The community is located on Santa Rosa Island in the Gulf of Mexico, south of mainland Pensacola. It was first discovered in the 16th century by Spanish explorers who attempted to colonize the area but failed due to major hurricanes. The land remained largely undeveloped until 1931, when the island's first tourist attraction, The Casino Resort, opened its doors. Over the next 30 years, the resort hosted special events, tournaments, and boxing matches until it closed in the late 1960s.
Today, Pensacola Beach is home to many tourist attractions, including the Quietwater Beach Boardwalk, Dolphin Cruise, and Casino Beach Bar and Grille, named after the famous resort. Whatever your reason may be for visiting Pensacola Beach, it's important that you find the right hotel so you can make the most of your trip.
The Best Time to Visit Pensacola Beach, FL
The best times to visit Pensacola Beach are April and May. The skies are clear, the temperatures are comfortable (mid-70s to 80s), and the water is warm, making the area ideal for water sports, boating, and fishing. This is shoulder season, so you'll enjoy affordable hotel rates and moderate crowds. There will even be plenty of fun events to attend like Bands on the Beach, Jazzfest, and nightly star-gazing.
Between June and August, Pensacola Beach is flooded with tourists who line the sand, pack the restaurants, and converge on other area attractions. As a result, hotel rates will be high and rooms will be harder to get, so book well in advance. Also, be mindful of summer weather. Temperatures will reach highs in the upper 80s, so you'll want to pack plenty of sunscreen. Look out for great seasonal events like the Pensacola Beach Songwriters' Festival and Air Show.
The fall months (September-November) are characterized by comfortable temperatures, usually between 60 and 80 degrees, and periods of rainfall. If you'd rather not be rained out on any day of your vacation but are set on visiting in the fall, plan your trip in November. Although temperatures will begin dropping, wet season will officially be ending. Because of these weather changes, you may find good hotel deals. And you'll have events like the Pensacola Seafood Festival, Santa Rosa Island Triathlon, and Arts Festival to keep you entertained.
If you visit between December and March, you probably won't spend much time on the beach – temperatures will be between 40 and 60 degrees, after all – but you will enjoy lower hotel rates, fewer crowds, and a bevy of fun events like the Annual Snowball Derby, Lighted Boat Parade, and Polar Bear Dip.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Pensacola Beach, FL:
Pensacola Beach, FL: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. nightly cost trends by star rating class in Pensacola Beach, FL. Browse these charts to calculate the most cost effective months to book a room in Pensacola Beach for your upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Pensacola Beach, FL
4 Star Average Prices: $261.68
Pensacola Beach offers a variety of unique luxury hotels. For one of the area's best, consider Hilton Pensacola Beach. This premier hotel is situated along the beach, near Portofino Boardwalk, Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, and Shoreline Park. You'll enjoy a stylish and comfortable room with an oversized balcony, beautiful view, flat-screen HDTV, mini-refrigerator, and luxury Peter Rothman bathroom amenities.
The hotel also features a lavishly-decorated lobby with glass chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows, two restaurants serving delicious food, two outdoor pools with children's play area, an indoor pool, pool bar, beach equipment rental service, and 24-hour fitness center. There's also a childcare service, business center, and gift shop for additional convenience.
Margaritaville Beach Hotel is a great luxury option that's perfect for families. Located steps away from the beach, boardwalk, and pier, this highly-rated hotel is inspired by the carefree lyrics and lifestyle of musician Jimmy Buffet. Each guest room features “barefoot elegance," a pillow-top bed with down comforter, iPod docking station, flat-screen HDTV, refrigerator, and gulf or bay view, depending on your room's location.
Staying consistent with its theme, the hotel also features an outdoor pool, Tiki bar, sundeck, bicycle rental, and free beach shuttle. Other amenities include a beachside pavilion, 24-hour fitness center, water sports, seasonal live entertainment, and fun family activities like beach crafts, painting parties, and limbo contests.
Affordable Hotel Options in Pensacola Beach, FL
3 Star Average Prices: $148.05
Budget-conscious travelers will find many affordable hotels in Pensacola Beach. Travelodge Pensacola Beach is a comfortable hotel that's conveniently located in the heart of the community, near souvenir shops, restaurants, night life, and Quietwater Beach Boardwalk. You'll enjoy a cozy room with a refrigerator, microwave, and free internet access, as well as a range of hotel amenities. Some favorites include a private beach, sun deck, outdoor pool, and picnic area. As an added perk, you can take advantage of continental breakfast served each morning.
For an affordable hotel that's a short distance away from Pensacola Beach center, Hampton Inn & Suites Pensacola/Gulf Breeze is an excellent choice. It's minutes away from beaches, surrounding towns, and top attractions like Gulf Breeze Zoo, Tiger Point Golf Club, and the National Naval Aviation Museum. Its 90 spacious rooms feature fresh Hampton beds, 42-inch LCD TVs, and free internet access.
The hotel features an outdoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, concierge service, and free hot breakfast, served in the dining area or in a convenient to-go package.
2 Star Average Prices: $111.37
Which Pensacola Beach hotels have real discounts?
There are many hotels that offer discounts in Pensacola Beach. Springhill Suites Pensacola Beach offers AAA discounts on its studio and suite accommodations, and is located in the center of the community near Gulf Islands National Seashore, Shoreline Park, and Portofino Boardwalk. The fully-renovated guest suites feature breathtaking views, spacious work desks, and a convenient area with refrigerator, microwave, and coffee service. Depending on the room you select, you may even enjoy a private balcony overlooking the hotel's pool or the Gulf of Mexico.
Hotel amenities include three outdoor heated pools, a children's pool, seasonal beach Tiki bar, fitness center, picnic area, and convenience store.
For another hotel with great discounts, consider Courtyard Pensacola Downtown. It offers AAA and AARP discounts to members on many of its rooms, and is located a few minutes north of the community's center. The hotel's 120 spacious guest rooms combine comfort and functionality with Marriott's new, cozy bedding package, flat-screen TVs, and spacious work desks with ergonomic chairs.
The hotel features an on-site restaurant serving breakfast, dinner, and Starbucks coffee, as well as an outdoor pool and fitness center.
Best Value Options in Pensacola Beach, FL
If you're looking to get the most value for your money, you'll find many great options in Pensacola Beach. Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach is situated in the heart of the community, and is convenient to regional attractions like Fort Pickens, Gulf Islands National Seashore, and Pensacola Lighthouse. You'll enjoy a comfortable guest room with beautiful views, a 32-inch flat-screen HDTV, iPhone dock, microwave, mini-fridge, and coffee maker. You can choose an inland room with standard comforts, a beachfront room with private balcony, or a family suite with bunk beds, bean bags, and child-friendly décor.
Hotel amenities include a bright, stylish lobby, outdoor and indoor pool, 250-foot seasonally heated Lazy River, two restaurants, fitness center, and gift shop. There's also a game room, fire pit, and beach chair rental service. The hotel even offers a Kids Under 12 Eat Free program in its on-site Riptides Grill restaurant.
For another great value option, consider Residence Inn by Marriott Pensacola Downtown. This comfortable hotel blends the conveniences of home with the services of a hotel for a one-of-a-kind stay that you won't forget. The property is located a short drive away from Pensacola Beach center, but is convenient to Historic Pensacola Village, restaurants, beaches, and shopping. Its spacious guest rooms are available in studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom layouts and feature fully-equipped kitchens with refrigerators, stove tops, and microwaves; flat-screen HDTVs; and free internet access.
Around the hotel, you'll enjoy an outdoor pool, fitness center, gift shop, and picnic area.
Unique Attractions in Pensacola Beach, FL
Wherever you decide to stay in Pensacola Beach, you'll be near many of the area's most unusual attractions. Historic Fort Pickens is a pentagonal fortress built in 1834, and located on the far west end of Santa Rosa Island. It's one of four forts in the South to have never been occupied by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and remains a popular attraction for visitors of all ages. Not only is it unique, but it's also located near a beautiful beach, fishing pier, and large campground.
Pensacola Beach is also home to the original Dolphin Cruise boat “Chase-n-Fins.” This aquatic charter is 50 feet in size, with plenty of deck room for walking around and taking photos. It offers two-hour dolphin adventures in Pensacola Bay and surrounding waters, and is perfect for families and solo travelers alike.
Whether you're looking for an affordable hotel in the center of the community or a luxury one that's situated along the beach, you can find the perfect hotel for you, your family, and your wallet in Pensacola Beach.