A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Boca Raton vs. Pensacola for Beaches, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Boca Raton and Pensacola. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Boca Raton

Boca Raton is a luxurious, posh, and outdoorsy coastal city. And you can't forget about the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Pensacola

Pensacola is a entertaining, fun-filled, and active beach town. It's also popular because of the food, beaches, and shopping.

Boca Raton and Pensacola: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Boca Raton than Pensacola, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Pensacola is more touristy than Boca Raton and is popular for its white sand beaches and long running naval history. Boca Raton is popular for its golf courses, outdoor recreational activities, and safe atmosphere. It is also home to Red Reef Park.

How is Boca Raton different from Pensacola?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Pensacola and Boca Raton. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Pensacola is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its museums and history.

Many visitors head to Boca Raton specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. While most visitors focus on the beaches and outdoor activities in the area, there are also a surprising number of museums that you can visit. On a rainy day head to the Boca Raton Museum of Art or the Schmidt Boca Raton History Museum. Sports enthusiasts will like the Sports Immortals Museum and kids will want to check out the Children's Science Explorium.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Pensacola. On a rainy day there are some nice museums in the area. You can visit the National Naval Aviation Museum, the Historic Pensacola Village, the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, or Pensacola Children's Museum.


Is the Food Better in Boca Raton or Pensacola? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Foodies will find both Boca Raton and Pensacola both to be high quality destinations.

Boca Raton has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. You'll find a mix of local and international flavors with both casual and upscale dining available. Reservations are recommended, particularly on weekend nights. For the health-conscious, there's also a nice selection of healthy eateries to choose from.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Pensacola makes for a great culinary experience. You'll find no shortage of seafood options around town. Oysters, shrimp, and fresh fish are popular on the menus. You'll also find lots of Cajun flavors as well as casual sandwiches and pizza.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Nightlife?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is notable for nightlife and partying. Also, Pensacola is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its evening party scene.

Boca Raton has plenty to do after the sun goes down. You'll find plenty of upscale wine bars, cocktail bars, and live music venues that will keep you entertained late into the evening.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Pensacola. There's a casual nightlife scene with pubs, live music, and a mellow but fun setting.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Resorts?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

There are high quality resorts to choose from in both Boca Raton and Pensacola.

There are plenty of resorts in Boca Raton to choose from. You'll find many luxury beachside resorts that offer all of the amenities, from access to golf course to family-friendly kids clubs.

Pensacola is known as a popular and fun resort destination. Family-friendly resorts with pools, waterslides, and lazy rivers are common. You'll also find beachfront hotels and more affordable options set back from the beach.


Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is very good for its diving and snorkeling. However, Pensacola is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

It's worth going snorkeling or scuba diving in Boca Raton. Head to the "Aqua Zoo", which is just to the south of Boca Inlet to see stingrays, groupers, and moray eels. Red Reef Park offers excellent snorkeling as well.

Pensacola is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Beaches?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton and Pensacola both offer first-rate beaches.

Boca Raton offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. There's a two mile stretch of beautiful sandy beaches that are all monitored by lifeguards. The beaches offer all of the facilities that you might need such as picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. Many beaches are part of park land and some offer nice snorkeling. Some of the most popular beaches in the area include Spanish River Park, Bark Park Dog Beach, Red Reef Beach, and South Beach Park.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Pensacola. White sand beaches with blue water and mild temperatures make this a wonderful beach destination. Some of the best beaches include Casino Beach, Perdido Key Beach, and Opal Beach.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Hiking?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is very good for the nearby hiking options. However, Pensacola is a mediocre beach town for its hiking trails.

Many people include a hike when visiting Boca Raton. There's a surprising number of nature parks in the area that have hiking trails, nature walks, and beach paths that are fun to explore.

Hiking is a fun activity while in Pensacola. Step away from the beachfront development and you'll find some nice nature parks with quiet walking trails.


Is the Shopping Better in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is notable for its shopping opportunities. Also, Pensacola is not as famous, but is still a good beach town to visit for its shopping areas.

Boca Raton is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. It's an upscale area, and you'll find no shortage of luxury shopping around town. Popular areas for shopping include Downtown Boca, Mizner Park, and the Town Center at Boca Raton.

Pensacola has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are sprawling shopping malls and shopping centers as well as local boutiques and quintessential souvenir shops.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Families?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Both Boca Raton and Pensacola are high quality family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Boca Raton. It's an upscale area with a family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. Many of the hotels have kids clubs that will keep the young ones entertained. The area also has nature centers, children's museums, and waterparks that will ensure everyone stays entertained.

Pensacola is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kid-friendly beaches, minigolf, a zoo, and even a few museums make this a great family destination. There are family-friendly resorts and kid-friendly restaurants that make for an easy vacation that everyone will enjoy.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Couples?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton and Pensacola both high quality destinations for a couple.

Boca Raton is a great coastal city if you're traveling as a couple. There's an upscale vibe with plenty of nature trails and nice beaches. Many of the hotels offer a touch of luxury that honeymooning couples will appreciate. You can also head to the downtown area for music, events, and museums.

Pensacola is a very popular place to visit for couples. Beautiful beaches and sunset cruises make this a great romantic getaway. You'll find great restaurants for a date night and plenty of activity once the sun goes down. During the day you can lounge on the beach or by the pool, sip drinks, and enjoy a vacation with your loved one.


Is Boca Raton or Pensacola Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is very good for its public transit. However, Pensacola is a mediocre beach town for times when you don't have a car.

Boca Raton has a few public transit options. The Downtowner is a fleet of free, oversized golf cars that shuttle visitors around town, passing by many top sites such as Mizner Park, Red Reef Park, and the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center. There's also a public bus system, Palm Tran, that offers service around town.

Public transit is quite limited in Pensacola. There's a bus system, but it's not particularly helpful to vacationers.

Is Boca Raton or Pensacola a more walkable city?

Boca Raton
Pensacola

Boca Raton is very good for its high level of walkability. However, Pensacola is a mediocre beach town for its ease of walking around.

Boca Raton is a somewhat walkable place. There are some communities within the city that are more walkable than others, particularly East Boca Raton, Royal Palm Place, and Mizner Park. There are also many pedestrian and bike paths around town. Even so, you really must have a car to explore the area in depth.

Pensacola is generally not a very walkable coastal city. It's not a particularly walkable city and you'll want to have a car to fully enjoy your vacation.

For even more information, also check out Is Boca Raton Worth Visiting? and Is Pensacola Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Pensacola or Boca Raton?

How long in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Both Boca Raton and Pensacola have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Pensacola than in Boca Raton. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Boca Raton, and 3-7 days is enough time in Pensacola.

Families should spend more time in Boca Raton than Pensacola. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Boca Raton, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Boca Raton than Pensacola. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Boca Raton that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Boca Raton than Pensacola if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Boca Raton.


  • How many days in Boca Raton or Pensacola? Ideal Length of Stay
    Boca Raton 3-5 
    Pensacola 3-7

One day in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

You'll find nightlife and food around the coastal city of Boca Raton. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

With museums and nightlife around the active beach town of Pensacola, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the posh destination of Boca Raton. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Pensacola, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything.

Five days in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the posh coastal city of Boca Raton. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this coastal city makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Most people head to the area for the beaches. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this coastal city has to offer.

Pensacola, a popular beach town, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this beach town. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Boca Raton is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Pensacola is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have one week, this beach town makes for a great vacation. One of the main draws to the area is the beaches. One week should give you a good understanding of everything this beach town has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in United States of America, The Best 10-Day Tours in United States of America, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in United States of America, and The Best 2-Week Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Pensacola or Boca Raton?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Boca Raton is $283, while the average daily cost in Pensacola is $198. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Boca Raton and Pensacola in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Boca Raton $171
    Pensacola $115
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Boca Raton $342
    Pensacola $230
Compare Hotels in Boca Raton and Pensacola

Looking for a hotel in Boca Raton or Pensacola? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Boca Raton


Hotels in Pensacola


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Boca Raton Hotel Prices and Pensacola Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Boca Raton $76
    Pensacola $64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Boca Raton

Also for Boca Raton, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Delray Beach to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
  • Boynton Beach to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL) - Departure Private Transfer: $41
  • Boca Raton to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $44
  • Delray Beach to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $50
  • Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL)- Departure Private Transfer: $53
  • Boynton Beach to Miami Airport (MIA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Delray Beach Transfer and Fort Lauderdale Airport: $84
  • Private Transfer from West Palm Beach to (FLL) Airport: $115

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Pensacola

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Pensacola:


  • Boca Grande Causeway Toll
    $5.00

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Pensacola

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Pensacola:

  • Pensacola International Airport (PNS) to Destin, FL - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $144
  • Pensacola International Airport (PNS) to Pensacola - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $111
  • Pensacola International Airport (PNS) to Destin, FL - Arrival Private Transfer: $72
  • Pensacola to Pensacola International Airport (PNS) - Departure Private Transfer: $55

Is it cheaper to fly into Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Prices for flights to both Pensacola and Boca Raton change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Boca Raton $67
    Pensacola $48

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Boca Raton

For Boca Raton, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Delray Beach Dinner & Drinks Tour: $109

Typical Food Prices in Pensacola

Some typical examples of dining costs in Pensacola are as follows:


  • Two Ice Creams
    $6.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Pensacola

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Pensacola.

  • Seville Stroll Food Tour: $72
  • Dinner Detective Interactive True Crime Dinner Show in Pensacola: $89

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Boca Raton $28
    Pensacola $13

Tours and Activities in Boca Raton

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Boca Raton.

  • Delray Beach Food & Drinks Tour: $104
  • Boca Raton on High Speed Train with Millionaire Home Boat Tour: $150
  • Boca Raton on High Speed Train with Millionaire Home Boat Tour: $160
  • Boca Raton-Delray Beach 1-Hour Private Jet Ski Guided Tour: $165

Typical Entertainment Prices in Pensacola

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Pensacola are as follows:


  • Bike Rental
    $16

Tours and Activities in Pensacola

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Pensacola are as follows:

  • 1hr Segway Tour Downtown : $57
  • 2hr Segway Tour of Downtown : $72
  • 3 Hour Sandbar Adventure on Motorized Floats: $69
  • 3 hours cruise with swimming: $81
  • Dolphin & Sightseeing Cruise + Beach Stop + Seashell Hunting: $64
  • Fourth of July Fireworks Cruise: $59
  • Frisky Mermaid Fireworks Cruise Up to 49 Pax: $64
  • Frisky Mermaid Public Dolphin + Sightseeing Cruise Up to 49 Pax: $37
  • Ghosts and Graveyard Tour of Pensacola: $34
  • Haunted Pensacola Walking Tour: $32
  • Hop-on Hop-off Tour in Pensacola : $35
  • Land Paddle Tour in Pensacola: $50

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Boca Raton $40
    Pensacola $44

Sample the Local Flavors in Pensacola

Also in Pensacola, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Walking Pub Tour : $21


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Boca Raton and Pensacola, we can see that Boca Raton is more expensive. And not only is Pensacola much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Pensacola would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Pensacola and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Boca Raton would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Boca Raton than you might in Pensacola.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Boca Raton Expensive? and Is Pensacola Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Boca Raton has a larger population, and is about 43% larger than the population of Pensacola. When comparing the sizes of Boca Raton and Pensacola, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Boca Raton or Pensacola?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Boca Raton or Pensacola in the Summer?

Both Pensacola and Boca Raton during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Boca Raton for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Pensacola in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Boca Raton is generally around the same temperature as Pensacola. Daily temperatures in Boca Raton average around 82°F (28°C), and Pensacola fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

Pensacola gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Boca Raton. Boca Raton usually gets less rain in July than Pensacola. Boca Raton gets 6.5 inches (166 mm) of rain, while Pensacola receives 7.4 inches (189 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Boca Raton 82°F (28°C) 
    Pensacola 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Boca Raton or Pensacola in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Boca Raton and Pensacola. Many visitors come to Boca Raton in the autumn for the hiking trails and the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Pensacola for the hiking trails and the shopping scene during these months.

Boca Raton is a little warmer than Pensacola in the autumn. The daily temperature in Boca Raton averages around 78°F (25°C) in October, and Pensacola fluctuates around 69°F (21°C).

Pensacola receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Boca Raton gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Boca Raton usually receives more rain than Pensacola. Boca Raton gets 8.7 inches (222 mm) of rain, while Pensacola receives 4.2 inches (107 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Boca Raton is June to November. The hurricane season in Pensacola is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Boca Raton 78°F (25°C) 
    Pensacola 69°F (21°C)

Should I visit Boca Raton or Pensacola in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Boca Raton as well as Pensacola. Most visitors come to Boca Raton for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Pensacola because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Boca Raton is much warmer than Pensacola. Typically, the winter temperatures in Boca Raton in January average around 65°F (19°C), and Pensacola averages at about 51°F (10°C).

It's quite rainy in Pensacola. Boca Raton usually gets less rain in January than Pensacola. Boca Raton gets 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain, while Pensacola receives 4.6 inches (117 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Boca Raton 65°F (19°C) 
    Pensacola 51°F (10°C)

Should I visit Boca Raton or Pensacola in the Spring?

Both Pensacola and Boca Raton are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Boca Raton because of the beaches. Also, the beaches are the main draw to Pensacola this time of year.

In April, Boca Raton is generally a little warmer than Pensacola. Daily temperatures in Boca Raton average around 74°F (23°C), and Pensacola fluctuates around 67°F (20°C).

In April, Boca Raton usually receives around the same amount of rain as Pensacola. Boca Raton gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Pensacola receives 3.4 inches (87 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Boca Raton. June to November is the hurricane season in Pensacola.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Boca Raton 74°F (23°C) 
    Pensacola 67°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Pensacola and Boca Raton

Boca Raton Pensacola
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 65°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 51°F (10°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Feb 66°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm) 54°F (12°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Mar 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 60°F (16°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm)
Apr 74°F (23°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm)
May 78°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm) 74°F (24°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm) 80°F (27°C) 6.4 inches (163 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (166 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (189 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.4 inches (188 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 9.8 inches (250 mm) 78°F (26°C) 5.3 inches (135 mm)
Oct 78°F (25°C) 8.7 inches (222 mm) 69°F (21°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm)
Nov 72°F (22°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm) 61°F (16°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)
Dec 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 54°F (12°C) 4.3 inches (109 mm)