Pensacola is a historic beach city in northwest Florida, in the United States of America. It is in Escambia County, Florida's westernmost county, at the tip of the "panhandle". The city is home to the Pensacola Naval Air Station, the National Museum of Naval Aviation and many historic districts that skirt the downtown area. Surrounded on three sides by water, the Pensacola area is full of history, shipwrecks, beaches and spectacular vistas.
Pensacola has the nickname "The City of Five Flags." Only the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce actually uses that name, but it's a convenient short-handed way of describing the city's history. Over the past 450 years, Pensacola has been owned by five nations: Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Confederate States. It was also inhabited by various Native American tribes, but sloganeers never seem to include them. When the Panzacola Indians arrived in Pensacola thousands of years ago, they found old growth pine forests, thicketed with massive pine trees so large, it would take two or three men to wrap your arms around the trunk. These trees provided so much shade that there was almost no undergrowth on the forest floor, and traveling through the woods was easy. Since there isn't much food to be found in pine forests, the tribes tended to live near the water, where fishing was plentiful. Not much is known about these early inhabitants of the area: they left few artifacts behind, and all of the tribes that lived in Pensacola prior to European colonization have gone extinct.