Pensacola is a city located in Escambia County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population
of 56,255. It is the county seat of Escambia County.
Pensacola is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, which connects to the
Gulf of Mexico. A large United States Navy airbase is located southwest
of Pensacola in the community called Warrington, which is home to
the Blue Angels flight demonstration team and the National Museum
of Naval Aviation.
Pensacola is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags" due to
the five flags that have flown over it at various times in its history:
the flags of Spain, France, Great Britain, the Confederate States
of America, and the United States.
Pensacola is served by Pensacola Regional Airport.
Pensacola Air Travel
Pensacola got a spacious new terminal in 1990 with six jet ways.
In only a few years, air travel has increased to such a degree that
future plans call for two more gates and a parking garage. Perhaps
in the near future we'll also see an increase in direct flights;
as it is, you'll need to make connections in Charlotte, Atlanta,
Memphis or Nashville. Current carriers include Continental, Delta,
Norhtwest Airlink, USAir and AirTran.
Pensacola was the first settlement of Europeans in what is now the
United States. It was founded in 1559 by Don Tristan de Luna and
his party of Spanish settlers. However, the settlement was destroyed
by a major hurricane shortly afterwards, and was abandoned.
For this reason, many people instead regard St. Augustine, Florida
as the first permanent European settlement in what would become
the United States. The City of Pensacola, however, still occasionally
refers to the area as "America's First Settlement" in
advertisements and travel brochures.
The city and its bay were named after the Panzacola indians, a
tribe that lived near the bay when the Spanish arrived. The name
was changed to Pensacola to make it easier to pronounce for the
Spanish. Despite the original settlement's destruction, the name
was preserved and used when the area was re-settled during the 17th
The Pensacola area is home to three historic U.S. forts, Fort Pickens,
Fort Barrancas, and Fort McRee, as well as Barrancas National Cemetery.
Fort Pickens was completed in 1834. It holds the distinction of
being the only Southern fort not to be captured by the Confederacy
in the American Civil War.
When Florida seceded from the Union on January 10th, 1861, remaining
Union forces in the city evacuated to Fort Pickens. The Confederacy
then held Pensacola until abandoning the city in May of 1862.
From 1885 to 1887, the famous Apache Indian chief Geronimo was
imprisoned in Fort Pickens, along with several of his warriors and
their families. Fort Pickens is now a part of the Gulf Islands National
Seashore, and as such, is administered by the United States Park
Pensacola was the capital of Florida before Tallahassee became
Pensacola, Florida is the site of anti-abortion extremist Paul
Hill's murder of Dr. John Britton, 69, and volunteer escort James
Barrett, 74. Hill murdered the two because they helped perform abortions.
Additionally, Hill maimed June Barrett, James Barrett’s wife.
It hasn't always been easy to get there from here, but with both
Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties experiencing phenomenal growth,
changes are taking place to make traveling easier. Would it surprise
you to know that New Orleans is closer to Pensacola than Tallahassee?
That from Pensacola, Key West and Chicago are equidistant? Atlanta
is just six hours away; Birmingham only four. Pensacola sits on
the very eastern edge of the central time zone; set your watch one
hour ahead at the Apalachicola River, about a two-hour drive from
the Florida-Alabama border.
Pensacola Road Trips
Interstate 10 can connect you with Jacksonville in six hours; Baton
Rouge in about four. Mobile, Alabama is a quick 50-mile drive west.
Getting to northern cities via I-65 is a little tricky at present,
with no major connecting roads. Plans are in the works to connect
the I-110 spur, which currently only serves Pensacola, with I-65....sometime
before 2010. Residents realized the inadequacies of this system
when 50,000 cars all tried evacuating at once during 1995's hurricane
season. Since then, a dialogue has gotten underway on the best place
to connect Northwest Florida with its northern neighbors to avoid
that time of news-making gridlock.
Pensacola Amtrack Service
Amtrak offers perhaps the most leisurely trip of all. Kick back
in your own room in a sleeper car, have a quiet dinner, or watch
the world go by from your seat or observation car. Most Northwest
Floridians never get to see the train, however; stops come at 5
and 6 a.m. For train information, call Amtrak at (800) 872-7425.
Pensacola is located at 30°26'13" North, 87°12'33"
West (30.436988, -87.209277)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total
area of 102.7 km² (39.7 mi²). 58.8 km² (22.7 mi²)
of it is land and 43.9 km² (17.0 mi²) of it is water.
The total area is 42.77% water.
Pensacola's location on the Florida Panhandle makes it vulnerable
to hurricanes. Major hurricanes which have made landfall at or near
Pensacola include Hurricane Juan (1985), Hurricane Opal (1995),
and Hurricane Ivan (2004).
The Pensacola area was devastated by Hurricane Ivan. The hurricane
either damaged or destroyed a large number of homes and businesses.
Particularly hard-hit were the areas around Perdido Bay and Pensacola
Beach. In addition, many of the area's bridges sustained structural
damage. The hurricane disrupted public schools in Escambia County
for nearly a month.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 56,255 people, 24,524 households,
and 14,665 families residing in the city. The population density
is 956.8/km² (2,478.7/mi²). There are 26,995 housing units
at an average density of 459.2/km² (1,189.4/mi²). The
racial makeup of the city is 64.91% White, 30.58% African American,
1.77% Asian, 0.52% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.54%
from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. 2.07% of the
population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 24,524 households out of which 24.6% have children under
the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% are married couples living
together, 16.7% have a female householder with no husband present,
and 40.2% are non-families. 32.9% of all households are made up
of individuals and 11.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years
of age or older. The average household size is 2.27 and the average
family size is 2.92.
In city the population is spread out with 22.9% under the age of
18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64,
and 17.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 39
years. For every 100 females there are 88.5 males. For every 100
females age 18 and over, there are 84.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $34,779, and the
median income for a family is $42,868. Males have a median income
of $32,258 versus $23,582 for females. The per capita income for
the city is $21,438. 16.1% of the population and 12.7% of families
are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 26.2% of
those under the age of 18 and 9.2% of those 65 and older are living
below the poverty line.
Pensacola Local Media
The largest daily newspaper in the area is the Pensacola News Journal.
Pensacola is also home to WEAR-TV, the ABC affiliate for Pensacola,
Mobile, Alabama, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, as well as WSRE-TV,
the local PBS affiliate, which is operated by Pensacola Junior College.
Other major networks are broadcast from nearby Mobile, such as CBS
affiliate WKRG, NBC affiliate WPMI, and FOX affiliate WALA.
Pensacola Local Schools and Libraries
Public schools in Pensacola are administered by the Escambia County
Pensacola Universities, Colleges and High
Here to see Pensacola High Schools, Colleges and Universities
Pensacola Local Hospitals
Sacred Heart Hospital
West Florida Hospital
Naval Hospital Pensacola
Nemours Children's Clinic
Pensacola Sports Teams
Pensacola is home to several semiprofessional sports teams:
The Pensacola Ice Pilots of the East Coast Hockey League
The Pensacola Pelicans of the Central Baseball League
The Pensacola Aviators of the American Basketball Association (expansion
team; set to begin play in 2005 or 2006)
The Pensacola Power of the National Women's Football Association
General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr.
Roy Jones, Jr.
Pensacola Famous Visitors
On 10 August 2004, Pensacola was visited by President George W.
Bush, the first President to visit the area since his father. George
W. Bush returned — with his mother — to Pensacola on
18 March 2005 to hold a town hall meeting at Pensacola Junior College
about his plans for Social Security.
Pensacola and Escambia County
Pensacola may be one of the few resort towns left where it's still
possible to buy a fixer-upper in a nice neighborhood for less than
$40,000. Or for those with money to spare, build a palace on the
beach for millions. Now there's economic diversity for you, meaning
that most of us fall somewhere in between. Some Pensacola neighborhoods
are undergoing a regentrification process; empty nesters are selling
homes they've lived in for decades, replaced by young families looking
for safety and stability in an established neighborhood.
This is the commercial and residential part of Santa Rosa Island
(named after a Spanish saint or spaghetti sauce, no one can quite
remember). Change is everywhere on this barrier island, located
about eight miles from downtown Pensacola over the Pensacola Bay
Bridge. If you're one of those whose family vacationed on the beach
years ago, and you always dreamed of living there, the metamorphosis
from funky neighborhood to upscale beach resort may surprise you.
Many of the older cinder block cottages were destroyed during 1995's
hurricanes, so beach homes had to be built back on 15-foot stilts,
increasing their cost and value. To its credit, Pensacola Beach
looks better than ever, with new public areas, landscaping, hotels
and colorful multi-story homes.
Perdido Key is located 15 miles west of Pensacola. This barrier
island tends to be quieter due to its more remote location. Public
areas are confined to the natural areas of the Gulf Islands National
Seashore on the island's eastern tip, or the Perdido Key State Recreation
Area in the heart of the key.
Gulf Breeze (and Santa Rosa County)
Gulf Breeze only became a city in the 1960's, and just recently
has been hit by a tourism and residential boom the likes of which
it could never have imagined. Although tourists may clog the Hwy.
98 artery through the city during the summer months, Gulf Breeze
is much more than a way station to the beach. Numerous coves, densely
wooded areas and mossy oaks define the peninsula, while farther
east along Highway 98, subdivisions feature man-made canals, small
inlets and plenty of shade trees.
A good portion of Santa Rosa County is small towns and rural communities
with Milton as the County seat, dotted with bays, bayous, and a
network of pristine freshwater rivers. One of the trendy new areas
of the county is Pace, linked by bridge to Pensacola's northern
end across Escambia Bay.
Northwest Florida is blessed with four distinct seasons. Summer
comes early and stays late, bringing the characteristic heat and
humidity that some residents can't get enough of, and others find
oppressive. We've got it good during the relatively abbreviated
spring and fall seasons, with mild temperatures in the 70's and
80's. The cool nights and sun filled days bring with them a flurry
of outdoor festivals. We like to call our brief winters "fireplace
weather", and although we've been surprised with snow, it's
about as rare a sight as a snow blower on the beach.