Blue Angels weekend turns Pensacola Beach into one big party. The crowd’s spirit soars higher than the Jets in the sky. Here’s a quick guide to making the most of your patriotic energy during your stay.
There’s one rule to go by when it comes to staking out a spot to watch the Blue’s. Know where you want to be and get there EARLY. Those who have to drive in should try to be parking by 5:00 am. Visitors who are staying on the beach get a little more beauty sleep. Don’t hit snooze too many times though, the beach gets crowded pretty early. If you’re trying to stake out a spot on the sand set up your tent asap. You’ll thank us later!
Tips and Tricks
To fully enjoy the show remember to pick up a pair of sunglasses and ear plugs. The earplugs are especially important for kids, but can be an added benefit for everyone.
You don’t have to wait for the airshow to get a glimpse of precision flying. The Blues are flying over Pensacola all show season: March – November. Those with a valid DoD ID card and their guests have FREE access to official practice sessions over the National Naval Aviation Museum as well as autograph sessions. If you can’t get on base but are determined to see a practice, we recommend renting a boat and watching from the water. Check out their official 2022 practice schedule to see what days you can catch them in action. If you’re looking for more information and history check out our Blue Angels page.
Ways to Watch
From the Resort
Those watching from a resorts beachside pool deck get the best of both worlds. Front row seats to the action with easy access to food and drinks. Some guests take an even shorter walk and watch from their room’s balcony. At the Holiday Inn Resort, kids will even get to enjoy pirate battles before the Blue Angels swoop in. If you want convenience during the weekend a resort stay is your best bet.
Beachside and Pier
Get the clearest view of the action by getting a spot on the sand of Casino Beach or the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier. If you’re setting up on the beach make sure to bring everything you need, once you’re set up you won’t be going anywhere for awhile. If you pick the pier you’ll get the chance for an epic video as they fly directly over you. The Blue’s will make a sneak pass so close that those on the edge of the water can sometimes feel the air blast.
Restaurant or Bar
Get ahead of the lines that will come after the finale! Watching the show from a sound side restaurant or bar will give you full view of the biggest maneuvers while removing you from some of the crowd. You’ll still get a chance to witness the amazing show, but you’ll have service, food and drinks. Argeat option is Water Pig BBQ.
Top 5 Things to do During Blue Angels Weekend
Rev Up the Decibels with Live Music
Blue Angels Day always means live music. The biggest stage on the beach is set up in between Water Pig BBQ and Red Fish Blue Fish. There will always be information posted locally as the weekend gets closer about live music at all the local bars and restaurants. Those staying in a beachside resort shouldn’t be surprised to find a band playing right on the pool deck. Check out Hilton, Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Resort during this weekend.
UFO’s Mini Golf
Get galactic with UFO’s mini golf. This is the perfect family activity and it’s located right behind Hampton Inn. Kids golf for only $9, and tots 6 and under play for free. To get the full experience, book a game after sunset when the 18-hole course is lit up. During the day, beat the heat with UFO’s ice cream and reach some high scores in their arcade. Boozy beverages are available for the adults.
Acquire Your Target
Spike Ball, Beach Volleyball, Football, or plain old Keep It Off The Ground is the name of the game as the crowds start to clear up. Take breaks to dip in the glittering Gulf, or better yet, move the game into the water. If you’re wanting a real beach volleyball experience you can find the court right behind UFO’s. Forgot your ball at home? Alvin’s Island beach store has got you covered. They’ve got two locations so its nearly always within walking distance.
Not by Air, by Boat
Spending the day out on the water is a favorite way to celebrate Blue Angels weekend for locals and visitors alike. It’s the perfect way to have a party while keeping your privacy. Laguna’s Beach Bar & Grill rents out two pontoon boats for 4-hour and 8-hour timeslots. The built-in slides up the fun factor.
If you’re 27+ years old and have boating experience, Pensacola Pontoons is the experience for you. They’ll drop off a Tritoon that boards up to 11 passengers at a designated pick-up location. This is the best way to skip the crowds and the hassle of finding a parking spot so you can focus on having a good time. They don’t charge for gas and offer rental periods that range from a half-a-day to a seven-day package.
Refuel with a Blue Angels Drink
Grab a Blue Angels themed drink! Every bar on the beach has a Blue Angels themed drink to show off this weekend. See how many you can get your hands on. It’s one big party all weekend.