete. Fort Pickens has changed over the years, so take the self-guided tour and peel back the layers of history. You'll see the plaster-lined rooms that were intended as officers' quarters, and later used to house Apache prisoners. The most famous resident, Geronimo, lived in identical rooms along the south wall, which have since collapsed. Fort Pickens now houses an auditorium, a museum, and a visitors center offering information about the area.

The Fort itself is only part of the National Seashore's attractions: the boundary stretches back seven miles (11 km). (Fodor's rates Ft. Pickens' beaches the best in Florida.) So whether you take the bike trail or the highway, you'll find campgrounds, nature trails, and miles and miles of protected beaches perfect for sand dollar and sea shell hunting, and for picking through flotsam washed ashore from the high seas and exotic foreign ports. The highway to the Fort has recently reopened after being blocked since hurricane Ivan, which caused significant damage to the surrounding areas and the Fort itself.

Activities
In addition to enjoying the beautiful beaches and views, there is alway something of interest happening on Pensacola Beach.  Go to the Pensacola Beach website by clicking here.

Education
There is one school on Pensacola Beach. The Pensacola Beach Elementary School is for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. This school has an enrollment ranging from 120 to 140 students. All elementary-school age children on Pensacola Beach are eligible to attend the school. The first year the school was open, for the school year 1977-1978, classes were held in an empty A-frame house owned by a local named Harry Gowens. The Pensacola Beach Volunteer Fire Department building was also used in aiding the teachers and administrators. In November 1977, four portable buildings were moved to the present site. The school has continued to grow and produce some outstanding students. The school has been ranked as an 'A' school in the state for many years running. They have also received the 5 Star School award since 1998. This award recognizes schools with exemplary student involvement. In 2001 the Pensacola Beach Elementary lost its ties to the Escambia County School District and became a Charter school. Now the school, with the help of parents, volunteers, and the community, must find ways to pay for their resources and staff. For the Pensacola Beach School website, click here.

Santa Rosa County Schools
Escambia County Scools
 
Pensacola Junior College
University of West Florida
Pensacola Christian College 
Troy State University -Pensacola

Churches
There are only two churches on the island of Pensacola Beach. It is under the laws and guidelines of the Santa Rosa Island Authority that these be the only churches on the island. The first is the Pensacola Beach Community Church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ. The second is the Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. Our Lady of the Assumption Church is a mission church of St. Ann's Catholic church, located in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Shopping

There are a variety of retail stores, small boutiques, and other shops on Pensacola Beach.  Just across the Bob Sikes Bridge in Gulf Breeze you will find additional shopping. You are just minutes away from Pensacola’s two major shopping areas, the historic downtown area and in the Mall area (University and Cordova Malls) located in the I-10/Davis Highway corridor.

 

 

Contact Information

Photo of Bernie Real Estate
Bernie
Pensacola Bay Realty
201 E. Government St. #8
Pensacola FL 32502
850-572-1258
850-202-8647
Fax: 850-433-6222

Bernie Mostoller, CRS,GRI,SRES,CDPE
Broker/Owner

Pensacola Bay Realty
201 E. Government Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
877-822-5542  Toll Free * 850-202-8647 Office * 850-572-1258 Direct * 850-433-6222 Fax