Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola metropolitan area, which had an estimated 461,227 residents in 2012. The area is a sea port on Pensacola Bay, which is protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa and connects to the Gulf of Mexico.
Many military families move to the Pensacola area, as the area is home to a large United States Naval Air Station, the first in the United States, located southwest of Pensacola near Warrington. It is the base of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team and the National Naval Aviation Museum. The main campus of the University of West Florida is situated north of the city center.