Florida’s Panhandle is famous for pristine white beaches, the very vision of coastal idyll. The city of Pensacola is a small one with a vibrant downtown area along Palafox Street. There is absolutely no shortage of restaurants, bars, and interesting historical attractions.
Top sites in Pensacola include the National Naval Aviation Museum (located a few miles southwest of the city center), the historic and lively Seville Quarter, and the local lighthouse, which doubles as a museum. The local national park, the National Seashore, offers a whole slew of additional activities. There is, in short, lots to do.
The area’s famous sugar sand beaches are found on the Gulf Islands, separated from the mainland by the Santa Rosa Sound and an array of bays. Santa Rosa Island (upon which the town of Pensacola Beach sits) is just about 1,000 feet wide, so guests are never more than a short walk from the sea. Visitors will have to decide whether they want front-door beach access or to be nearer to Pensacola’s non-beach attractions, almost all of which are on the mainland. Or you can move between both!
To help you decide, here is a list of 11 great Vrbo vacation rentals in Pensacola. Some are on the island, others are not, but all are no more than a short drive away from the beach.
Beach Haven$854/nightly avg
Located in a small gated community in a quieter corner of Pensacola Beach, this fabulous home is a luxurious property from which to enjoy life on the Gulf. From the living room’s teak floors and decadent leather sofas to the ocean views gracing every bedroom, everything in the mansion suggests a glamorous lifestyle. The bathrooms are particularly grand.
The home is just 100 steps from the sand, though beachgoers do need to cross a road. The community has a pool and a fishing pier that guests can make use of.
Casa De Grace$664/nightly avg
Grand and spacious, this home on Lafitte Cove is an obvious choice for any family or medium-sized group looking to relax on Pensacola Beach. Lafitte Cove empties out into the Pensacola Sound, and the sandy beaches of the Gulf are just a few hundred feet away in the other direction.
The backyard dock makes this property especially appealing for those looking to enjoy time on the water. Peg Leg Pete’s, a local favorite with live music every day of the week, is just steps away. The home is well furnished with the master bedroom being the definitive highlight.
Mid-Century Modern Home On The Sound$495/nightly avg
With mid-century modern homes all the rage nowadays, demand for this beautiful home is quite high. It is located right on the sound, meaning the Gulf beaches are about 1,000 feet away. A private sandy beach can be found just behind the home and a comfortable balcony overlooks the water.
There’s a lot to be said about the timeless stylishness of mid-century design, and this property is a fine example of that classic and sophisticated style. A rare choice for a beach house, this is a unique way to visit Pensacola beach.
Pensacola Oasis$343/nightly avg
With plenty of privacy and a luscious outdoor space complete with pool, this beautiful home just outside of downtown Pensacola is another great option for travelers ready for fun in the sun. Downtown is just a short walk away and the unforgettable beaches of the island are accessible via the nearby bridge. The bayou meets the sea nine blocks to the west.
The home is historic and it shows in the lovely neo-Victorian vibe which echoes throughout the home, from the clawfoot bathtub to the high ceilings and doorframes.
Pet-Friendly Home Near The Dog Beach$475/nightly avg
As anyone who’s ever taken their pet to the shoreline knows, dogs enjoy beaches even more than most people do. Give your hound an extra special treat by staying at this Pensacola Beach home. The dog beach is less than a mile away, and there’s a human beach a short walk away.
The home has views of both the Gulf and the sound that separates the island from the mainland. It boasts an abundance of bedrooms of all kinds for your family to spread out in.
Palafox Palace$487/nightly avg
Built in 1885, this historic apartment in the heart of Pensacola is great for a group that’s just as interested in exploring the urban delights of Pensacola as they are spending time on the beach. The building is just around the corner from the beachbound bus stop.
The apartment itself is something special (and not just because it’s old). Extravagantly decorated and full of character, it offers much better access to attractions like the aviation museum compared to properties on the beach.
Bell(e) Of The Beach$713/nightly avg
Just one house down from a quiet stretch of sugar sand beach, this light-filled home is a gift to beach lovers. The home has high ceilings, particularly in the stunning multi-level living room. The main balcony straddles the width of the home and there is a second, smaller outdoor area attached to the top floor master bedroom. The other two bedrooms are a second king and a kids’ room with two bunk beds.
The home comes equipped with four bikes and all the gear you’ll need to enjoy the beach. Guests will need to ascend one flight of stairs to reach the main level of the home.
Bayfront Manor$299/nightly avg
Another great option on the mainland, this newly built home is just a 5-minute walk from Seville Square and Palafox Street. Great Gulf beaches and the National Sea Shore Visitor Center are about 10 minutes away by car. The house has every amenity from a wine fridge to bikes and video games.
Each of the three bedrooms has plenty of privacy, space, and smart design elements. On the whole, the home is a great find for a small group keen on spending time in the city and beach alike.
Waterfront Paradise On The Bayou$475/nightly avg
With manicured grounds and brilliant views of the bayou and bay, this waterfront home in Pensacola is a genuine treasure. Just a few blocks away from the heart of downtown and the bridge that carries visitors to the beaches of Santa Rosa Island, it has a great location for those looking to get around.
The home was recently redesigned, something readily apparent in the immaculate decor. There’s room for 10 guests across four bedrooms. The distribution of rooms makes it great for families with children, while members of smaller groups can enjoy having bedrooms to themselves.
The Surf Shack$526/nightly avg
Just a few hundred yards from the bridge that connects Pensacola Beach to the mainland, this freestanding house is within walking distance of many of the bars and restaurants seen by visitors when they first arrive on the island. There’s a queen bedroom and small common area/kitchen on the main level. The upstairs portion (accessible via a spiral staircase) has a queen bedroom and sofa bed, making it better for children or younger guests.
This is a no-frills home in an excellent location for those who want to be on the beach and close to restaurants all while being able to get back to the mainland without much fuss.
Lago Bonito Studio Apartment$148/nightly avg
There are lots of ways to enjoy time on the beach. Family and friends are great, but spending quality alone time with your significant other is something else entirely. This studio 2 minutes from the beach is a great way for couples to take in the joys of beach life on Santa Rosa Island.
Small, clean, and smartly furnished, it has everything two people could need. The space sits above a garage that guests can use and is attached to a townhome.
Needs ideas about what to do while vacationing in Pensacola, Florida? Check out: