When someone comes to visit Pensacola, we make sure to take them to the National Naval Aviation Museum located on the Naval Air Station Pensacola. This museum holds its own against museums like the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. The museum will entertain children and adults of all ages and it is well worth the visit. We usually head over there at least once a month.
You will be driving onto the Naval Air Station when you go to visit so be respectful of the rules, speed limits, and blocked off areas. When you get to the gate, be prepared to show your identification and let them know where you are going.
Reasons we love the museum:
The museum is free! It doesn’t get much better than that! There is a simulator as well as an IMAX that require a paid entrance but everything else (except the restaurant of course) is free.
The museum is where the Blue Angels practice when they are home. Behind the museum, there is a flight line with bleachers where you can watch them practice their acrobatics. If you are near one of the volunteers, you can listen to the pilots talk over the walkie talkies! Check the schedule because after the pilots land, they might head to the museum to sign autographs.
You can pretend to be a pilot in the Cockpit Trainers. Upstairs, there are rows and rows of jet and helicopter cockpits that children (and adults) can hop in and out of and pretend to be a pilot.
They recently opened up a small play area that resembles an aircraft carrier. There are slides, stairs to climb, and the boat to drive.
The Cubi Bar Café, reassembled from the historic Cubi Point Officer’s Club in the Philippines, is a great place to stop for a soda or lunch.
If you are still up for exploring after you visit the museum, you can visit Ft. Barrancas and the Pensacola Light House which are also located on NAS Pensacola.