Originally opened in 1907 as Pensacola's City Hall, this structure is in the Alamo Mission style, somewhat incongruous amid the creole buildings of Penacola's old quarter.
T.T. Wentworth was a local eccentric, philanthropist, and collector of miscellany. The museum is an intriguing mix of his own personal (and occasionally peculiar) interests, as well as a general history of the Florida Panhandle and the diverse peoples who have lived here.
It's now part of the Historic Pensacola Village association of historic sites.
An organization called "Historic Pensacola Village" offers guided tours of four beautifully preserved Pensacola houses, including this one, the 1871 Dorr House. The house is associated with the first woman who lived in it and decorated it, Clara Barkley Dorr (1825-1899). Mrs. Dorr was the daughter of a prominent shipping merchant, and the wife of the region's leading timber barons.
Fort Pickens is a historical military site located within the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It was originally constructed in the late 1820s/early 1830s, with the purpose of protecting the entire Pensacola harbor - which at the time included the most signicant port east of the Mississippi and south of Baltimore. Completed in 1834, it remained in use until 1947.
Fort Pickens is named after Andrew Pickens, militia leader from South Carolina and a hero of the War of American Independence.
Interestingly, Fort Pickens remained in Union hands throughout the American Civil War.
Note: in early September 2012, portions of the Gulf Islands National Seashore park were affected by Hurricane Isaac and closed due to large sand drifts on roads. You may want to check the official Park Service website if you are planning a visit.
Pensacola's top attraction, in my mind, and worth a visit even if you don't happen to be "into" aircraft or warfare.
On display are more than 150 aircraft of all types, from early bi-planes to helicopters to the most powerful carrier-based jet fighters. All have been beautifully and faithfully restored. One particularly striking exhibit is in the atrium - four Blue Angels suspended from the ceiling as if flying in formation.
We noticed that youngsters were finding lots to keep them interested and occupied - simulators, games, and kid-friendly exhibits. Seniors like us were pleased to find seating available at the various video displays about the exhibits. There is an IMAX theater as well.
If you visit the naval aviation museum March through November, and your timing is right, you may well get to see the Blue Angels flight team practicing their intricate maneuvers. I believe those practices take place on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, but check out the website or call ahead to be certain.
Admission free; parking is free and abundant. (Note - the Pensacola Lighthouse is just across the road. I suggest planning a visit to both at the same time.)
The first lighthouse in the Pensacola area was built in 1824 and was located about a mile and a half to the east of this current location. By the 1850s it became apparent the original lighthouse was inadequate (too short and the light too dim), so congress approved allocations for another. The lighthouse on display was first lit on New Year's Day 1859. It stands 159 feet tall.
The entry fee includes a climbing tour of the lighthouse, as well as admission to the keeper's quarters (1869) and historical exhibits. You will note that this site is located on the Pensacola Naval Air Station and across the road from the Naval Air Museum, so it makes for good planning to visit the two sites together.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
At Hawkshaw Lagoon Memorial Park, a thought-provoking memorial to missing children.
Sam Nettles' evocative sculpture, "The Sanctuary," located on a foot bridge spanning the lagoon, is the centerpiece of the memorial.
The Memorial Park was not on our "to-do" list for Pensacola, but we noticed it soon after entering town (coming from Pensacola Beach and Gulf Breeze) and stopped for a look. The park was conceived by, and maintained by, area Vietnam war veterans. I like the idea of a single memorial park dedicated to veterans of foreign wars as done here. Well done, vets.
Included are monuments to the veterans of WWI, WWII, Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The latter memorial is a half-size scale model of the National Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC containing the names of all men and women listed as killed or missing in action during that war.
The museum consists of 2 main buildings "Hangar bay one" and "Main" one with 2 decks and IMAX theater.
Hangar bay has a collection of aircraft post WWII era.The impressive is a hut in the corner of the 55 000 sq.ft. building ,which has a display of Vietnam war period and mostly shows the experience of US military prisoners in Hoa Lo prison.It has actual POW garments,letters written to fathers from children,pictures and documentary videos.Also,it has a nice collection of Russian MIG planes.
In a main building your attention is drown by an actual size NC-4 flying boat that completed the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by air.WWI exhibit portrays Naval Aviation's role overseas in WW I and has a Dodge Ambulance displayed.You can see Gernan crosses during WWI and aircraft with the same cross during WWII.Amazing resemblance.
Second desk has Apollo command module,Skylab 2,that carried an all Navy crew to Earth orbiting Skylab.
When we visited the museum there were an exhibition of hand made quilts which was amazingly crafted and very beautiful .All with military theme on it.
Admission is free
This zoo is 50 acres big and has a lot of farm animals like rabbits,sheep,goats.They also have a tiger and bears,amazing varieties of birds,including Australian geese with light green beaks,Mr.stock,budgies. As for macaws,cocks and Genni hens who is free of cage,they roam and not scared of visitors at all .Some animals shares cages and it's so funny to look how they socialize with other animals. We have Columbus zoo membership,but they don't give us any discounts,which is OK, I love to support zoos at any case and we enjoy watching them.Every zoo is different,this one is not the best of all we have ever visited,but most exiting thing about it you can pet most of farm animals and feed giraffes!!!! They are very shy though,you wouldn't think of them that way,but they are if something wrong for them in your move they will leave you like a kid who is not happy with you.African sheep have such long ears,like rabbits-very funny and unusual,and you can pet and feed them too.
Featured by The Travel Channel as one of America's Most Haunted Lighthouses, the Pensacola Lighthouse is still an active aid to navigation. The Pensacola Lighthouse Association is hosting Full Moon Ghost tours May through October. This is a unique opportunity to climb a working lighthouse after dark and listen to some of the ghostly tales from its 150 years of history! The first-order Fresnel lens is magnificent with its eight huge bulls-eyes.
One of the most 'squared-away' dive facilities in Pensacola. They were very accomodating to out-of-town divers who were coming for the chance to see the largest man-made reef in the Gulf! Consumate professionals, they offered great diving advice and technical knowledge. Their shop is run with military efficiency, and they maintain precise schedules and timelines. Everything you could want in a dive outfit!
The dive itself was great. We had three dives to the wreck. The con tower ranges from 70- 130' of water, with plenty of barracuda, amberjack, and tropical fish. There is one particularly good-sized octopus who makes the bridge home. The flight deck is at 137'. NITROX is available, and deeper technical dives can be planned.
Although not as spectacular as most zoo's Ive been, the Northwest Florida Zoo is a great up and comming zoo that really could use your patronage and suppport. Take a look at the adorable orangutans and spider monkeys, laugh at the mighty gorilla, photograph the colorful birds, watch the playful lemurs, see the majestic lions, & take a ride on the Safari Line Limited Train, which winds through 30 acres of free-roaming wildlife!
Price of Admission
$8.25 Children (3-11)
$11.50 Adults (12-61)
$10.50 Seniors (62-up)
(Children 2 and under are Free!)
We went to find Fort Barrancas, to take the 2 p.m. tour. In front of the fort was the Water Battery, which was initially constructed by the Spanish in 1797. The guns in this battery were designed to fire directly across the water - skipping along the surface until they hit the hull of a ship. So no problem with trajectory or anything like that. We went by the water battery (which is whitewashed) and had to turn around and go back to access the main fort visitor's center.
There is a guided tour of Fort Barrancas (on board the Naval Air Station)everyday at 2:00 p.m.
There is a guided tour of the Advanced Redoubt (on board the Naval Air Station) on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Fort Barrancas sits on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay. The natural advantages of this location have inspired engineers of three nations to build forts. The British built the Royal Navy Redoubt here in 1763 of earth and logs. The Spanish built two forts here around 1797. Bateria de San Antonio was a masonry water battery at the foot of the bluff. Above it was earth and log Fort San Carlos de Barrancas. American engineers remodeled the water battery in 1838 and built a masonry fort on the bluff, connected by a tunnel to the water battery. This is the current Fort Barrancas. A $1.2 million, eighteen-month restoration project led to its reopening in 1980.
We visited this museum twice. This is one of the three largest air museums in the US - the other two are the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and an AF museum in Ohio. The museum is way too big to see all of it in one visit - 291,000 square feet of exhibit space and 37 acres of grounds.
We were interested in seeing some of the 140 restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Aviation. We mostly saw just the ones inside the Museum and didn't see many of the ones that are outside.
I took pictures of the model of the Essex (aircraft carrier). I though Bob was on the last cruise in this ship in 1962 when the keel was broken by a North Atlantic winter storm, but the info said that the Essex was not decommissioned until 1969. I didn't see a model of the Intrepid.
Both of us took pictures of the N3N which was the trainer seaplane in which Bob took his first flights on at the USNA and which gave him the idea that he wanted to fly instead of do submarines, and we both took pictures of the T-28 and T-34 which were the trainers that he learned on when he was in flight school here in Pensacola. I also took pictures of the four A-4 Skyhawks in formation suspended in the Blue Angels Atrium.
The Flight Line Tour which they used to have was not available because of storm damage. When it is running, the Bus leaves from the museum entrance every half hour 10:00 AM through 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM through 4:00 PM Tickets are free and available at the Information Desk
On the second visit, we went to the IMAX "History of Flight" show. Afterwards we walked around the museum - listened in on a tour group, took a weather quiz, and took pictures of Cessna OE-1 (Army L-19) that Bob's brother flew
The museum is open 9:00 to 5:00 every day except Thanksgiving Day,
Christmas Day and New Year's Day - admission is free. There is a charge for the IMAX and simulator rides.
North Hill is a really pretty old neighborhood in Pensacola. Many of the houses have wrap around porches. There are also two bed and breakfasts in North Hill which are a pleasure to stay in. For more information see website below.