Pensacola Bay

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Pensacola and Pensacola Bay, 1885 lithograph

Pensacola Bay is an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico and is about 13 miles (21 km) long and 2.5 miles (4 km) wide.

History & names[edit]

Pensacola Bay has gone by many names. During the early expeditions of Ponce de Léon, Pánfilo de Narváez and Hernando de Soto, it was called Polonza and Ochuse. The bay was dubbed Bahía Santa María de Filipina by Tristán de Luna y Arellano in 1559. It was renamed Bahía Santa María de Galve (after Gaspar de Sandoval Silva y Mendoza, the Conde de Galve and then-viceroy of Mexico) by the 1693 expedition of General Andrés de Pez.


The Pensacola Bay Bridge crosses the bay, connecting Gulf Breeze to Pensacola. The Gulf Islands National Seashore is part of the bay, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs through part of the bay. Pensacola Bay leads into Escambia Bay to the north, and to the East Bay to the east.


  • The Road Atlas '06, Rand McNally, pg. 27