Pensacola

About

Located on Florida’s Emerald Coast, Pensacola boasts some of the world’s whitest sand beaches. This Panhandle city sits on the border with Alabama and is known as the “Western Gate to the Sunshine State.” Pensacola even has a little elevation, compared to other Gulf Coast areas, at 55-feet above sea level. This provides panoramic views of the stunning waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

This small metro offers just about everything you’d expect to find in a city of its size. Pensacola has a more urban vibe than beachy but still embraces its coastal personality with seaside restaurants, weekly open-air markets, and balmy weather. History takes center stage as Pensacola prides itself on being America’s first European settlement, dating back to 1559 (48 years before Jamestown, Virginia and 61 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock). The “City of Five Flags,” an annual ten-day festival, celebrates all five governments that have ruled the area: Spain, France, Britain, the Confederacy, and the United States.

Shopping is robust with national brands and locally owned retailers. Restaurants range from fine dining to chains and beachfront dives offering some of the freshest seafood you can imagine. There is plenty to do to kill time in Pensacola, even if you don’t like beaches. Catch a Blue Wahoos game (Minor League Baseball), visit the Seville Quarter (downtown) for a fun night out, or check out the National Naval Aviation Museum—Pensacola’s top tourist attraction. You’ll see the Blue Angels rehearse so often that you’ll feel like you could choreograph the whole sequence. It never gets old, though—trust us!

Neighbors

People choose to live in Pensacola for the big city amenities and to be near the water! There are many military-affiliated residents here, but mostly retirees or young singles or couples without children. There are also many dual-income couples here compared to other Gulf Coast cities because of the employment opportunities available in the city.

Neighborhood Feel

You may be expecting a beachy vibe, but Pensacola is an urban city that happens to be near the Gulf. There are plenty of condos and apartments to choose from, and also some single family residences near the outskirts of the city. There are older, more established neighborhoods to be found in areas like East Hill.

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Neighborhood Location

Commute
Corry Station – Main Gate
NAS Pensacola – West Gate
NAS Whiting Field – West Gate
Drive Time to Gate
15 to 25* minutes
15 to 25* minutes
45 to 55* minutes
By Transit
N/A

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Neighborhood Info

Pensacola - NAS Pensacola & Corry Station, FL - gomillie.com

Points of Interest

Veteran’s Memorial Park

Blue Wahoos Baseball Park

National Naval Aviation Museum

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

Fort Barrancas

Perdido Key Beach

Big Plus

The beaches in Pensacola are called the “World’s Whitest Beaches” and are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see.

While you’re at the beach, be sure to stop at one of the many seaside restaurants. The seafood doesn’t get much fresher! Foodies delight in the culinary-themed restaurants, food truck rodeos, and eclectic eateries scattered throughout Pensacola. You’d be hard-pressed to find a “dive” restaurant that disappoints.

The “Cradle of Naval Aviation” supplies wonderful exposure to some of America’s finest aviators. The Blue Angels practice twice a week, March through November, and the rehearsals are free and open to the public. You can also check out the National Naval Aviation Museum.

Career minded spouses love the job opportunities in Pensacola.

Shopping, dining, entertainment, and healthcare are all available without having to travel far within Pensacola.

Pensacola loves the military.

Things to Consider

Schools in Escambia County are not as highly rated as the ones in nearby Santa Rosa County, and drives families to consider living in cities like Pace, Milton, and Navarre.

Consider where you or your spouse may be working and if they will be commuting to other area installations. It is common to commute between NAS Pensacola, or Corry Station, and Whiting Field, which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.

As with most coastal cities, living in Pensacola near the water or downtown requires sacrificing square footage.

The market is pretty competitive, and houses go fast. Like most urban areas, you’ll also want to be sure to research crime statistics and the surrounding neighborhood. To keep from having to rent a home sight unseen, our Scouts can help by being your boots on the ground.

The cost of living is lower in Pensacola compared to most of Florida, but keep in mind that you’ll need to tack on hefty homeowner’s insurance policies.

Don’t expect Pensacola to feel like Orlando or Tampa. Because of the Panhandle’s  proximity to Alabama (it’s practically engulfed by it) and Baton Rouge, La., it has a heavy Cajun influence.

Get out and explore! Don’t stick too close to the base and miss out on the fun things Pensacola has to offer. The main roads onto the installations will resemble most “right outside the gate” areas, and sometimes people let that sully the reputation of the entire city!

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How’s the Market?

The median home value for single family homes in Pensacola is $120,000 according to the Zillow Home Value Index. Home Values are forecasted to increase by 3.7% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single family homes in Pensacola is $969.

School Scoop

The public schools in Pensacola belong to Escambia County School District, which has an overall rating of 5. One of the best schools is Brown Barge Middle School, which is rated 9 according to Greatschools.org.

Registration in Escambia County School District requires a preliminary online-enrollment application. If the school you are attempting to enroll at is NOT your residentially zoned school, you must have proof of residence and School Choice approval prior to enrolling at the school. Military families who are not yet stationed in the area may still submit an online application, using their current out-of-area address, as long as the family provides a copy of active duty military orders that place the family in the area prior to the start of the school year.

Escambia County School District offers a variety of “choice schools” and programs: magnet schools, IB programs, and charter schools. This is a popular option for a lot of military families who may have found themselves in a home zoned to a neighborhood school that doesn’t excite them.

Highlighted Areas

Lake Charlene

Berkshire Estates

Coral Creek

East Hill

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