Pensacola isn't short on attractions. For a start, there's the weather. Unlike certain other parts of Florida, summers won't leave you a hot mess. Neither will the winters make you freeze. Then there's the pristine, white-sand beaches, the abundance of fresh produce, the cozy community, the low crime, and the endless shops, galleries, and restaurants. This being Florida, there's also that very attractive no income tax policy to consider. All in all, it's a great city. But even great city's have their good areas and their bad areas. So, which parts of Pensacola rank as the best of the best? Find out as we count down the 10 best places to live in Pensacola.
10. Ferry Pass
Ferry Pass is small, friendly, and blessed with the kind of community that'll go out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome. The cost of living is staggeringly low, with a decent-sized family home averaging just $149,800 and a rental apartment averaging just $1,002. Crime is something that happens to other people, somewhere else - combined with the great schools, it makes an incredibly attractive option for families. In terms of amenities and recreational opportunities, there's nothing to complain about - walk a few minutes one way and you've got the mall, a bowling alley, and a movie theatre, walk a few minutes in the other direction, and you're at the beach.
Tourists love Belmont-DeVilliers. With its quirky appeal, its vibrant vibes, and its incredible live music venues, the neighborhood features highly on every visitor's 'must do' list. Its full-time residents don't seem to think it's too shabby either. With its low crime rate, high-achieving schools, fabulous restaurants, and close-knit community, it's a great place to call home. As an added advantage, it's got some very affordable housing options, leaving you with enough free cash after the bills have been paid to enjoy the neighborhood's legendary Southern hospitality.
8. East Hill
East Hill is a vibrant, active community with a family-friendly vibe and a ton to offer. The attractive streets are lined with historic buildings, offering enough accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Recreationally, it's a dream - whether you're into wining and dining, tennis, walking, shopping or movie-going, you won't have a problem filling your weekends.
If you're used to low prices going hand-in-hand with low desirability, prepare to be happily surprised by Gonzalez. Despite a very affordable median home value of $172,200 and an equally attractive median rent of $1,082, Gonzalez has more than enough attractions to rank as one of the best places to live in Pensacola. The community is friendly, diverse, and welcoming, while the endless opportunities for recreation don't disappoint. Crime is low, the schools are good, and all in all, it's a great place to live.
What was once a sleepy rural backwater has now grown into one of Pensacola's most thriving (and desirable) suburbs. The low crime rate and excellent schools attract armies of families to the area. Singles and couples are well catered to thanks to an on-pointe nightlife and a booming job market. For entertainment, the Stonebrook Golf Course, The Ridge 8 movie theatre, and the nature-based activities at Benny Russell Park deliver the goods.
5. East Pensacola Heights
East Pensacola Heights has a reputation as something of a foodies paradise. Everywhere you look, there's some kind of eatery, with almost every type of cuisine represented and every kind of budget and appetite catered for. Even leaving aside the restaurant scene, the neighborhood has a lot to offer, with plenty of green spaces, cycling paths, parks, and other recreational outlets available. Safe, leafy, and surprisingly affordable, it's unquestionably one of Pensacola's highlights.
4. Tiger Point
The property prices in Tiger Point might be a smidge above average (don't expect to get a home for much less than $243,100 or a rental for less than $1,650), but if you can put up wth the prices, you'll find it a great place to live. Ranked by Niche as one of the best places to raise a family in Pensacola, it's a small, quiet neighborhood with safe streets, some excellent amenities, and the kinds of schools you won't be scared to send your kids to.
Named as the best Pensacola neighborhood by Trip Advisor, the Downtown areas has been extensively redeveloped and revitalized in recent years, with the result it now promises one of the best living experiences in town. Packed with bars, outdoor cafes, shops, and a superb array of eateries, it's the perfect place for people who want to live as close to the heart of the action as possible. A fun-packed schedule of events will keep the family happy year-round - the Seafood Festival in September, the Greek Festival in October, and the Gulf Coast Arts Festival in November shouldn't be missed.
2. Oriole Beach
Ranked by rmxipm.com as one of the best Pensacola neighborhoods for families, Oriole Beach comes with suburban vibes, some great schools, and a lineup of restaurants that will make your mouth water just thinking about. There's also some very visit-worthy parks and, of course, the beach itself, which promises oodles of water-sport activities and lazy days on the sand. Price-wise, it's very attractive, with the average three-bedroom home selling for just $233,600.
1. Gulf Breeze
Whether you're a retiree, a family, a couple, or a single, there's something for everyone at Gulf Breeze. Outdoor trails stud the neighborhood, offering plenty of opportunities for nature lovers to get out and enjoy the Florida sunshine. The schools are some of the most well-respected in the area, boasting great test scores and equally outstanding graduation rates. For family days out, the Gulf Breeze Zoo promises plenty of fun. The community is small, close-knit, and the kind where everyone keeps an eye out for each other. From a price perspective, it's not the cheapest - the median home value is $371,600 and the median rent is $1,472 - but if you're happy to sacrifice a chunk of your savings to live in the best place in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze is where it's at.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith