Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida and its Navy yard. Construction on the fort began in 1829 and was completed five years later in 1834. Fort Pickens enjoyed a long life of active duty, as it was used until the 1940s. Historic Fort Pickens is open from 8 a.m. to sunset and its Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. March through October. For more information, all 850-934-2600.
Naval Air Station Pensacola
Naval Air Station Pensacola is known as the “Cradle of Naval Aviation” and features the Naval Aviation Museum and IMAX, a lighthouse and Fort Barrancas, built by the Spanish in 1797. Hours: Museum: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. IMAX: first movie is at 9:30 a.m. then shown every hour 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.navalaviationmuseum.org for more information
Pensacola Museum of Art
The museum, housed in the Old City Jail, features works predominantly from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum is at 407 S. Jefferson Street. For more information, call 850-432-6247 or visit www.pensacola museumofart.org.
Historic Pensacola Village
The Historic Pensacola complex encompasses 8.5 acres and includes the T. T. Wentworth, Jr. Museum, the Pensacola Children’s Museum, the Museums of Commerce and Industry, Voices of Pensacola Multicultural Center, Old Christ Church and Historic Pensacola Village. For more information, visit www.historicpensacola.org or call 850-595-5985.
Historic Magnolia Grill
Savor authentic Italian-style seafood amongst history at the Magnolia Grill in Fort Walton Beach. Located at 157 Brooks Street SE, “the museum that serves food” features dozens of artifacts from Camp Walton’s early years including typewriters that once told the news of the day and photos of a simpler time. In 1910, Dr. G.G. French ordered a house from a catalog that boasted construction with minimal carpentry skill required. Every piece, down to the nails, shipped by train and barge. Now come and enjoy a bowl of gumbo or blackened chicken fettuccine Alfredo while taking in the history of area. Call 850-302-0266 for more information.
Indian Temple Mound Museum
In 1962, the Indian Temple Mound Museum opened as the first municipally owned and operated museum in Florida. More than 1,000 artifacts of stone, bone, clay and shell are housed there, as well as one of the finest collections of prehistoric ceramics in the Southeast. The museum is at 139 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach. Visit fwb.org/parksrec/page/Indian-temple-mound-museum for more information.
Destin History and Fishing Museum
Preserving and honoring the history of Destin, the Luckiest Fishing Village in the World, with an extensive collection of antique fishing rods and reels – including an original Penn Reel that belonged to Ernest Hemingway; the oldest seine fishing boat still in existence; award-winning examples of fish caught in Destin; as well as vintage photographs of early settlers, captains and their boats, businesses and more. The museum is at 108 Stahlman Avenue, Destin. Call 850-837-6611 or visit www.destin historyandfishingmuseum.org.
Air Force Armament Museum
Experience the aviation warfare armament from the early days of World War I right through to today’s
high-tech planes and bombs. Inside, you’ll find an extensive collection of weaponry and interactive displays that will amaze and intrigue. Outside displays include vintage military aircraft including the fastest plane ever built – the SR-71 Blackbird! Admission is free. The museum is at 100 Museum Drive, Eglin Air Force Base. For more information, call 850-651-1808 or visit www.afarmamentmuseum.com.
Battleship USS Alabama
History meets heroism from World War II to Iraqi Freedom. At Battleship Memorial Park you walk the decks of a mighty battleship, go below in a World War II submarine, view cockpits of combat aircraft, see a Vietnam River Patrol Boat and a plane like the one flown by the Tuskegee Airmen! The battleship is at 2703 Battleship Parkway, Mobile, Alabama. For more information, call 850-433-2703.