Review of Pensacola, Florida

Please stay away!
Star Rating - 12/24/2018
Pensacola has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, and downtown is a pretty nice place to be. Those are the only things this place has going for it. The weather is awful, hot and extremely humid most of the year. I know that everyone says that their city has bad drivers, but this place is terrible. I worked for a local government entity so I have much better knowledge than most who live here about things. Car accidents are far to commonplace for a city/county of this size. At least twice a day there is a pedestrian or bicyclist that is run over, on top of the other crashes here. The reason? Pensacola PD and the Escambia Sheriff's office do not enforce traffic laws. They simply do not have the manpower after dealing with all the crime. There have been many times people have had to wait over two hours for an officer to arrive at the scene due to the volume of nonsense they have to deal with. Different police tv shows film in this county year round. Speed limits and turn signals do not exist here. Put on your seat belt and pray, Godspeed.

The people here are disgusting for the most part. There are some nice upstanding residents here but they are far outnumbered by trash. Homelessness is a major issue here and in far greater numbers than most big cities I have been to, at least it is more visible here. Almost every intersection you come to on the south side of town has someone with a sign asking for money, sometimes 2 or 3 at the same intersection. It's bizarre. There are tent cities all over the county. They are hidden from view from your average person, but they exist and they are disgusting. I have had the displeasure of being sent to almost all of them (Worked for the county remember?). For those of you that don't know, we have a rescue mission that exists to help these people, and they do a great job. The problem is they have a rules that do not allow alcohol or drug use. The people you see on the corners asking for money are the ones that don't want to abide by those rules. They would rather live on the streets and do dope and drink with your money. The statistical poverty rate in in Pensacola is 25%, that's high but nowhere near the actual number. People don't work here. Government assistance is the lifeblood of this community. Hoarder houses are a much to common thing here as well. Another thing I need to mention is the level of mental health issues around here. It is not uncommon to see someone yelling at the sky as they walk down the street. I'm talking full conversations at full volume, just screaming for whatever reason.

I know that most people who read this won't listen or will convince themselves that it can't be that bad. People who don't really know what they are talking about or know of no other lifestyle will say I'm wrong. From their point of view living around Scenic Highway it's not all that bad. But if you don't have a lot of money when you move here, you will soon see how correct I am. This is an awful place to call home.

Robbie | Myrtle Grove, FL
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6 Replies

I know that much of what you said is true, but I listen to the Pensacola Morning News on 92.3FM and hear daily of what the leaders of our community are doing to remedy the traffic, homelessness, and improve the economy. People like Quint Studer from the Studer Group and Mayor Grover Robinson are actively making change- for example, there Grover Robinson is seeking to open a "come as you are" homeless shelter, aimed at getting those with drug/alcohol addictions off the streets and encourage rehabilitation. New businesses are flooding into Pensacola. I moved here from Grand Rapids, MI just 2 years ago and have seen and heard of numerous businesses coming to our community. Big businesses like Navy Federal Credit Union are providing quality jobs to a lot of people, drawing ambitious hard-working people from around the country, and boosting our economy. While small businesses like the Whiskey Bar, Union Public House, and Mcguire's Irish Pub are making our beautiful downtown an even more vibrant, exciting place to visit. Furthermore, our city holds several festivals and events year round- from Bands on the Beach to Jazz Fest to the Mcguire's Run to the Blue Angels' Air Show on Pensacola Beach- that bring our community together and make this area an extremely fun place to live. Yes, the weather is often hot and humid, but we have 228 days of sun, and a lot of wonderful beach days. We do also have a wonderful history here, from our early beginnings as the first multi-year European settlement to Fort Pickens and its role in several American wars dating back to the Civil War. Not to mention, our beaches are incredibly beautiful- no doubt some of the best in the world. I'm sorry for the experiences that have jaded your opinion of Pensacola, but as an active, 2-year Pensacolian, I can say this city continues to grow on me (and around me!) If you are reading this and considering to make a visit or move to Pensacola, do it!! I moved to Pensacola at the beginning of 2017 for a job opportunity, never having heard of Pensacola before. This city definitely has problems, just like any other city. But it continue to surprise me with its culture, natural beauty, and blossoming opportunities.
Chelsea | Ferry Pass, FL | Report Abuse

Then move if you feel like this, I see you wrote this on Christmas Eve, i’d say move your negative views to another city if you don’t have any positive solutions then you are part of the problem.
Donnie | Warrington, FL | Report Abuse

Never listen to anyone reviewing an area that has LEFT that area. If you don't like it, you leave, right? There are thousands of people & families in PCola that LOVE this place and have called it home for years. The people are all amazing. If the traffic OR people are bad, it's because they are transplants, passing through or whatever but it's NOT the natives. Living here is paradise and it isn't because you live along Scenic Hwy or close to the beaches, it's just quite simply, paradise. I feel blessed to live here. PCola passed a law not long ago that restricts beggars from asking for money within a mile of any intersection so that much they do have under control. I challenge you to go to ANY city and find not one person flying signs asking for money. They're everywhere and to be honest with you, PCola is nothing compared to other areas that I've seen while traveling. The infrastructure here in this place is ah may zing. The drivers, yes, are horrible but it isn't the locals. It's the tourists that come to our area for the beaches from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi or Tennessee. If you can't drive here and feel it's bad, then you must be from a small town in Kansas or Nebraska. Try Los Angeles on the 405 ... or better yet, head up 65 N or S from Alabama. You want to see white knuckled driving? Take that trip! If you're multi tasking behind the wheel here, you'll kill someone or be killed. You have to drive defensively. What a concept huh! For a person to have lived here, worked for the county, leave and then trash it? I would say that you have a bone to pick because PCola is amazing with it's dog parks, beaches, restaurants, night life, culture, people and events always taking place. Seriously. If you have to focus on the negative, then you should move to Atlanta, Nashville, or Santa Fe, NM. The one thing I am pleased with on these bad reviews is that those that leave tell people not to move here. The natives and locals love that, so thanks! We want this place all to ourselves :).
Barbara | Bellview, FL | Report Abuse

As a pensacola native, I can agree with everything you described. I moved to Montana and lived there for 4 years. I stayed in a few places, and the last place I lived was Bozeman, MT. I was shocked by how safe and friendly it was in Montana and it really made me realize how crap Pensacola really is. Sure, it has some history to it and the climate is much warmer, but when you look at the crime rates per capita, it's really a wake up call as to how dangerous this city is. It's in the top 10 unsafe places to live out of the entire US, ranking 6th. We have the worst violent crime and property crime above the US total ranking. It's not surprising to me after seeing and experiencing all the hood rat activity going on and the overall trashiness and drugs. And it shows through the citizens living here. Sure, not everyone is like that, and in what place is everyone like that, but when you compare to other cities out of the entirety of the US the statistics speak for themselves, and it shows in everyday experience here. I'm currently tying loose ends to fully vacate to Montana. If you're not the kind to keep a job and stay off of drugs, you'll end up on the street and the winter isn't going to keep you for long. It doesn't snow in Florida. Also, why judge an opinion that is based on facts. You can't argue with statistics. I see some of these reviews and it just makes me wonder how people are blind to the statistics. Of course there are those who don't mind how it is here, as of course there wouldn't be a Pensacola without those who live here, but if you have any hope of raising a family in a decent neighborhood, getting a good education, find a high paying job, if you seek opportunity and a higher standard of living, I suggest living elsewhere. And yes, that is what I'm choosing to do. But that's just me. This place seems to suck people in and it's hard to get out because of how little you get paid here and how few of opportunity there is here. But, it's attainable to move. For someone starting out especially as a college student, around that age rage, this place is like quicksand. If you don't know how to get up and get out and make your way, with extreme saving and low cost of living, Pensacola will suck you in and take you down with it. You're lucky if you make above minimum wage and find a job you want to keep working at.
Natalie | Bellview, FL | Report Abuse

Everywhere you travel, you will find some homeless person ranting loudly at the sky and because of their mental health issues which they can't control! It's like having diabetes and these folks do deserve to have a roof over their heads!
Patricia | Santa Ana, CA | Report Abuse

Sounds like Eugene, Oregon, but at least housing costs in Pensacola are half of what they are in Eugene, so I think Eugene is worse.
Jennifer | Eugene, OR | Report Abuse
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