There is always something to see and do in Historic Pensacola. Our Museum of Industry and Museum of Commerce are hosts to permanent exhibits and tell the stories of the Pensacola’s early industries and downtown Pensacola circa the 1890s.
In the Voices of Pensacola, see Musically Inclined: A Look at the Pensacola Jazz Scene.
The story of jazz dates back to the early 20th century New Orleans musicians. As it spread across the coast and eventually around the world, it became a more widely recognized genre of music. From its early beginnings to its modern popularity, jazz music has always held a special place in the heart of Pensacola. Open Tuesday through Friday.
The Pensacola Museum of History is where you will find a permanent exhibit on the history, archaeology and preservation of the City of Five Flags, in addition to changing exhibits.
The Finding 1821 Trail allows you to explore Pensacola's history through modern technology. The Finding 1821 trail reflects a local establishment that was near that location two hundred years ago. Outside each business is a QR code that links to a corresponding advert from an early 1820s newspaper. You can find ours on the left window in the breezeway. Over a dozen sites have been identified so far. Take a stroll around town, visit local shops, and explore the history of Pensacola through today's technology.
Martin "Trader Jon" Weissman, owner and namesake of Trader Jon's Bar, was well known for his personal eccentricities such as his famously mismatched socks and "Tradernomics" as well as his eclectic establishment. One of Pensacola's top tourist destinations for decades, Trader Jon's, decorated with photos and memorabilia, some traded for drinks, was a safe haven where young flight students, military personnel, astronauts and movie stars rubbed shoulders with local politicians, characters and the occasional ne'er-do-well. Trained as a U. S. paratrooper in WWII, Trader's lifelong love of naval aviation and his livelihood were inseparable. There was truly nothing like it on Earth! Step inside and experience the legend that was Trader Jon's.
Visit the Events at Trader Jon's page for more information on booking the space for your next event!
The City of Five Flags
The City of Five Flags tells the unique story of Pensacola through artifacts, photographs and stories told through archaeology and preservation efforts. Renovated in 2012, the City of Five Flags exhibit includes streamlined timelines, one-of-a-kind artifacts, and immersive environments all designed to help visitors experience life in Pensacola under five different flags.
For thousands of years, people have been discovering Pensacola. Warriors, conquistadors, presidents, heroes from all walks of life, and countless others have discovered that in trying to make their mark on Pensacola, Pensacola has made its mark on them.
What drew people here more than 450 years ago still captivates us today. The beautiful, unspoiled bay, the vivid pageantry of our multi-cultured history, and the promise of new discoveries from places that transcend time itself--this is Pensacola, City of Five Flags.
Changing Exhibit Galleries
Black Lives Matter
May 19, 2023 - September 18, 2023
A display comprised of documentation and reactions to the Black Lives Matter movement in Pensacola. The Kugelman Honors Program created BLM Mural originally for the John C. Pace Library, and it will now be displayed on the 3rd floor of the Pensacola Museum of History for a limited time. Also on-view is a collection of photographs from Grant Tyson who captured local BLM demonstrations in Pensacola following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Opening Soon: Illustrated History: A Selection of Dave Edwards Artwork
September 22, 2023 - February 12, 2024
For the past 20+ years, local artist Dave Edwards has beautifully illustrated Pensacola’s history. Featured in a wide variety of mediums, his artwork brings our past to life. From the earliest occupants of this region to our most notable figures, he has brought each individual forth in stunning detail. Edwards completes extensive research into the life and story of each of his paintings, developing colorful illustrations that honor Pensacola’s lasting legacy. Illustrated History is a curated selection of artwork on display until February 2024 on the 3rd floor of the Pensacola Museum of History.
The Story of Us: From Curiosity Cabinets to Modern Museums
Long term gallery
Modern museums look vastly different than 16th century curiosity cabinets. Museums, and their predecessors, exist because of the drive to preserve memories. Every object has a story to tell - sometimes two or three. Our mission is to protect and interpret thousands of objects that represent the history of Northwest Florida.
Suddenly American: A Meeting of Heritage and Country
July 2021 until December 2023
This exhibit looks at the transition of Florida from a Spanish territory to an American region, which formally occurred in 1821. Florida’s embattled history dates back much farther than 1821. From refusing independence during the American Revolution to wanting their own freedom in 1810, Florida loved to cause problems. The United States eyed the region early on, using the Seminole Wars as an excuse to seize territory before turning to diplomatic means to acquire Florida. The Adams-Onis Treaty, debated and initially agreed upon in 1819, resulted in Spain ceding control of East Florida to the United States. At the same time, Spain also agreed to give up all claims on West Florida, in essence giving the entire Florida territory over to the United States. Ratified in 1821, the Treaty was cause for celebration in Pensacola, the capital of West Florida, as it officially became part of America.
Home Base: Founding the Pensacola Navy Yard
August 2023 - January 2024
The US Navy Yard in Pensacola spurred our development as a military town. When naval squadrons needed a new home in the Gulf of Mexico, the protected entrance and deep water of Pensacola Bay proved ideal. Featuring artwork on loan from US Navy Art, this exhibit highlights the founding story of the Navy Yard.
Textiles of the Times: Regency Era Dress Making
June 24, 2022 - October 9, 2023
The period between 1811 and 1820 is historically defined as the Regency Period. Though more associated with a specific period of time in which social and cultural changes were rapidly occurring in England, under the reign of George, Prince of Wales - who governed Britain as the “regent” during his father’s illness - areas outside the UK experienced the same shift in society. For the Gulf Coast, and Pensacola specifically, the Regency Period was a tumultuous time. It corresponded with the final days of Spanish rule in Florida, and the preparation of becoming an American territory was already underway. Thus, a mixing of cultures happened simultaneously with newer social and cultural trends.This exhibit looks at a day in the life of a Regency-era Pensacolian through fashion and garment use. Drawing on historical documentation of stores known to have operated on Palafox, inside this recreation of a seamstress shop visitors will be able to explore the dress of yesteryear.
Innovations of Yesteryear: An Object Tour of the World's Fair
June 16, 2023 - June 2024
World’s fairs are known for revealing the technology of tomorrow on an impressive scale. Beginning with the first Grand Exhibition in 1851, each World’s Fair highlights innovation while serving as a way for people to experience exciting progress like never before. Objects that today are commonplace, like dishwashers, tie back to these grand showcases. Explore how technology changed the world in this interactive and immersive exhibit: Innovations of Yesteryear.
A Port in Peril: Maritime Medicine in Pensacola
Opening September 8, 2023
During the early 20th century, maritime cities like Pensacola had dense population centers and a constant influx of travelers, creating the perfect environment for disease. The primary concern for Gulf Coast ports was the introduction of yellow fever. Part of our city is built on top of remnants of a system designed to protect its citizens from pandemics. Quarantine stations and special practices that rid incoming ships of dangerous germs were a vital part of the maritime industry.