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Pensacola Travel Guide: 250 reviews and 565 photos

The Western Gate to the Sunshine State

Long before spanish conquistadors set foot in Northern Florida,the Land offered food and shelter to a number of Native American tribes.One of these tribes, the Panzacola, lived in relative seclusion in the Pensacola Bay area until Spanish explorers landed on their shores in 1559. Although these early conquistadors called the Land Panzacola after the tribe they encountered there,the Spaniards thought the natives savages and primitive, and thus the struggle for control began between native and newcomer.

The 1559 landing of Don Tristan de Luna and his fleet on the coast of Pensacola made this area the first European settlement in the United States, and thus America's First Place City.

During the next 140 years or so the Pensacola Bay
area remained in quiet seclusion, with very little contact between Indians and settlers.In the centuries that followed, five different flags flew over Pensacola
as fighting nations /Spain, France, England,the Confe-
deracy and the United States/ struggled for power.By the end of the American Civil War in 1835, the City of Five Flags was permanently cloaked in stars and stripes.

Once the U.S. had gained control and brought the other nations to half-mast, the city of Pensacola celebrated with a decade of bathtub gin and dancing the Charleston.

In 1925,around the same time that Pensacola was developing a reputation for fast times, Col.Guy H.Wynman
founded a small beach area southeast of the city where life moved at a slower pace. He named it Navarre, after a lovely province in northern Spain.1960s,, when the Navarre Bridge was opened.

Pensacola and Navarre's lively past have played an integral part in shaping the character ot their present.As one of the oldest cities in the nation, Pensacola offers a number of munuments and historic places thet offer testimony to its rich heritage.
Navarre still maintains its southern charm and laid-back atmosphere that drew people to its pristine beaches decades ago.

  • Last visit to Pensacola: May 2002
  • Intro Written Sep 10, 2002
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