Pensacola is a tropical paradise tucked away on the northern shores of the sunny state of Florida. The stunning city is home to crystal clear blue waters, pristine white sandy beaches, and an explosion of cultural attractions which can sometimes makes you feel as if you’re not in the US and instead on the tropical beaches found in the Caribbean.
Pensacola is sometimes forgotten as an epic travel destination in favor of its more famous neighbors including Miami and Orlando making it a true hidden gem in Florida. Here you will find less crowded beaches and an abundance of natural treasures at a fraction of the cost.
Despite not being as popular for tourists as some of Florida’s more talked about cities, Pensacola has an awesome selection of hospitality options including incredible lavish hotels and budget-friendly homes. In this guide, we help you navigate your stay in Pensacola by breaking down three of the best neighborhoods along with some insider top tips on things to do in the city.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Pensacola
- Where to stay in Pensacola for your first visit – Downtown/Waterfront
- Where to stay in Pensacola on a budget – Ferry Pass
- Best Neighborhood in Pensacola for families – West Pensacola
Where to Stay in Pensacola
- Free parking
- Situated 8 km from Saenger Theatre, 8 km from T T Wentworth Jr Florida State Museum
- The nearest airport is Pensacola International Airport, 14 km from Fishing Retreat
The fishing retreat is a traditional apartment located in the family-friendly neighbourhood of Warrington and is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking to not break the bank. On-site you’ll find a brightly lit and cozy bedroom along with a spacious living and kitchen area. The property is also in a prime location to explore some of Pensacola’s top cultural sites including Fort Pickens and Jr Florida State Museum.
If you want to be amongst the hustle and bustle of Pensacola’s lively downtown neighborhood then this is the place to stay with the Holiday Inn Express being located in the heart of the city. At the hotel, you will find a selection of lavish facilities including a beautiful outdoor swimming pool, grand lobby air along with a fancy fitness center.
Pensacola A-Frame Retreat Near Beaches and Dtwn
- Free Wifi
- Pets allowed
- 4.4 km from Roger Scott Athletic Complex, 5 km from Intramural Field
This gorgeous holiday home is perfectly slotted between the white sandy beaches on the coast and the bustling downtown neighborhood in Ferry Pass. At the home, you will find a brightly lit and historical interior with a modern and trendy spin including great facilities including an open plan kitchen, stunning outdoor patio, and a warming living area.
3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Pensacola
Where to stay in Pensacola for your first visit
- Coolest thing to do in Downtown – Wander around the Palafox Market
- Best place to visit in Downtown – Bruce Beach
Downtown is the ultimate place to stay in Pensacola if you’re a first time visitor! Here you will find the greatest selection of Pensacola’s key cultural attractions including the famous Fort George along with being within striking distance to some of its best nature hotspots including Pensacola Bay and Bruce Beach.
The neighborhood also has the greatest selection of hospitality options with an epic range of hotels, apartments, restaurants, cafes and bars. When staying in Downtown you have to make a quick visit to beautiful Deadmans Island one of the top places to visit in Pensacola, here you will find crystal clear waters and stunning beaches.
- Watch a sunset at Pensacola Bay
- Take a day trip to the beautiful Deadman’s Island
- Explore the Pensacola Museum of Art
- Visit Fort George
Best Budget Accommodation in Downtown
The Days Inn hotel is located in the heart of the historic downtown making it the perfect place to stay for those who want to be amongst all the action. Here you will find an awesome selection of cultural attractions, trendy cafes and restaurants along with a lively nightlife scene. One of the key draws to the hotel is its outdoor space which has a tropical setting with a beautiful bbq area, a refreshing outdoor swimming pool and a great selection of sun loungers.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Downtown
With an abundance of things to do on the doorstep of the hotel, the Holiday Inn Express is the perfect place for those looking to absorb everything Pensacola has to offer. One of the key draws to this hotel is its incredible sun deck and patio area which is home to a modern fireplace along with sleek and comfortable seating areas. Other amenities include an awesome outdoor pool, a comfortable lobby area along with a great selection of deluxe rooms.
Best Luxury Accommodation in Downtown
Double the Fun House is exactly what it says in its name: a vibrant and brightly lit home with cool modern furnishings which also has a luxurious atmosphere. The beautiful home can fit up to six guests and is awesomely located in the heart of Downtown Pensacola just minutes away from some of the city’s top highlights including Blue Wahoos Stadium, The Moors, and Quayside Art Gallery.
Where to stay in Pensacola on a budget
- Coolest thing to do in Ferry Pass – Go mountain biking at UWF Bike Trails
- Best place to visit in Ferry Pass – Crescent Lake
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Pensacola which is super budget-friendly, surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes along with being just a short distance from both downtown and the coast then Ferry Pass is the neighborhood for you. Home to the famous UWF biking trails, Ferry Pass is the ultimate place to let out your adventurous side by hopping on a mountain bike and exploring the awesome tracks.
Ferry Pass is home to a great selection of budget-friendly hotels along with plenty of luxurious holiday homes. Below we have cherry-picked three of our favorite places to stay in the neighborhood.
- Visit Pensacola Aviation Discovery Park
- Watch a local sports game at Ashton Brosnaham Park
- Try your luck at Escape Zone 60
- Enjoy the rides at Splash City Adventures
Best Budget Accommodation in Ferry Pass
Located in Ferry Pass this hotel is perfectly situated just three miles from Pensacola International Airport along with it being just a short distance to the beaches and city center making it the perfect destination for those who have an early morning flight to catch but also want to explore everything the city has to offer. If you’re looking to fuel yourself for a day of exploring Pensacola then you’re in luck as the hotel offers a free grab-and-go breakfast including breakfast bars, muffins, cereal, coffee, and tea.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Ferry Pass
The Holiday Inn Pensacola offers an awesome range of modern facilities including an outdoor pool and hot tub, an on-site fitness center along with a spacious lobby area. The hotel is also home to a tasty on-site restaurant and is within walking distance of several other restaurants making it perfect for foodies. The hotel is also perfectly slotted in between the neighborhood of Ferry Pass and the University!
Best Luxury Accommodation in Ferry Pass
Every dimension of this gorgeous holiday home is brightly lit with large windows allowing the gorgeous Florida sunlight to brighten up the home. The house is perfectly located in the heart of Ferry Pass meaning you won’t be short of things to do along with this there are plenty of things to do within walking distance of the property.
Best Neighborhood in Pensacola for families
- Coolest thing to do in Warrington – Wander around Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve and Nature Trail
- Best place to visit in Warrington – Navy Point Park
Warrington is home to the greatest range of outdoor activities from nature parks, gorgeous beaches, and crazy golf courses making it an epic place to stay for both families and nature lovers. Top highlights in the neighborhood include the Jones Swamp Wetland Preserve and Nature trail along the historic Fort Barrancas.
Warrington is situated just west of the downtown neighborhood and just a short drive to the beach meaning guests can enjoy both elements of the bustling atmosphere and natural beauty within a matter of minutes.
- Play crazy golf at Goofy Golf of Pensacola
- Visit Bayou Chico
- Watch a sunset at Mustin Beach
- Take a trip to Perdido Key State Park
- Venture out to the Historic Fort Barrancas
Best Budget Accommodation in Warrington
The Fishing Retreat apartment is the perfect place to stay for those couples looking for a romantic getaway but don’t want to break the bank. The budget-friendly home is located in the beautiful neighborhood of Warrington and is surrounded by luscious greenery. Guests staying here will have prime access to some of Pensacola’s top attractions including Wentworth Jr Florida State Museum and Saenger Theatre which are both just a short distance away from the property.
Best Mid-Range Accommodation in Warrington
The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Pensacola is the ultimate place to stay if you want comfortable and luxurious facilities but don’t fancy forking out for a five-star hotel! The hotel is beautifully designed with a modern interior decorated with sleek wooden furniture and boasts top-class facilities including a beautiful outdoor pool.
Best Luxury Accommodation in Warrington
As they say, save the best till last! The Myrtle Grove Cottage is a beautiful property situated in the heart of Warrington and is one of our favourite properties on the list. The home is modernly designed but with a warming and comfortable feel and has a great selection of facilities for a luxurious stay including an awesome outdoor deck perfect for watching the sun go down! The house can fit up to four guests making it a great place to stay for small families visiting Pensacola.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Pensacola
Pensacola is a true hidden gem located in the westernmost region of the sunny state of Florida. As you can tell there is plenty of things to do in the coastal city along with an amazing selection of places to stay; whether you fancying setting up in a luxurious home in Ferry Pass, staying right amongst the hustle and bustle in downtown or be surrounded by nature in Warrington.
We hope this guide has helped you navigate your options in Pensacola if you do end up booking any of the properties on the list please do let us know in the comments we love hearing from you guys!
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