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Pensacola Lighthouse Tours and Blue Angel Practices & Shows

Pensacola Lighthouse Tours and Blue Angel Practices & Shows

Pensacola is truly a special place to live. There are several things Pensacola residents are proud of, including our sugar-white beaches, and the fact that we are home to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Pensacola, also known as the City of Five Flags, boasts a rich history that dates back to 1559. With a large military presence, including the military’s flight school where student naval aviators are trained, Pensacola is also considered the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.” We want to tell you about one of our favorite places to catch the Blue Angels perform- from the top of the Pensacola Lighthouse!

Watching the Blue Angels Practices in Pensacola

The U.S. Navy Blue Angles are known for their flight demonstrations across the country. They call Pensacola Naval Air Station their home base, and it is where they can be seen practicing in the off-season every week, most commonly on Tuesday and Wednesdays from April through October. Find their practice schedule here. Following certain Wednesday practices, members of the Blue Angels visit the Naval Aviation Museum to meet devoted fans and autograph memorabilia. The museum even has bleacher seating available to watch the Blue Angels perform their spectacular and infamous maneuvers. You can also easily spot the practices from many locations in the Southwest Pensacola area.

Pensacola Blue Angels Air Shows

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels host two air shows a year in Pensacola, and both bring huge crowds! The big Pensacola Beach Airshow is held every year in July, typically the week after the 4th of July. Check their schedule here, but the upcoming dates are July 13, 2024, and July 12, 2025. The show generates TONS of business for Pensacola Beach. If you want to be one of the many devoted fans in attendance, get there early or book your vacation rental now because it’s not out of the question for parking lots to fill up before sunrise. Blues Week, as we locals have dubbed the event, usually consists of activities and performances Wednesday through Sunday. A full-day dress rehearsal is held on Friday and the main show on Saturday often with other flight demonstrations as well.

The Blue Angels also host a Homecoming Show at NAS Pensacola each November as they wrap up their season. Upcoming dates include November 1st and 2nd in 2024 and November 7th and 8th in 2025.

Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum 

The Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum is truly one of the best places to watch the Blue Angels practice. NAS Pensacola has always been a large attraction for tourism in Pensacola. In recent years, the base was closed to non-military members but that has recently changed. If you want to see some of the best views that Pensacola has to offer, then you need to make a trip to the Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. The lighthouse was built in 1859. There are a few things you should know before you load up and head over to tackle the 177 steps up. They are open daily from 9 AM to 4 PM and you must follow all ID requirements to get through the security gate. You must be wearing shoes with backs (you can not climb up in flip-flops). If you are taking children, be aware that kids under 7 are not allowed to climb up the tower and they must be 44” tall. Stick around to tour the museum and to walk on the beach behind the lighthouse for some great photo ops. In addition to hosting Blue Angels Practice viewings from atop the lighthouse, they also offer sunset and full moon climbs, and ghost hunt events. We highly recommend planning a visit.

You can also catch the Blue Angels practices from the Pensacola Bay City Ferry and other private charter boats.

Pensacola is a one-of-a-kind city, and we hold it near and dear to our hearts. We love to spread awareness of all the fun, educational, and unique experiences, locations, and attractions so we can share our lovely city with all who visit. Here are a few other articles with fun Pensacola things to do that you may enjoy: