Well known for its sunny skies, sugar-white beaches and warm, emerald waters, Pensacola is putting its unique stamp on educational tourism, and all you need to start exploring is a passport.
Free to all, the Pensacola Explorers Passport highlights 25 unique attractions covering nature, history, science and archeology, arts and culture in the Pensacola Bay Area. Use it to map out fun-filled adventures at beaches, museums and historic sites. Along the way you’ll discover learning experiences sure to enrich and engage adults and children alike.
EXPLORE 450 YEARS OF HISTORY in one of America’s first settlements. Experience living history in the Pensacola Historic Village with colonial-era costumed staff, guided walking tours and hands-on activities including butter churning and open-hearth cooking. Comb through centuries-old military forts and climb to the best view in town at the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. Travel through time and space at the world’s largest Naval Aviation museum with nearly 350,000 square feet of aircraft, immersive exhibits, thrilling simulators, a giant screen theater and so much more. Little ones “take the helm” in an interactive, aircraft carrier-inspired play area with rope ladders, periscopes and a fireman’s pole.
EXPLORE GLORIOUS NATURE on pristine, uncrowded beaches like the Gulf Islands National Seashore, named “No. 1 Best East Coast Beach” in USA TODAY and 10 Best Readers’ Choice polls. Observe dolphins, turtles and shorebirds in their natural habitat. Head to Pensacola Beach, a 2016 Travelers’ Choice Award Winner, for the Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail and learn secrets about local plants, animals and fish. Study nature and wildlife up close at Big Lagoon State Park’s 655 acres of open woodlands, nature trails, beaches and bays to hike, swim and paddle through.
EXPLORE THE ARTS AND DIVERSITY at dozens of galleries, museums and theaters. Discover your inner artiste at the First City Art Center with hands-on classes in glassblowing, bead making, sculpting, pottery, drawing and painting. Savor Pensacola’s vibrant culture, music and cuisine at year-round art shows, concerts and festivals.
EXPLORE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY at the Pensacola MESS Hall, where making a mess is encouraged. Grab a MESS kit and work with Math, Engineering, Science and Stuff in real experiments that spark interest in tinkerers of all ages. When the process of learning is this engaging and exciting, getting to the answer is half the fun.
EXPLORE NEW EXPERIENCES
Make your next family vacation, class trip or group tour more fun by becoming an official Pensacola Explorer. Here’s how:
- Get Your Passport: Download at ExplorePensacola.com or pick up at a Pensacola, Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key visitor center.
- Explore and Collect Stamps: Each participating location has a passport stamp. Get as many as you can.
- Get Prizes: At the end of your trip or vacation, return your passport with four or more stamps to get official Pensacola Explorer prizes.
- Share Your Discoveries: Post your photos to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ExplorePcola.