As race fans know, when the Snowball Derby rolls around the place to be is Five Flags Speedway.  With four days of fast, thrilling short track racing on the schedule, the Snowball Derby is a can’t-miss event. But when you’re not at the track, the City of Pensacola, Florida and the surrounding region provides those in the area with many different ways to spend time away from the track.


To help you find your way around the area and enhance your experience in Pensacola, provides you with a list of the top 10 things to do in the area.


1) Take a Relaxing Stroll on Pensacola Beach

Just south of the city on Santa Rosa Island, lies Pensacola Beach, with its sparkling world renowned beaches providing a great place for a relaxing stroll on a sunny day. You can also take a stroll on the Pensacola Beach Boardwalk, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants to sit down and relax at. For those looking to get in some fishing in the surf, you can hit up the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier to see if you can get lucky. (Click for more)


2) Visit Historic Downtown Pensacola

Downtown Pensacola offers a little bit of everything to visiting race fans in its historical surroundings. Renovated in recent years, it offers visitors plenty of places to shop and relax, as well as adding an historical perspective. For Derby weekend the place to be will be Beef ‘O Brady’s located on Palafox Street which will be home to the Snowball Derby Kickoff Show on Tuesday, November 29. (Downtown) (Beef ‘O Brady’s)




3) Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum

For those who love machines that not only go fast but also fly high, the National Naval Aviation Museum is a great place to get your fill. The museum located right next to the Pensacola Naval Air Station has many exhibits including restored aircraft that have flown with the US Navy and information on the elite Blue Angels who call Pensacola home throughout much of the year. (Click for more)


4) Visit Pensacola Lighthouse

When most go down to the coastline, one of the first destinations people look for is the local lighthouse. Pensacola Light, also located by the NAS, has a history all of its own and one great view of the Gulf. (Click for more)


5) Visit Perdido Key State Park

Another great destination for the outdoor adventurer is just southwest of Pensacola. Away from all the hustle and bustle, Perdido Key offers a further assortment of beaches and trails to explore on the water’s edge, untouched after all these years. (Click for more)


6) Play 18 at Osceola Golf Course

If you’re an avid golfer, bring your clubs to Pensacola. For race fans that are itching to hit the links during their time at Derby weekend, Osceola Golf Course is one of the best public courses in the area. You can play nine holes, a full 18 or hit up the driving range to keep your game sharp. (Click for more)


7) Have a Wild Time at Gulf Breeze Zoo

Southeast of Pensacola lies a great family destination with the Gulf Breeze Zoo, featuring an assortment of animals from across the globe.  It is sure to be a wild time. (Click for more)


8) Take in a Game

While racing is one of Pensacola’s most well known sports, it is also home to a number of season professional teams. If you’re in Pensacola during the summer months the AA baseball Pensacola Blue Wahoos play at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. When the Derby is in action, check out the Pensacola Ice Flyers hockey team, who are the defending champions in SPHL. (Blue Wahoos) (Ice Flyers)


9) Shop at the Cordova Mall

If you want to shop, eat, or have a good time, the Cordova Mall has a wide range of shops and restaurants with one of the largest selections in the Pensacola area. (Click for more)


10) Have Some Fun at Fast Eddie’s Fun Center

If you’re in the mood to do a little racing yourself, be sure to go to Fast Eddie’s Fun Center on W Michigan Avenue. You have your choice of multiple go-kart tracks, a mini golf course and an arcade. (Click for more)


-By Connor Sullivan, State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island)

-Photo credit:

Top 10: Things to Do in Pensacola During Derby Week