is an unincorporated community located on Santa Rosa Island, a barrier island, in Escambia County, Florida, United States. It is situated south of Pensacola, connected via bridges spanning to the Fairpoint Peninsula and then to the island, on the Gulf of Mexico. As of the 2000 census, the community had a total population of 2,738.
Pensacola Beach occupies land bound by a 1947 deed from the United States Department of Interior that it be administered in the public interest by the county or leased, but never "disposed"; its businesses and residents are thus long-term leaseholders and not property owners.
Pensacola Beach is part of the Pensacola–Ferry Pass–Brent Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
under Conquistador Hernando de Soto, visited the area during the early Spanish exploration of North America. He anchored in Pensacola Bay for the winter of 1539–1540.
In 1559, Don Tristan de Luna y Arellano led the first settlement of the region. His 11 ships, with 1500 settlers, anchored in the bay and established its colony on the site of today's Naval Air Station Pensacola. A hurricane decimated the colony a few weeks later, killing hundreds and sinking 5 ships. Suffering long-term famine and fighting, this first settlement was finally abandoned in 1561. A presidio was constructed on Santa Rosa Island in 1722 near the location of the more recent Fort Pickens. Hurricanes in 1741 and 1752 forced its relocation to the mainland.