Perdido Key State Park#5 in Best Things To Do in Pensacola
Perdido Key State Park is a 247-acre barrier island positioned near Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico. Here, there are wide swaths of white sandy beaches and undulating sand dunes, sprouting with sea oats and other beach vegetation. Although sunbathing and swimming are the main activities here, surf fishing is also popular.
Recent visitors appreciated how clean and peaceful this state park is: Some say there are just enough fellow visitors to make Perdido Key feel not completely isolated. Others enjoyed the nearby amenities, including restaurants – perfect for if you work up an appetite.
This state park is located about a 30-minute drive (about 19 miles) south of Pensacola proper. The park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset daily, and it costs $3 per vehicle or $2 per person for those entering on foot or bicycle. In addition to parking, other on-site facilities include shower stations, restrooms, picnic tables and water fountains. For more information, visit Perdido Key State Park's website.
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#1 Pensacola Beach
Pensacola Beach outlines the Santa Rosa barrier island and offers visitors two very different beach experiences. On the Gulf side, visitors are treated to unparalleled Gulf Coast views, as well as a powdery white shoreline and emerald waters. The soft sands that ribbon the Santa Rosa Sound side of the island are popular among families since they offer gentle waves and access to a boardwalk filled with fun shops and restaurants.
Keep in mind that although the entire island's beaches are known as Pensacola Beach, there are also names for the smaller strips of sand therein. For instance, Quietwater Beach is located on the sound side, stretching from the Portofino Boardwalk to the Pensacola Beach bridge tollbooth, and it's very family-friendly with its lifeguard protection and its "quiet waters." Casino Beach is located on the Gulf and has a host of amenities, including restrooms, changing rooms, lifeguards, a fishing pier and more. You'll find this beach just south of the intersection of Via de Luna and Fort Pickens Road.
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