Escambia: The Oldest County
While I reside a little to the east, Escambia County, Florida holds a special place in my heart. At the westernmost tip of the peninsula, this county boasts much more than just pretty scenery. Many of you may not know, but I am a historian by day and that passion was started right here at home. Pensacola, the largest city in Escambia county, was founded in 1559, making it the oldest city in the United States (take that, St. Augustine! -founded in 1565). The "City of Five Flags" changed hands several times before becoming a part of Florida and the United States, with some of those cultural influences still alive today. Because Pensacola had the largest natural deep water port discovered at the time, settlers took advantage of the area. Over time, a city formed, military installations were built, and Pensacola became the city we know and love today.
One of the great things about living in such a historical area is the access to that history. Pensacola has several museums with some of the coolest exhibits, including artifacts from the first known voyage to the area. The Pensacola Museum of History and Museum of Industry offer a more classic view of the town's history, while the Naval Aviation Museum and Pensacola Lighthouse Museum offer a view into what really brought this area to life. There is even a Children's Museum for our younger friends! A day spent visiting the Naval Aviation Museum, watching an IMAX movie, grabbing lunch at a local hotspot, and splashing in the waves is perfect for any individual or family alike.
Following my love for history is, without a doubt, baseball. Did you know Pensacola has their own Minor League Baseball team? The Blue Wahoos play on Admiral Fetterman Field in Downtown Pensacola. If you are not a sports fan, but do enjoy the theater, the Pensacola Saenger Theater is just a few streets away. There is entertainment on every corner, shopping, dining, beaches, and so much more!
Speaking of dining, there is no shortage of snackage in Escambia County. If you are feeling like some Irish food, McGuire's is the way to go. Steak dinner? Jackson's Steakhouse. Seafood? Joe Patti's. From quaint cafes to bustling chains, Pensacola has just about anything you are looking for. Not to mention, a vast number of the establishments put you on or near the Bay of Pensacola, allowing for a peaceful and beautiful dining experience.
For the families, Escambia County offers competitively ranked schools, both public and private. For the scholar, Pensacola State College and University of West Florida are based in Escambia County. Outside of traditional education, there are fun and exciting classes one can take in the area, such as painting or SCUBA. No matter if you are a primary school student, college student, or just a student of life, Pensacola has you covered.
Much like Santa Rosa County, there are plenty of options for housing. Would you prefer an apartment in the city center, or perhaps a suburban neighborhood? Maybe a few acres in the woods is more your style. Whatever your perfect housing situation is, Escambia County has it, and we would love to help you find it! If you are interested in exploring the area more and potentially calling it home, give us a call.
One more fun fact before I go! While much of Escambia County is made up of Pensacola (hence why I used the words pretty interchangeably), there are other cities and towns that make up the north end of the county. One of these is Cantonment, which means a temporary housing/quarter for troops. In 1814, Andrew Jackson and his troops were camped out (or quartered!) in the area, thus giving the city it's name!