Naval Air Station Pensacola Relocation Information
Photo by Kevin King
Welcome to NAS Pensacola!
Located in the Florida panhandle, you’re in for views of white sandy beaches, incredible hikes, and endless attractions—like downtown Pensacola, The Fish House, and McGuire’s. But this region is more than an unforgettable summer; it’s the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.” Pensacola is rich in naval aviation history. The coolest part? They’re still doing what they’ve always done: training naval aviators. You might even feel like you’re on the set of Top Gun. Because, here, the Blue Angels flying over is just another Tuesday (although it never gets old). A trip to the Naval Aviation Museum is an effortless field trip, and the whir of aircraft overhead is your new white noise.
You’ll find most operations, the golf course, military housing, the Navy Gateway and Inns, the Navy Lodge, and exchange located on NAS Pensacola. However, Corry Station is separate. It’s located a few miles outside of the main gate and houses the Pensacola Naval Hospital, more military housing, a second CDC, commissary, and a more comprehensive base exchange offering home goods, appliances, and electronics.
Photo by Todd Diemer on Unsplash
There are a handful of housing options near NAS Pensacola. If you’re looking to live in Pensacola Beach, you should understand that it's located about 30 minutes to an hour south of NAS Pensacola and consists primarily of vacation rentals. Most military families moving to the area choose to live in Pensacola. While Pace and Milton offer a little more space to spread out, the commute can sometimes feel too long. The question then is, where in Pensacola do you want to live? There’s central Pensacola outside the main gate (Navy Blvd.), and then there are more housing options out of the West gate (Blue Angel Parkway) in a less congested area of town.
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Frequently Asked Questions About NAS Pensacola
1) What role did NAS Pensacola play during the World Wars?
NAS Pensacola became the hub of naval aviation training during World War I, growing from 38 naval aviators to 1,000 in just a few short years. After the first World War, as demand slowed, so did the training, and the base was used to complete 100 graduations a year (mostly Annapolis graduates--hence the base’s nickname "Annapolis of the Air"). As World War II approached, NAS Pensacola became the hub for naval aviation. The rate at which they grew and produced pilots for the war prompted Senator Owen Brewster’s comment, “The growth of naval aviation during World War II is one of the wonders of the modern world.”
Photo by Tomas Del Coro on Flickr
2) Is NAS Pensacola open to the public?
Yes, NAS Pensacola is open to the public. Home to the Naval Aviation Museum, Fort Barrancas, and the Pensacola Lighthouse, the base attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists a year. However, unsponsored visitors without a DOD identification card must use the West Gate located on the Blue Angel Parkway.
3) What is Pensacola known for?
Pensacola is known as the “City of Five Flags,” as it’s known to have several owners in its past. The Spanish, French, British, Confederate, and American flags have all had their turn flying overhead.
4) Is Pensacola a military town?
It depends on your definition of “military town.” While NAS Pensacola is one of the forces powering the city (employing over 23,400 service members and civilians), this historical region has its own personality. So while you'll notice your fellow service members out and about, you should easily find other, non-military things to do!
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Base Location and Information
Official Site: Naval Air Station Pensacola
The Pensacola Naval Air Station (NAS) is located at 190 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32508. The Navy's Corry Station is a short distance northeast of the base.
Nearby military installations:
NAS Pensacola sits in the Florida panhandle. As it’s easily accessible by many, it’s a popular tourist destination. With lower costs than other high-profile beach towns like Miami or Orlando, you can soak up time on the white sandy beaches and emerald water without breaking the budget.
But Pensacola isn’t the only hot spot here. Just down the road to the west are Perdido Key and Orange Beach. Situated on the Florida and Alabama line is FLORA-BAMA. This world-famous bar is the backdrop for the ultimate summer, with events like the annual mullet toss and special appearances by a few of your favorite country stars.
To the east of NAS Pensacola and Pensacola Beach, you’ll run into other fun destinations like Destin, Panama City Beach, Seaside, and more. The fact is, this entire region sits on the Gulf Coast. which means that no matter which direction you drive, east or west, you’ll stumble upon another great beach spot.
Getting around the area is fairly simple. I-10 is effective at getting the job done. While you’ll face a bit of rush hour traffic anywhere you live, Pensacola doesn't present the worst you’ll see. Most of the stand-still traffic you’ll encounter is on 98— a much smaller, slower road running parallel to the water. However, unless you choose to live in Gulf Breeze, it’s unlikely that you’ll use 98 every day.
One of the unique things about this region is that there’s a lot of military members here. But you wouldn’t guess it. The bases are spread out and Pensacola's local, vibrant culture overpowers that small-town, military feel that you might expect. Northeast of NAS Pensacola is NAS Whiting Field. The two bases are about 45 minutes apart, so it’s not uncommon to overlap more frequently with them. Many service members and their families choose to live halfway between the two bases so the communities merge into one.
Further down the road toward those other hot spots like Destin and Fort Walton Beach are Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field. While they don’t come into play on a daily basis, their amenities offer a nice change of scenery from time to time.
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Photo by DODLodging
Navy Gateway Inns and Suites handles lodging for incoming military families. Offering pet-friendly rooms and access to base amenities, it’s a great place to rest while you search for your next home to buy or house to rent.
600 Moffett Road
Pensacola, FL, 32508
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NAS Pensacola Housing
Photo by NAS Pensacola Homes
On-base housing at NAS Pensacola is privatized and managed by Balfour Beatty. They offer eight neighborhoods between the main side and Corry Station. You’ll find a plethora of amenities designed to make your time on base memorable and fun. In addition to convenience to the commissary, exchange, and work, you’ll find a splash pad, a pool, playgrounds, and the best part, a quick walk to the beach.
1581 Duncan Road, Building 735
Pensacola, FL 32508
For additional questions and information, contact the Housing Service Center.
NAS Pensacola Off Base Housing
View homes for sale and houses for rent near NAS Pensacola: NAS Pensacola Homes
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Area Weather & Climate
Photo by Brennon Williamson on Unsplash
While you’re likely dreaming of breezy palm trees, this region is a greenhouse of botanical diversity. While palm trees are alive and well, there are also forests bountiful in pines, oaks, and spanish moss, making this area diverse, full of life, and offering a variety of outdoor adventures in your back yard.
Plus, mild weather year-round makes for a pleasant time here at NAS Pensacola. The summers, perfect for sunbathing, digging your toes in the sand, and floating on the boat, are countered only with mild winters. While it’s unlikely that you’ll want to suit up and lay on the beach during the winter months (some days drop to 50 degrees), it’s rarely too cold to pass up a fishing trip, hike, or walk outside.
The biggest concern living in Pensacola is, you guessed it, hurricanes. Hurricane season runs June to November (peaking in August and September). And while it’s easy to get complacent, this little spot on the Florida coastline has a front-row seat to these catastrophic storms.
For more information, take a look at the State of Florida’s Essential Guide to Hurricane Preparedness.
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NAS Pensacola Area Schools
Military families stationed at NAS Pensacola, from elementary to upper level schooling, fall within the Escambia County School District.
Image by ZipDataMaps
If you’re looking for a private school education for your children, Private School Review is a great tool to help you find the right fit for you and your family.
Families interested in homeschooling should follow the Florida Department of Education homeschool regulations.
For any questions or concerns you can contact the School Liaison Officer.
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Support for Military and Families
Military and their families moving to NAS Pensacola benefit from the ample things to do. With the base’s MWR offering rentals to get you out on the water, and campgrounds, incredible beaches, on-base restaurants like the Mustin Beach Club, local attractions, farmer’s markets, Naval Aviation Museum, and more nearby, this duty station is a hard one not to love.
For military spouses looking for employment, in addition to NAS Pensacola, the largest employers in the area are Escambia County School District, Baptist Health Care Corporation, and Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital. Having said that, the area's tourism industry draws in somewhere between 7 and 8 million dollars each year, so there’s certainly a market there as well!
And if you’re interested in continuing your education, Pensacola State College and the University of West Florida are right here in your back yard.
Some helpful links:
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Things to Do Near NAS Pensacola
National Naval Aviation Museum: The National Naval Aviation Museum is the world's largest Naval Aviation Museum. Travel back in history as you walk the nearly 350,000 square-foot exhibit space filled with more than 150 restored aircraft.
Joe Patti’s Seafood: This world-famous seafood market is a Pensacola spot that you don’t want to miss. Open to the public since 1931, they know a thing or two about fresh, mouth-watering seafood. You’ll also find lobster, swordfish, salmon, and dozens of other fresh options.
Downtown Pensacola: Home to local boutiques, incredible dining, and a vibrant night life, downtown Pensacola fosters a sense of community. Don’t miss the Palafox Market, Gallery Night, or any event leading you to the Seville Quarter.
McGuire’s Irish Pub: Have you been to Pensacola if you haven’t stopped at McGuire’s? Probably not. This spot is beloved by many. Not only is it home to delicious food and great drinks, making for a fun evening, but they’re also great at bringing the community together. Every St. Patrick’s Day they host the McGuire’s 5K and even if you’re not a runner, this isn’t something you want to miss!\
Pensacola Lighthouse: Climb the 177 steps up the historic Pensacola lighthouse for an unforgettable view of the Gulf Coast. Built in 1859, this monument played an important role through much of our nation’s history.
Blue Wahoos.: Who doesn’t love a good baseball game? Situated on the edge of downtown Pensacola, a seat at the Blue Wahoos is sure to be the start of a fun-filled evening!
Flounder’s Chowder House: Home to antiques, ships, live music, incredible food, delicious drinks, and a view of the water, Flounder’s is one stop you have to make while you’re stationed at NAS Pensacola.
Fort Barrancas: Situated high on a bluff overlooking the Pensacola Bay, Fort Barrancas stands as a monument to the legacy of America’s early homeland defense.
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More Area Info
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190 Radford Blvd