Review of Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola: A Crummy Place to Live
Star Rating - 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. 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.
Chris | Dallas, TX
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I'm sorry I didn't respond to these comments. I haven't checked this since I wrote it over two years ago. I edited my review to remove the comment about "low income black people" as it's just too much of a generalization and insensitive. I mean, it really would apply to anyone in my situation regardless of race. I was probably upset about something at the time There are no time stamps on these comments, so I'll go ahead and answer them even though they may be really old Dalynda: I won't name my school, but it was a public high school that was closed sometime in the late 2000s. There wasn't a very large Hispanic population in Pensacola when I lived there. I did work in a gas station for a little while, and the majority of customers were Hispanic. This was around the Davis Highway/Olive Road intersection. Most worked in construction. The south in general isn't the most accepting place when it comes to race, and Pensacola is no exception. This is just anecdotal, but I think most of the racism is white/black centric, though you will get the stereotypical southerner who thinks you should learn English or go live somewhere else. Joseph: I got my degree in Computer Science and moved to Dallas. I've been here 2.5 years now. There's a lot of work in Dallas and it's growing rapidly. I'll actually be moving again soon, though. Most of the software work in Dallas is in finance at large companies, and now having worked at a small company with fewer than 10 employees and a large Fortune 50 company, I vastly prefer the small company culture. I feel too much like just a cog in a machine at a big place. I do have some complaints about Dallas, too, but it's not a bad place to live overall. If you were to move here, I'd just recommend you avoid living in a place that will require you to commute on US-75 or I-635. They're jam packed and just dangerous to drive on. I'd also suggest researching your field whatever you decide to see how easy it would be to switch jobs, as it's pretty much the best way to get a pay raise. In hindsight, I would have done a bit more research into the software industry in Dallas before moving here, but it was my first job out of college, I was desperate, and they paid for my relocation and got me out of Pensacola. I'm sorry you went through that, too. I cleaned up my review a bit, because you pointed out the obvious. Discrimination can happen in any situation where you're the minority. Teens, especially uneducated teens, are the worst when it comes to this.
Chris | Pensacola, FL | Report Abuse

Very interesting ur comment about school segregation ... What was the name of the school and what do u think about Hispanic people at the school? We are moving in 2 months, and wondering how much Hispanic population does Pensacola has and if the community over there treat with respect the minories
Dalynda | Altamonte Springs, FL | Report Abuse

Thank you for this advice. May I ask what was your degree focus? What area of Texas did you move to? I only ask because I'm sure that's where the jobs are. I'm sorry about your experiences. I dealt with this same thing in Missouri. A black kid being harassed by low class white kids simply because your black. It's wrong no matter who it happens to or what color you are.
Joseph | Grandview, MO | Report Abuse
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