Pensacola has a lot to offer whether you want to sunbathe or play casino. From the neighboring Fort Pickens or Okaloosa to Santa Rosa districts, there’s a place and beaches for everyone.
What do you like most about the beach? White sand or turquoise seas perfect for sea diving and surfboarding? It could be the Gulf Islands National Beachfront, the longest federally protected seashore in the United States.
We can help you plan your 2023 seaside escape with this guide and help you decide which areas to visit in Pensacola, Florida, and dip!
Best Beaches in Pensacola
Gulf Islands National Seashore
This stretch of national seashore is 160 miles long and features stunning white sand beaches and clear blue ocean. Visiting the old Fort Barrancas is a great way to liven up a trip to the beach. When it comes to natural beauty, Gulf Islands National Seashore is unrivaled. It has beautiful maritime woods, coastal wetlands, and lovely, meandering pathways.
Perdido Beach and Johnson Beach
To the west of Pensacola is the stunning island of Perdido Key, which boasts incredible gorgeous beaches. Perdido Beach has a long stretch of white sand if you’ve planned a beach trip. High-rise hotels, resorts, and condominiums dot the landscape, with miles of unspoiled beaches as a backdrop.
Pensacola Beach, also known as Casino beach, is accessible through a bridge from the mainland. The beach is large, so you won’t have to go far to locate a level spot. Once everything is ready, you may take a refreshing plunge in the ocean’s warm, shallow waters. If you are concerned about the safety of your minor children or yourself since you are not a good swimmer, know that lifeguards are stationed in each of the ten towers.
As with other Gulf beaches, the water is shallow here, making swimming a breeze. There are also a few tiny sandbars just below the surface. There are changing facilities, picnic tables, and showers in the area behind the beach. Due to the beach’s location within the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a national park entry fee is required.
Langdon beach is for you if you’re looking for quiet and uncrowded beaches. There will likely be some foot traffic around the entry area, but if you head east or west, you can find some solitude and peaceful regions perfect for sunbathing. Only little wading birds, crabs scuttling along the shore, and maybe a heron or seagull may join you here in exchange for food scraps.
This eight-mile unspoiled beach is easily accessible from the picturesque Highway 399 that connects Pensacola and Navarre. Very few people go to this beach because of how out of the way it is. Most likely, your beach service provider and tour guide will be a regional Pensacola or Fort Walton Beach resident. Arriving, tourists will be greeted with a beach with powdery white sand and crystal clear water that is gently caressed by little waves.
Fort Pickens is not just famous for its Civil War relics and other historical attractions. In addition, it is home to Langdon Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
This beach provides all the essentials, including parking, clean toilets, a picnic shelter, and, during the summer, professional, trained lifeguards. In addition, the Discovery Center houses informative displays on the fort’s past, migratory birds, and surrounding ecosystems that are open year-round.
Only some people enjoy surfing or swimming in frigid waters. However, the existence of Quietwater Beach, as its name suggests, is a favorite getaway for those people. There are seldom any waves at Quietwater Beach because it is on the leeward side of Santa Rosa Island. As a result, the beach is level, and because few people visit it, it is rarely crowded.
Quietwater beach is not for surfers. However, the waves on this beach are not harsh and often gentle. Waves are level and rarely crowded with people and tourists. The beach extends beyond Flounder’s restaurant to James P. Morgan Memorial Park and Botanical Gardens.
Big Lagoon State Park
This state park is home to some of the best beaches in Pensacola, Florida, perfect for a day trip with the kids or your friends. The small bays and waves make this the safest beach in the region for children.
The saltwater marshes and the birds that live in them are here, and there are also hiking paths and ranger-led excursions for those who want to try it in the morning. Bring your lunch, snacks, and drinks to enjoy at the West Beach picnic area.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can choose between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach in Gulf Islands National Seashore. You can find some of the clearest waters here.
Fort Pickens is the best choice for a secluded but safe beach. It became popular between the 1820s and the beginning of the Civil War to guard Pensacola Bay.
The American Alligator is the crocodilian most commonly seen in Florida, although seeing one on Pensacola Beach is quite unusual. They are usually found in ponds and brackish waters.
The island is home to many animals, like two dangerous snake species: the cottonmouth and the rattlesnake.
Alligators in Florida will be more active from April through June when mating season begins. As a result, there has been a marked increase in the number of alligator sightings throughout these months. However, they are only sometimes seen on secluded ponds, not famous beaches.
The distant location far from the river’s mouth on the Gulf of Mexico is the reason for making the water clear.