The U.S. Navy Blue Angels is a flight-demonstration squadron that showcases the skills of pilots in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines. The Blue Angels practice schedules for Pensacola are posted online (from March through October), which just so happens to be the best time of year to go boating, as temperatures are typically between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout those months.
It should come as no surprise that the best seats in the house for such a show are on the water. Here is our guide to catching the best views of the Blue Angels flight demonstration:
Why you shouldn’t miss catching the Blue Angels in action
Blue Angels pilots are among the best of the best; some of them have gone through the real-life version of the fighter-pilot school featured in the Top Gun film franchise. These pilots perform maneuvers at altitudes as high as 15,000 feet and as low as 50 feet, sometimes hitting about 700 mph. That’s almost as fast as the speed of sound!
Avoid the crowd— catch the Blue Angels on a boat rental
While you could catch an official air show here in July or November, you might want to consider watching the squadron’s practice, which occurs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting at 10:30 am.
You’ll notice crowds on the local ferries and packed party boats all in Boatsetter is probably your best bet to making the most out of this experience.
You and your group will have a boat to yourselves, and you can even make a full boating day out of it to explore the greater-area Pensacola.
More than 130 boats are available for rental in Pensacola, including a number of pontoon boats that can make a cozy platform for watching, snacking, and relaxing.
Pro Tip: Get the best views by anchoring anywhere between Rosamond Johnson Beach and Fort Pickens. Or, in downtown Pensacola.
When the Blue Angels practice is over for the day, you can dock n’ dine at Jaco’s Bayfront Bar and Grill, right near the Palafox Pier Marina. You also have The Fish House, which overlooks the transient slips at Seville Harbour and Marina.
Pro Tip: The Fish House serves up daily fresh catch along with fish specialties such as Grits a Ya Ya (a spiced Gulf jumbo shrimp with spinach, portobello mushrooms, and applewood-smoked bacon).
And, who knows? The talk over lunch or dinner just might be about how watching the Blue Angels practice has inspired somebody on board to become a pilot. What better way to end a day of cruising in Pensacola than with a look to the future?
Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone—whether you own a boat or you’re just renting—the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat, book a boat, or make money as a captain.
Kim Kavin has been on boats in more than 50 countries and islands, including in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She grew up learning to steer a ski boat and Hobie Holder at her grandfather’s lake house in New Jersey, and went on to spend time aboard everything from America’s Cup racing sailboats to submarines.
Kim is a PADI-certified scuba diver and animal lover who always enjoys a good, long look around a coral reef. Her award-winning writing and editing regularly appears in national marine magazines and on leading websites. In her early years, she was a Dow Jones editing intern and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, Kim can usually be found hiking northwest New Jersey’s beautiful park trails with her adopted shelter mutt, Ginger.