Pensacola, Florida Comments

"All and All, not that bad"

All and All, not that bad - 6/12/2006
2 1

I have lived in Pensacola since Aug. 2003, and like most other places, Pensacola has its good points and bad points. The weather is great, especially in the winter months. It is mild and comfortable. The summers can be hot and humid, but at least the beach is in your backyard to cool down. Hurricanes, which always keep me on edge, are always a possible threat between June and October.
The cost of living is great for Florida. It is not cheap, but affordable when compared to other parts of the state. I think $30,000 goes a lot further in Pensacola than Palm Beach or Miami. The cost of rent for apartments has gone up in the past few years due to hurricanes, but it is still pretty affordable.
As far as some of the downfalls, Pensacola has been getting a reputation for a place where young professionals want to leave. This is true since the area seems to lack development in certain areas and decisions by local civic leaders take a long time. While areas to the west in Alabama and the east near Destin, Fla. are thriving, Pensacola seems to be stuck in the mud at times. For some reason, there are a lot of Walgreens and Waffle Houses. Not only are there a lot of them, but there are located very close to each other!
Also, Escambia County is one of the poorest counties in Florida. There are parts of this city where the rich and poor live in the same neighborhood or even street. If you plan on moving down here, make sure you have a good paying job prior to moving here. Salaries are very low for a city this size.
Even though I planning on relocating to a larger metropolitan area sometime early next year, Pensacola has been a nice place to live. If you can find a good job and not mind some of the civic issues and hurricanes, it can be a nice place to live.

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Niagara Falls, NY

Looking for area N FL where we can improve way of - 9/15/2016

Looking to move to Northern Florida we are wanting to go to a place where we have the ability to purchase mobile home or small home for 35000 in auction or foreclosure then to resell for extra income we also want to buy and resell cars in the same manner. We don't have a lot of money but enough to do something like this so that we can make more money Pensacola was our Target but it seems like that may not be a place where we can do those two things do you know where we can go in Northern Florida that would be a place we could do this thank you

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Marianna, FL

Sunshine and Sand - 5/22/2016

The quality of life here is very poor. It's hot, humid and sticky almost year round and suprisingly there's still a lot of housing without central air. Bugs and flying insects love it here. They crawl up your sinks, out of your cupboards, and through any cracks they can find. And forget about making a decent living - the State of Florida expects you to live on Sunshine and Sand. The beaches are beautiful but if you want to live there, you better come with a lot of money.

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Gulf Breeze, FL

SoCal to Pensacola - better place to raise kids - 1/28/2016

Just my $0.02 as I relocated a ton growing up, and just came here from Huntington Beach 2 years ago - some of these reviews seem a little jaded. Pensacola could be considered a small town. I think the City population is about 60K, but tie in outlying areas and it has a sizeable population that supports a lot of commerce and jobs. The downtown is awesome and I was very surprised with I came for the interview. I was expecting more of a run-down, small town feel but a lot of money has moved into the downtown area recently and renovated just about everything. It has a nice pedestrian strip with lots of restaurants/bars, art galleries, and theatres mixed in with the municipal buildings. I think the schools in Pensacola, or Escambia County overall may be questionable. I spent time in grade school in FL as a kid and the desegregation attempts cause some weird things like bussing kids back and forth to meet quotas. We chose to live in Gulf Breeze which is in neighboring Santa Rosa County. Homes are slightly more, but the schools are rated 10/10 on all online rankings I could find. I drive across the 3 Mile bridge into work everyday and it is nothing compared to a SoCal commute. 15-25 minutes max. If you have kids, seriously think about Gulf Breeze or Milton/Pace. If not then there are nice places downtown or in historic East Hill where you can get a mansion for very little. Not sure why some people mention so much crime here. Again I don't see it and none of my research before coming here revealed anything. PPD and Escambia Sheriffs are very active, and there are a ton of very active charities here as well. Mardi Gras is big time here, and several other cool holidays and parades. The beach is spectacular. Destin is probably the only beach in FL that is nicer but that place has gone full tourist mode. Locals still enjoy the beach here, though if you want to live on the beach or Gulf Breeze know that high summer season will have increased weekend beach traffic. There are military bases in the area. I was in the military and if you are coming for that then you probably know what comes with living near military bases. If you need the convenience of NAS then check out the West side of town - otherwise the East or Gulf Breeze is ideal.

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Pensacola, FL

Pensacola, things you need to know - 1/24/2016

First is lack of real jobs. You will not make a lot of money working here. While the beaches are very nice, the crime is very bad. The majority of the crime lies in the fact we have over 15 large housing projects. Pensacola is a very small area and we shouldn't have this much poverty in an area this small. We have a lot of gang activity in these areas and there is no one to counsel young people to keep them away from the streets where drugs and violence rule the day. Pensacola is the 6th most violent small city in the United States. Until we find some way to help at risk young people and find them mentors we will continue to have this problem. The county government is useless. Everyone wants to point their finger at the police for all the crime but this is a community problem. The high cost of living is ridiculous. Rents are sky high and to buy a house you'll overpay what the house is actually worth. You have rich people, lower middle class people and poverty. While the mayor of Pensacola has done a lot to bring downtown Pensacola to life, the county really needs to step up and deliver the same changes that our mayor has been able to provide. Before you decide to move here do your research. Make sure you have a good paying job before you ever think of moving to this area. This is a tourist area and that is where all the jobs lie and it's seasonal employment so great money in the summer. That means bartending, waitressing, working in a service related industry, mostly low paying retail. You get the picture. We have three large hospitals and we have a lot of older people who retire here so there is a lot of hospital jobs but they do require some form of formal education. And speaking of education the schools here are horrible. Unless you send your child to private school you might as well hang it up on your children getting a decent education.

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Pensacola, FL

Pensacola - 10/28/2015

Pensacola is a cool town with lots of diversity, practically no traffic jams, & miles and miles of beaches. Unlike some places it hasn't become terribly commercialized. People can go to beaches/parks for free. There are several places to get organic food. Most the people here tend to like or love the great outdoors (surfing, fishing, beach going, bicycling, or camping). The people seem to be conservative liberals, or liberal conservatives. There are lots of college students here. A good number of options for nightlife & dining, and the weather is very nice.

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Plano, TX

Is Pensacola worth the risk of relocation from Tex - 10/25/2015

I am being considered for a position in Pensacola currently and I'm concerned about things that I'm reading here. I'm currently living in North Texas area just outside of Dallas and I have all of my family nearby. I actually love where I live and I own a beautiful home here that is appreciating at 9.5% annually. The position in Pensacola is quite attractive at 135k plus full relocation, benefits and bonuses. However, I also just received the same 135k offer for a position here in North Dallas last Friday. Now I'm wondering if I'd be better off to stay here and deal with the traffic and commute time than move to Pensacola?? The overall COL is much less in Pensacola however that can't be the only determining factor in my decision to relocate or not. Anyone who has firsthand experience and knowledge of the Pensacola area, please provide some feedback. Thank you..

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Columbia, SC

I am looking for COL info on Pensacola - 8/18/2015

Retiring in 18 months and plan to move from SC to the Pensacola area for it's beauty and moderate climate. I'd like to know as much as possible about the Cost of Living, sales tax, energy, gasoline, entertainment, housing, etc. I would also like to know if there are any patio homes (single family homes with VERY small yards requiring minimal upkeep or kept up by the HOA. Every time I search for patio homes i get homes with big yards and patios attached. Does anyone understand what I'm talking about? Sometimes they are referred to as Zero Lot Line homes. Thanks for your help.

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Pensacola, FL

Pensacola: A Crummy Place to Live - 6/2/2015

Want an exciting career in retail or the food service industry? Want to "wow" your friends with a part time job that pays $11 an hour with no benefits? Pensacola is for you! Sarcasm aside, after 20+ years living here, I finally figured out I was going nowhere. I worked retail for several years and never got ahead. None of my friends or co-workers got ahead in this town, either. All those who have been successful in their careers left the city. I decided to go to the University of West Florida and graduated before I hit 30. Now I'm leaving this place forever and I don't have any regrets about doing so. Pensacola's job market is crap. Good paying jobs are near impossible to find, even with a college degree. Those "good paying" jobs you do find are well below market average. After graduation, I received two job offers: One here, and one in Texas. The salary difference was almost $30,000. Naturally, I took the job in Texas; while it's a bit higher cost of living, it's definitely not anywhere close to $30k a year more. The public school system is heavily segregated, or it was when I was in school. Being a "white boy" in a primarily low income black school was pretty tough. It's wrong, but it's hard not to think poorly of low class black people when you're constantly picked on for no other reason than that you're white. The quality of teachers were probably okay, but they were clearly frustrated. The schools are probably hit or miss overall; I can only speak for my experience. If you're stuck moving here with kids, look at the demographics before you pick a home. Regardless of your race, you probably don't want your kids stuck in the kind of high school I was in. Overall, I can't say that there's anything in Pensacola that I like, but it's not all terrible. The downtown area is really nice. It's heavily influenced by New Orleans architecture and it can be quite pleasant to walk the sidewalk on a nice day or night. Living in that area is very expensive, though it would be a fun place to live. I'm not a beach person, but I can't deny it's gorgeous. White sands, lots of restaurants, and a lot to do. The Quietwater Beach side has a great boardwalk with lots of shopping and restaurants. The water is also calm, hence the name. On the opposite side, you half the Gulf of Mexico, and it's got nice white sandy beaches. It's easy to find a spot in the crowd or a private spot if you want. Unfortunately, with the wages I made here, I could never afford to frequent the beach. It's a hot tourist attraction though. In short: Visit Pensacola Beach. Don't live in Pensacola.

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Pensacola, FL

Don't Move Here - 10/20/2014

Pensacola is a Horrible Place to live for All reasons except the beautiful Beach. The religious here take their beliefs to the extreme and force it down everyone's throat in this town. They tried to ban giving blankets to the homeless but there was an uproar so the Mayor didn't want to continue to look stupid so he reneged. They have Banned smoking for All Escambia County Employees. Therefore, if you have breathed in 2nd hand smoke the test will show this and you won't be hired. The school district is Corrupt. They never report the criminals and gangs who beat up students and pistol whip them until they are unconscious and left for dead and in front of the entire school staff. They are afraid of the gangs here and keep it all hush hush. I should know, I worked at the schools district for over 5 years and my husband was a victim at Woodham when it was a High School and was the kid beat by 5 big black dudes and pistol whipped and saved by a brave bus driver. He had to quit school. He has a Ph.D and is still unemployed. Other Middle schools and High schools here are just as pitiful and crimes go unreported. The murder rate is high here also for men and these murders also go unreported. The Gay Memorial Day Celebration brings Thousands to the Beach and they are allowed to camp on the beach Free all summer but Locals are Not Allowed to camp free ever. The Illiteracy rate is one of the highest in the country, the water is some of the worst in the country due to Monsanto dumping and other Industries. The Beach water and Bayou's are contaminated and there is reports of FLESH Eating Bacteria in the water due to drain off from rivers and bayous. The pay rate is Horrible. The county teacher pay is the lowest in country and the cost of living is high for electric, water, housing. As a person with a Master's Degree, they only want to pay me $30K annually. The Universities are a joke and treat their Alumni terrible. This place also has many black on white murders as their is a lot of reverse racism here. The drugs are also bad and Escambia has one of the Highest Rates of STD's. Seriously, Don't Move Here.

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San Jose, CA

Currently thinking of returning to Pensacola - 8/23/2014

I grew up in Pensacola then moved away to college then directly to the San Francisco Bay Area and have more or less lived in California ever since. But as retirement approaches, my wife and I are considering a move back. We even spent an afternoon last week with a real estate pro looking at typical properties while visiting family. We found we could BUY a very comfortable house in one of the best neighborhoods for HALF what our current rent (already a local bargain in Silicon Valley) is. Our pensions and social security will go a long way in Pensacola. No state income tax is another big draw. First, the climate. People vary in their response to Pensacola's climate - some crave the mild winters and very warm summers, others find the heat and humidity during the long summers oppressive. If you're the latter, like me, there's usually air conditioning. Outdoor life can be constrained by miserable summers so many people only come out at night 4 or 5 months a year. Even the winters can feel colder than the thermometer reading due to the humidity in the air transferring heat away so effectively. A "dry cold" is more comfortable than a "wet cold." But there's a saying, "a cold winter is the best insecticide" which tells you something about the vermin problems. I found I was well served in my public education (1956 to 1971) when I transferred from PJC to U. of Florida where my preparations for engineering school were superior to most of the students who entered UF as freshmen. Choose your local school district with care though - some are terrible. While some call the politics "right wing," one could say that the area believes in limited government. Corruption is there but it need not touch one's life and the effects don't seem significant. I love reading the local paper on visits since following the shenanigans of the political class is a popular form of entertainment. Yes, wages are low and professional opportunities few - my technical talents would have not found a rewarding outlet there. The smart, ambitious locals go into small business or get government jobs (or leave). Pirates used to infest the Gulf Coast - today we call them "lawyers" of which there seems a surplus. Downtown has been GREATLY gentrified! I expect my wife will become involved in the art gallery scene there. There are many areas of high crime and low cultural expectations (ie slums.) You learn where they are and keep driving. Owning a gun is prudent. The Navy seems to have declined in local impact - the cosmopolitan military population was a great stimulus to the townies like me. Another plus is the nightlife - the tourist trade provides financial support but the locals make the most of it - there's a great blues scene for example. Perfect places to live are unicorns. One must look at one's life course and balance the compromises. Pensacola has both pluses and minuses.

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Pensacola, FL

Pensacola-gone to $h!t - 8/15/2014

I have lived all over the Panhandle my entire life, from Destin, FL all the way over to Pensacola, FL where I am now. And I have to say, this place has gone to h3ll in a handbasket over the years. Prostitution, drugs, murders, rapes, robberies, homelessness and crime in general abound. Yes, there is history-in the downtown section. Yes, there is shopping, in the middle/northern part of town. There is also a lot of corruption in the politics, (and I'm including the Sheriff's Dept in this), and very bad economy-housing sucks, jobs are little to non-existent unless you're a doctor or a lawyer or military. The roads suck, the taxes suck, the neighborhoods suck, the people here seem beaten and down-trodden with life. The police here are a freakin joke. They find reasons to harass people walking down the street (except for Cervantes) so they can "get to know the citizens around town". HA. And when/if you need them, they are no where to be found. It is hot, humid, and rainy a lot of the months out of the year. Yes, we do get fall-like weather, sometime in October, and "Winter" starts about December/January-ish and lasts only through about 2 weeks into February. Don't waste your time buying a house in Pensacola, unless it's in the more swankier parts of town off Bayou Blvd/12th Ave/Mallory Street/Scenic Hwy/Gaboronne/Marcus Pointe. Everywhere else is hit and miss with quality of housing/quality of the neighborhood, etc. For years I have watched this town go to $h!t, and I am working towards getting OUT OF HERE as soon as possible! Pensacola Beach is nice, but you have to pay a toll to get to it, and it's actually located THROUGH Gulf Breeze, and over a bridge....Watch out for the tar balls and sharks. If you stay in town, watch yourself wherever you go. Either the crooks that live in the streets may get you, or the crooked cops will get you. STAY AWAY. There's a reason we have a -5% population growth! People are LEAVING! That should tell you something right there!

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Pensacola, FL

Pensacola - 1/20/2014

Pensacola is nice - alot of history - downtown has alot of activities & its right on the water - Just dont care for the humidity ..

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Destin, FL

An Up-N-Comer - 5/11/2013

Although it has always been more of a transient town due to the large inundation of military folk, Pensacola's younger generation has started to make great strides with making Pensacola a great place, regardless of your background. Furthermore, city leaders have invested an incredible amount of their time and money in order to make selfless contributions to the city. Expect great things from Pensacola in the near future!

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Anchorage, AK

Anchorage AK - 9/24/2012

Great in summer and beautiful but cold in winter.

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Tallahassee, FL

The real truth about Pensacola - 2/7/2012

I grew up in Pensacola and i know all about the crooked politics but at the same time they are crooked because they do not comprehend how to fix the crime and industry. These politicians are called corrupt due to their always being concerned about beach industries. It is an OLD city and being that all of the big money is OLD money. This OLD money refuses to allow outside progress to occur if they cannot control it. In the late 80's Busch inc tried to offer to clean up the extremely large and polluted property that the paper mill rests on. They wanted to open a bottling plant and another theme park. All creating extreme job opportunities and much positive movement for the local economy. But the people who are the OLD money control the politics and hold the true decision making ability. I have not told you about the most important thing about Pensacola. The crime is more in depth than you could ever comprehend! I have traveled all over the world except Asia and have never seen anything like it. You see all of the smuggling that is shipped in from South Florida coming from the Haitians, Orientals, Cubans, Russians, and Jamaicans either have to go through Jacksonville interstate or Pensacola interstate. And these people don’t want the attention that is acquired by going through Jacksonville. Well when these drug lords come through Pensacola they see all the potential for business success and a good posibility that you will get away clean even for murder. So they stay in Pensacola and feed off of the good peoples weaknesses. Hints why the missing persons, murders, robberies, and other crime annual reports are so unbelievably high. This is a good place if you’re willing to make the best of it and now how to handle yourself in difficult situations. It is definitely a place you will get killed in if you don’t avoid certain people +places. As for business if you dont own it then dont bother. Private industry is the basically the only profitable industry. One other thing if you have children whatever you do DO NOT put them in public school. Seek private assistance. This is a place that will make you or brake you when your young. I would say around 25-30% of the people i grew up with are either dead, in jail, or on their way.

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Pensacola, FL

Beaches and Bugs - 12/26/2010

I have lived throughout florida, and have found the months of march/april/ and early may, the best months.There is a lull after the cold,humid,cloudy,windy winters days and before the intense heat and biting insects, make life outdoors unbearable.The sand on the beaches as of the first week of june are scalding to walk on at the beach, and the yellow flies,fire ants,fleas,scorpions,etc. bite and several types of bugs, leave scars after their bites.The gators and poisonous snakes also come out and you have to be very careful where you go, and what you do. Needless to say, I hightail it to the gorgeous state of New Mexico (mountains), for their 75 degree summers, low humidity, etc. Am truly considering making that a permanent change, as florida has suffered the eco-disaster of the BP oil mess recently, and now the waters are full of Benzene, and the seafood is inedible for the long-term, since the oil is settled on the bottom of the Gulf.....Nothing like being chased around the map by environmental disasters......

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Pensacola, FL

missed potential - 8/17/2010

Nice beaches, no education, bribery in politics, no taxes so no law enforcement, no upgrades in pollution control, lots of murder, drugs, people here turn a blind eye to others needs, pollution breeds greater ignorance, very low income, 15-30K avg, my best friend's daughter just raped by the campus police officer, there is a need for clear thinking but because no money, no one wants the responsibility. A lot of religion fanatics, I have been here 15 years. and am hoping for a change. Do not move here without a clear purpose.

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Pensacola, FL

Affordable place to live - 5/12/2010

I live in Pensacola for over 30yrs and the city used to be one of the affordable places in Florida. After huricane Ivan it changed for the worst. Property taxes and insurance went up, County, city taxes/fees increased or added and jobs were lost due to base closures or downsizing. However, there are still some pros about the place like good weather, water fun activities and nice white sandy beaches that might hold me around for at least the next five yrs before I start looking for greener pastures.

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Gulf Breeze, FL

Pensacola Beach - 2/22/2010

I must agree that Pensacola is a dying town and the crime is the same as in any large city and the beach is bad too. Living at Pensacola Beach means you pay to lease the lot your house is on and then pay property taxes,but you do not get title to your house or the lot. When a storm destroys your home, the Santa Rosa Island Authority tells you that you must rebuild (out of your own pocket)exactly prior to the storm. The Santa Rosa Island Authority will make decisions for "improvement" which means some contractor the SRIA hires destroys your yard and driveway. You are always told that everything will be replaced,Ha. During Blue Angel weekend, people park their cars in your yard. They throw their trash in your yard, they tear up your yard when they leave drunk. You have to replace water sprinklers and pick up their trash. One weekend in May, some graduates of a Mobile highschool come to the beach and they bring guns and drugs. They wander the neighborhoods and wander into your yard. A friend of mine was in his garage when 2 of these kids just walked right into his garage and became physical. Two other friends were sent to the hospital because 3 of these kids severely beat them up over on the boardwalk. Now a lot of these stories do not get told, because the majority of the kids from Mobile are Africian American and the people getting attacked are white. But the beach residents are not protected and if you want to protect your property, you must hire police yourself. The property values are so bad that you can't sell. If the property values every rise, we are selling and leaving the state of Florida. The state of Florida is very close to Calafornia in that this state will be bankrupt soon. Take my advice, don't move to Pensacola and if you have to move here, avoid buying anything on the beach.

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Gulf Breeze, FL

GREAT PLACE TO LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - 12/14/2009

i was born and raised in this small town but it is an amazing place to live and raise a famil. i HIGHLY advise you to move their and see for your self

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