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Where to Stay in Pensacola
Pensacola is a popular beach community located in the Florida Panhandle. This coastal town has a rich history and is nicknamed "The City of Five Flags" because of the five separate governments that have laid claim over the area. Because of the abundance of sunken vessels off its coast, it's a major scuba diving destination. Additionally, it's home to the most important Naval Air Station in the country. If you want to relax on the region's white-sand beaches, shop at local boutiques and enjoy fine coastal cuisine, search for hotels and resorts near Pensacola Beach. Located just 15 minutes south of Pensacola, this popular tourist destination features a handful of luxury and mid-range hotels. Those planning on visiting the National Museum of Aviation, Fort Barrancas and the other attractions of the Naval Air Station can find discount hotels along Navy Boulevard on the western side of Pensacola. Downtown Pensacola, which is home to the Historic Pensacola Village, boasts a small number of exclusive hotels and inns. If you'd like a little more seclusion, head 15 miles west of Pensacola to the small resort area known as Perdido Key. These beach-filled strip boasts golfing, state parks and excellent swimming waters.
Pensacola Hotel Tips
Pensacola hosts many large celebrations throughout the year. The city hosts an annual family-friendly Mardi Gras festival, which consists of three parades. The main event, known as the Grand Parade, consists of more than 200 floats and attracts more than 100,000 spectators. September's Seafood Festival is a popular celebration for those that love Southern cooking. The downtown event features artists booths, live music and, of course, food. If you're planning on visiting during either celebration, make sure to book your reservations well in advance. Hotel availability can become scarce during these popular festivals.
Hotel prices usually increase during Pensacola's popular Spring Break season, which lasts throughout March and April. Budget travelers who want to find cheap Pensacola flights and hotel discounts should plan their trips for the fall. Temperatures are cooler, which means it might not be the best time to hit up the area's beaches. But area attractions are less crowded and hotel rates dip to attract out-of-towners.
Pensacola Hotel Recommendations
Stay along the white sands of Pensacola Beach at the Paradise Inn. Located on the southern side of the barrier island within walking distance of the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the boutique hotel provides guests with comfortable, newly remodeled rooms at affordable rates. The hotel provides guests with convenient access to the area's shops, restaurants and nightlife. The facility features an outdoor pool, free parking, a private beachfront and a private pier where guests can swim, boat and fish. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning. Guestrooms are modestly appointed and are furnished with microwaves and refrigerators. Pet-friendly rooms are available.
Or stay in Pensacola proper at the Crowne Plaza Pensacola Grand Hotel. The luxurious 15-story establishment is centered in downtown Pensacola just minutes from the city's historic district. The hotel boasts 210 guestrooms and nine spacious suites, as well as a lavish presidential suite. All rooms feature top-of-the-line furnishings and amenities. The property also claims a heated swimming pool, more than 7,500-square feet of meeting space, a full-service business center, free parking and a fitness center. Relax in the hotel's first-floor library, or grab a drink at the Cavu Club. Guests can also dine at 1912 The Restaurant, the hotel's casual dining room.
Head west of Pensacola to Perdido Key for a secluded getaway at the Perdido Beach Resort. The resort features a number of on-premise activities, including lighted tennis courts, a state-of-the-art health club, Jacuzzis and a pool with a pool bar. The hotel boasts 346 oversized rooms in two separate towers. All rooms are decorated in a welcoming coastal style and include refrigerators, satellite television and outdoor balconies with stunning views of the gulf. On-site dining options include Cafe Palm Breeze, Half Shell Grill and Voyagers Restaurant, all of which serve up delicious seafood dishes.
The Escambia County Rosa Parks Transit System serves the Pensacola region with its fleet of buses. Although routes are limited, visitors can catch a ride to Pensacola's nearby beach communities. Taxis are also available, as are charter buses and vans. Many tour companies provide transportation as part of their tour packages. Because Pensacola is a car-friendly city, many visitors opt to rent a car. Many major rental agencies have operations in the city. There are many scenic drives throughout the region, including U.S. Highway 98, which connects the city to Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach.