About the Area

Emerald Isle is located in the heart of beautiful Pensacola Beach on Santa Rosa Island.  Bordered by the Gulf Islands National Seashore on both sides, Pensacola Beach is famous for its white sand beaches and emerald waters.  It is one of TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Beaches in the U.S.  Just across the bay from Pensacola, Florida, Emerald Isle is close to a large number of attractions that the entire family can enjoy.

Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island

Fort Pickens is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and is located at the western tip of Santa Rosa Island.  The fort was completed in 1834 and remained in use until 1947. This authentic fort was active during the Civil War and later used as a jail to hold the infamous Apache chief, Geronimo.  Administered by the National Park Service, ranger led guided tours are available as well as self-guided tours.  More information about Fort Pickens can be found here.

Naval Aviation Museum and Blue Angels

The National Naval Aviation Museum traces the beginnings of naval aviation to the present.  Located in Pensacola on the grounds of the Naval Air Station, this free museum features over 150 displays of historic aircraft.  The Museum also features a flight simulator and an IMAX theater.  More information about the National Naval Aviation Museum can be found here.

The world famous Blue Angels conduct practice sessions on the grounds located next to the museum.  These narrated practices are free and open to the public. More information about the Blue Angels including their practice schedule can be found here.

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum

The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum features the oldest and tallest lighthouse on the Gulf Coast.  Still in use, its light is visible 27 miles out to sea.  Located on the grounds of Naval Air Station in Pensacola, tours of the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper’s headquarters are available.  More information about the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum can be found here.

Historic Pensacola Village

The Historic Pensacola Village celebrates Pensacola’s unique heritage of first being settled by Europeans over 450 years ago.  Located in downtown Pensacola, the Historic Pensacola Village is a living history museum of the Pensacola during the early 1800s.  Guided tours and demonstrations are offered of the restored village.  The Historic Pensacola Village also includes the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum and the Pensacola Children’s Museum.  More information about the Historic Pensacola Village can be found here.

Gulf Breeze Zoo

The Gulf Breeze Zoo features over 50 acres of wildlife attractions.  With over 900 animals from all continents, the zoo offers a variety of programs throughout the day so that visitors can learn about and interact with the animals.  The zoo is located just across the Santa Rosa Sound from Pensacola Beach in Gulf Breeze.  More information about the Gulf Breeze Zoo can be found here.