9 Activities to Enjoy This Spring in Pensacola

Anyone who has spent any time in Pensacola knows that the city is so much more than beaches and boating. There is an amazing array of arts, music, history and food-related activities to explore. We’ll take a look at some of the best attractions to enjoy this spring and then add in a few outdoor options to round out the list. Keep reading to explore the possibilities of spring in Pensacola.

Go Green

Right around the corner is the Pensacola celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, with the St. Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl on Sunday, March 27, 2024. The Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce presents the 37th annual opportunity to “Go Irish on the Island.” Restaurants, beach bars and hotels will be serving up food and drink specials with an Irish theme. This could be considered the start of spring in Pensacola!

Geaux Cajun

If you like things a little spicier, have a taste of Louisiana’s bayou right here in Pensacola. Thousands of pounds of crawfish will be boiled to perfection at the annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival on April 26 – 28, 2024. Gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee, beignets and other Louisiana inspired fare will complete the temptation to your taste buds. Enjoy Zydeco and Cajun music while browsing a marketplace full of arts, crafts and specialty items.

Go Green – as in Vegetarian

Spring in Pensacola also has a treat to offer if plant-based foods sound like a better way to go. On March 23, Maritime Park will be host to the culinary delights of Veg Fest 2024. Plant-based goodies of all types including an entire lineup of Turtle Roll Ice Cream will be available. Enjoy live music, friendly contests and delightful works from local artists while sampling sustainable treats. 

Get Jazzed

Another special event coming up in the spring is the Pensacola JazzFest on April 6 and 7, 2024. Presented by Jazz Pensacola, the event is a two day celebration of Jazz music held in the historic Seville Square. Surrounded by live oaks, the gazebo stage will come alive with jazz bands from local middle schools through national headline acts.

Food will be provided by local vendors along with soft drinks, wine and beer for refreshments. Jazz merchandise and arts and crafts will be for sale as well. Sales of jazz merchandise helps to fund the festival and keep it free, so be sure to check that out.

Explore the History of Pensacola

Special events are great, but Pensacola offers much more each and every day. The city is rich in history and there are many ways to explore it. The Pensacola Museum of History is a great place to start. Located at 330 Jefferson Street, the museum is housed in what was once the Pensacola City Hall, built in 1907. Fascinating Pensacola roots don’t end there, either. The original collection was donated by T. T. Wentworth Jr. who opened a roadside museum in 1957 in the suburb of Ensley. One floor is still dedicated to the eccentric array of artifacts that Wentworth collected.

The museum is only one part of the Historic Pensacola Village that is worth at least a day’s visit. A “One Ticket, Seven Days to Explore” package is offered for those who want to take their time. 28 historical buildings and museums are located in downtown Pensacola and managed by West Florida’s Historic Trust. The Pensacola Children’s Museum, Museum of COmmerce, Museum of Industry, Museum of Art, Voices of Pensacola and a number of historic homes and buildings are all part of the village.

Enjoy the Arts

Pensacola also has a lot to offer to those looking for an evening with the arts. The Saenger Theatre, a historic location in its own right, will be host to a wide variety of entertainment in the coming months. From a production of Annie to a Melissa Etheridge concert, there is something for everybody. Performances by the Ballet Pensacola, Pensacola Opera and Pensacola Symphony Orchestra are all on the schedule for March and April.

Soak in the Sun

No discussion of Pensacola activities would be complete without including some of the myriad of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, and Spring is the perfect time to enjoy some beautiful Pensacola weather. A beach day at Pensacola Beach or Perdido Key are great ways to enjoy the sunshine. Or mix in a more commercial setting with restaurants, bars, and boating at The Dock.

Perdido Key has the advantage of being near Perdido Key State Park, Johnson Beach National Seashore and Big Lagoon State Park, which offer even more outdoor recreational options. A special attraction of the Big Lagoon State Park is that it is a gateway for the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail and is a stopover for a wide variety of ducks, warblers, sandpipers and black-bellied plovers. Bring your binoculars and roam the shore and coastal forest.

Take a Hike

Opportunities abound for enjoying the outdoors on a trail. The Florida Trail has its Northern Terminus at Fort Pickens, The Perdido Bayou Trail features some gorgeous views in Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park, the Jackson Red Ground Trail winds through Blackwater River State Forest and the Edward Ball Nature Trail through Thompson’s Bayou.  These are but a few of the hiking opportunities available near Pensacola.

You don’t only have to enjoy Pensacola’s trails on foot, either. Organized monthly by Bike Pensacola, slow bike rides through downtown and Bayfront areas are delightful. For those looking for more of a challenge, the Scenic Highway is a popular route along Pensacola and Escambia Bay. For the truly adventurous, the Big Lagoon State Park serves as the beginning of the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, a 1,515 mile sea kayaking journey around the entire state.

Catch a Game

Outdoor sports for the less adventurous can be found at Blue Wahoos Stadium, otherwise known as Admiral Fetterman Field. The Blue Wahoos Minor League Baseball team has been a fixture in Pensacola since 2012. Nothing says spring like enjoying some early season baseball and the stadium with its beautiful views of the bay is a great place to do it.

We hope you can find time to enjoy some of the many activities that Pensacola has to offer for your springtime enjoyment!

Steve Dana
Steve Dana
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