Pensacola Beach is one of the most expansive and pristine beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. It’s located on Santa Rosa Island, most of which is included in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This reserve stretches from Mississippi to Florida and includes 150 miles of undeveloped, federally-protected sugar white sand beaches and rolling dunes.
With the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Pensacola Bay to the north, you can see water on wherever you look almost everywhere on Pensacola Beach. It’s not surprising then that most local activity is focused on getting wet. Tour providers host a wide variety of adventures including dolphin cruises, para sailing and deep sea fishing trips, as well renting kayaks, all manner of boats and wave runners.
Surfing, and it’s associated laid back culture, is one of the key-defining characteristics of the local lifestyle. Several surf shops rent equipment, host events, teach lessons and hold camps. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP), the latest craze to hit the beach, is easily learned ‘sound side’ where the water is calm. You can even try your hand at paddle board yoga.
Pensacola Beach, Florida is one of the top year round snorkeling and scuba diving destinations in the US. In 2008, the area was featured in The World’s Best Diving & Resort edition of Sport Diver magazine. You can snorkel right off Pensacola beach or spend a day exploring the area’s numerous artificial reefs including the world’s largest, the USS Oriskany.