As you cross the soaring Bob Sikes Bridge over Pensacola Bay, you’ll catch your first glimpse of the sugar-white sand and emerald green waters that define Pensacola Beach. Located on Santa Rosa Island along Florida’s Panhandle, this barrier island offers visitors the ideal blend of stunning scenery, family-friendly amenities, and opportunities for adventure.
The heart of the action centers around the historic Beach Ball Water Tower, where you can stock up on sunscreen and beach toys at one of the area’s colorful shops before claiming your spot to soak up some rays. Umbrellas in vibrant hues dot the beach, which feels blissfully uncrowded even during the summer peak season. The sand squeaks beneath your feet,Cleaned daily, it’s some of the purest in Florida. Venture into the water to enjoy mild waves—perfect for young swimmers—or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding.
For unparalleled access to Santa Rosa Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, stay in one of the charming waterfront cottages or inns in the island’s walkable neighborhoods. Treetop views from a deck capture spectacular sunsets in streaks of coral and tangerine. Afterwards, sample fresh Gulf seafood classics like grilled mahi tacos and peel-and-eat shrimp while listening to live music at chic open-air bars and restaurants.
Of course, there’s more to experience beyond Pensacola Beach’s shores. For an adrenaline rush, charter a deep sea fishing excursion in search of tuna, snapper, and more. Or observe Bottle-nosed dolphins and other marine life on an eco-tour of the Pensacola Bay aboard the Solaris, a sleek and silent solar-powered catamaran. Between adventures, visit the world-class National Naval Aviation Museum or Fort Pickens, a 19th century bastion that once harbored Apache warrior Geronimo.
As the sun dips below the horizon, stroll the historic streets of downtown Pensacola or the trendy East Hill District, where boutiques and eateries fill converted Victorian cottages. Then return to the soothing susurrus of the Gulf for a night swimming under the stars. With unspoiled shores, unique history and culture, and no shortage of RESTful relaxation or heart-pounding excitement, Pensacola Beach offers the best of the Sunshine State.
Things to See:
- Pristine white sand beaches with emerald green waters
- Historic Beach Ball Water Tower
- Vibrantly colored umbrellas and beach shops
- Spectacular sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico
- Bob Sikes Bridge spanning Pensacola Bay
- National Naval Aviation Museum
- Fort Pickens, an 1800s era fort
- Pensacola Lighthouse & Museum
- DeLuna Landing Park
Things to Do:
- Swim and soak up the sun on the uncrowded beaches
- Stand-up paddleboarding
- Snorkeling to explore the area’s reefs
- Dolphin cruises to spot bottlenose dolphins
- Deep sea fishing charters – catch tuna, mahi mahi, snapper and more!
- Mini golf, go-karts, arcade games at Adventure Land
- Rent a bike and explore neighborhood trails
- Take a surfing lesson for beginners
- Go shelling along the seashore
- Relax on a catamaran sunset cruise
- Explore galleries and museums downtown
- Dine and drink at beachfront restaurants and bars
- Listen to free live music at bandshell concerts
With near perfect beaches, family-friendly attractions, nature encounters, and cultural sights, Pensacola Beach truly has something for every Florida traveler!