History

Established in 1558, Pensacola is "America's First Settlement." Pensacola's downtown encompasses Historic Pensacola Village, the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum, the Museum of Commerce, Museum of Industry, The Pensacola Children's Museum and the Pensacola Historical Society.

Just a short drive from downtown on Naval Air Station Pensacola, visit the National Naval Aviation Museum, the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum and historic Fort Barrancas.

On Pensacola Beach, at the western end of Santa Rosa Island is Fort Pickens, the largest of four forts built in 1834 to defend Pensacola Bay and the navy yard.

Ft. Walton Beach has an ages old history as a prehistoric Indian settlement. The Fort Walton Temple Mound and the adjoining museum showcase this amazing history. The site's prime strateic location made it an ideal Civil War era encampment, Camp Walton, although a fort was never constructed at the site. Remnants of the camp can be seen alongside the Temple Mound at Heritage Park and Cultural Museum. By the 1930s, the city was a thriving tourist destination.

Known as the World's Luckiest Fishing Village, Destin got its start as just that – a small town that made its fortune harvesting the Gulf's bounty - and it still claims the largest fishing vessel fleet in Florida more than 160 years after its founding. Visitors can learn about the area's marine-centered culture at the Destin History and Fishing Museum.

 

National Naval Aviation Museum For 50 years the Naval Aviation Museum has preserved and displayed an ever-growing collection of aircraft and artifacts. From the earliest planes to lunar modules to the latest in aviation technology, the 300,000-square-foot museum and its IMAX Theater draw visitors from around the world – and are a favorite destination of locals as well. Admission to the museum is free.

Fort Pickens Completed in 1834, Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida, and its navy yard., with additional defenses added through the 1940s. The fort became part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore in 1971 and was opened to the public 1976. Visitors are free to wander through the extensive brick sculpture with spectacular views of the coastline.

T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum Originally built in the early 1900s as City Hall, the Spanish Revival style building now serves the community as the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. The museum houses a treasure trove of artifacts – both historic and quirky - displaying West Florida's rich heritage. Named after local historian and collector, T.T. Wentworth, Jr., the three-story museum includes both permanent and changing exhibits. Admission is free.

Historic Pensacola Village Historic Pensacola Village includes 27 properties in the Pensacola National Register Historic District, 11 of which are open to the public, including the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum. The buildings date back to the early 1800s and tours include notes on the architecture and the area’s role in the city’s nearly 450-year history.

Naval Live Oaks The Naval Live Oaks Area in Gulf Breeze, is open daily and features a bookstore and historic and nature exhibits. The center is home base for the 7.5 miles of trails including the .8-mile Breckenridge Nature Trail. Swimming and fishing areas are available along with covered picnic areas.