PopulationMetro: 487,784
With lively beaches, a walkable downtown and a Spanish-style architecture, Pensacola is Florida’s up-and-coming destination.

On the Gulf of Mexico and a three hour drive on I-10 from both Tallahassee, FL and New Orleans, LA, Pensacola is a seaport protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa.

Of its 52 miles of sugar-white beaches stretching alongside one of America’s oldest settlements, TripAdvisor ranked Pensacola Beach as one of the five best in the nation, and the beach ranked #6 for Parks & Outdoors amongst our America’s Best Small Cities.

The history and the proximity to the Alabama border helps explain the vibe of Pensacola, and the Southern hospitality. Over the course of its history, Pensacola has been ruled by the British, the Spanish, the French, the Confederacy, and the United States; hence, its nickname of “The City of Five Flags.” Founded in 1559, Pensacola has rigorously preserved its historic architecture, ranking 33 for Neighbourhoods and #29 in our deep Place category.

Place 45
Product 36
Programming 36
People 41
Prosperity 32
Promotion 40

Tourism spending is on the rise in the area, visitors to Escambia County spent more than $802 million in 2018. Obviously, Visit Pensacola’s Tourism Works campaign launched in 2017 to promote the industry’s impact on the economy is working. The campaign focuses on the jobs, and tax revenue but more so on the “quality of place” tourism creates for residents.

And, the Amtrak project to connect New Orleans and Jacksonville, and a myriad of small towns and cities, including Pensacola, is only the start.

“Pensacola is a city deeply rooted in history with numerous stories and experiences beyond the beach,” says Board Chair Rob Overton, Executive Director of the UWF Historic Trust “Our key areas of focus for the 2019 fiscal year will be to continue to use data to drive business decisions and as storytellers, use our voice to connect with the community, stakeholders, and travelers to the destination.”