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 (and Gulf Breeze connected via bridges spanning to the Fairpoint Peninsula and then to the island) in the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
Pensacola Beach for many years remained largely undeveloped. The Casino Resort was the first tourist destination constructed on the island (at the present day location of Casino Beach) where a variety of special events including beauty pageants, fishing tournaments and boxing matches were held from the 30s through 50s. With a bar, tennis courts, bath houses, and a restaurant, it was a popular resort until it eventually closed in the 1960s.
The entire island was initially owned by the federal government. In order to promote infrastructure and growth on the island, the federal government leased the lands now encompassing Pensacola Beach to the Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA), which in turn has leased the property to homeowners. As a result, all structures on the island have 99-year renewable leases with the SRIA rather than ownership of the land itself.
While generally cooler than most of peninsular Florida, Pensacola Beach maintains a more stable temperature year round than inland areas of Pensacola and Escambia County. As such, winter lows are several degrees warmer than Pensacola proper and summer highs are generally cooler as a result of the surrounding waters. As with many islands, Pensacola Beach enjoys sea breezes which begin around noon and end around sunset in the summer.
The hub of beach activity, Casino Beach, on Pensacola Beach, named after the original casino that stood this location is a popular beach access. The location is dotted with restaurants and family entertainment areas. It is situated next to the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier and is equipped with lifeguard stands and station, volleyball courts, snack bar and large parking lot. The Gulfside Pavilion hosts a “Bands on the Beach” concert series during the Summer tourist season.
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.
Located at the western end of Santa Rosa Island, Fort Pickens was completed in 1834 and used until WWII, when modern weapons made traditional coastal defenses obsolete. It is open to the public as part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, with a fee required for entry; campsites are also available for a fee.
Pensacola Beach is home to several “novelty houses”, including the house “Dome of a Home“, built in 2002 using a monolithic dome in the form of a large concrete dome, designed to structurally withstand hurricane-force winds at 133 m/s and storm surge. It withstood hurricane Ivan and Dennis. It is also known as the “Flintstone Home” due to the fact it resembles a rock home.
Another novelty house is the house with a UFO-shaped Futuro attached as a second story. This Futuro house is sometimes called the “Spaceship House.”
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a novelty home, a beach house or condo give Bob a call!
Pensacola Beach Real Estate Listings
Active Listings in Pensacola Beach
- 1 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #PH2104 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1007 MALDONADO DR PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1200 FT PICKENS RD, Unit #2B PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1200 FT PICKENS RD, Unit #3D PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1724 CALLE BONITA PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1711 ENSENADA UNO PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 517 FT PICKENS RD PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 336 FT PICKENS RD, Unit #202E PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 900 FT PICKENS RD, Unit #612 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1500 VIA DELUNA DR, Unit #G-13 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 2 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #803 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 336 FT PICKENS RD, Unit #W202 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1620 BULEVAR MENOR PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 6 SUGAR BOWL LN PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 28 CALLE HERMOSA PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1409 MALDONADO DR PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #509 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 1100 FT PICKENS RD, Unit #B-4 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 2 PORTOFINO DR PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 2 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #904 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 3 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #1206 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 2 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #905 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 803 RIO VISTA DR PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 2 PORTOFINO DR, Unit #1308 PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
- 115 VIA DELUNA DR PENSACOLA BEACH, FL 32561
Pensacola Beach School Data
Pensacola Beach School Districts
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Pensacola Beach Schools
- Pensacola Beach Charter School
- K-5, charter