Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Best of Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens: A Perfect Getaway

“Experience the Best of Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens: A Perfect Getaway”

Sun, Sand, Surf & Turf on Pensacola Beach

  1. Relaxing on the White Sands of Pensacola Beach:

    The pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters of this idyllic destination provide the perfect setting for a relaxing getaway. Visitors can bask in the sun on the soft, sandy shores, indulging in the ultimate sunbathing experience. For those seeking a bit of activity, beach volleyball is a fantastic option, allowing friends and family to engage in friendly matches with the backdrop of the stunning coastline.

    Additionally, the fine-grained sand invites beachgoers of all ages to unleash their creativity by building intricate sandcastles. Whether sand island secluded beachesit’s a solo endeavor or a collaborative family project, crafting these sandy structures adds a touch of whimsy to the beach experience.

    Overall, this destination offers a harmonious blend of serene landscapes and engaging activities, making it an ideal retreat for both relaxation and recreational enjoyment.

  2. Water Adventures on Pensacola Beach: Dive in and Explore Thrilling Water Sports

    Introduction: Imagine the sun on your face, the wind in your hair, and the refreshing splash of water all around you.  We have a number of water activities that you and your friends and family can take part in.  From original dolphin watching tours to snorkeling, secluded beach stops and pontoon boat rentals.  If you’re a water enthusiast or someone looking to try new experiences, water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking are fantastic options if renting a pontoon boat is not your speed. In this blog post, we’ll explore the excitement of these activities and highlight where you can embark on your aquatic adventure.

    Paddleboarding: Paddleboarding is a versatile water sport that combines balance and tranquility. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, the calm waters of lakes or rivers provide an ideal setting. Many coastal areas and lakeside destinations offer paddleboard rentals, making it easy for you to try this relaxing yet engaging activity. Look for rental facilities that provide all the necessary gear, including paddleboards, life jackets, and safety instructions.

    Kayaking: For those who seek a more intimate connection with the water, kayaking is an excellent choice. Glide through serene waterways, explore and witness nature up close. If you are looking to learn something new outdoors,  Outdoor Gulf Coast offers windsurfing lessons and surfing lessons.  You can also rent kayaks and paddle boards to be delivered to your rental home, condo or hotel.  If you are looking to level up for an extra special rental, check out Glow Paddle on Pensacola Beach and venture out in Little Sabine Bay at night while glowing up.  Both rental companies provide safety gear, and don’t forget to grab a waterproof camera to capture the picturesque moments.

    Rentals: When planning your water sports adventure, it’s essential to find reliable rental facilities that prioritize safety and provide quality equipment. Here are some tips for choosing the right rental:

    1. Reviews and Recommendations: Check online reviews or ask friends for recommendations to ensure the rental facility has a positive reputation.
    2. Safety Measures: Inquire about the safety measures implemented by the rental facility, such as life jackets, emergency protocols, and equipment maintenance.
    3. Availability of Equipment: Ensure that the facility has a variety of well-maintained equipment available for rent, including paddleboards or kayaks depending on your chosen activity.
    4. Staff Expertise: Knowledgeable and friendly staff can enhance your experience. Choose a rental where the staff can provide guidance on safety and offer tips for maximizing your enjoyment.

    Conclusion: Embarking on a water sports adventure is a fintastic way to connect with nature and enjoy the thrill of aquatic activities. Whether you choose paddleboarding or kayaking, daytime or at night, gear up, embrace the excitement, and make memories that will last a lifetime on the water.

  3. Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier Fun:

    Fishing Opportunities:

    The Pensacola Beach Pier is a hotspot for anglers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned veterans. With its 1,471 feet length, the pier provides ample space for casting lines into the Gulf of Mexico, where a diverse range of fish species awaits. The waters around the pier are teeming with fish like redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and even the occasional king mackerel. The pier is open 24/7, allowing anglers to indulge in their favorite pastime under the mesmerizing Florida sunsets or beneath the stars.

    Pier Amenities: Apart from its prime fishing opportunities, the Pensacola Beach Pier is equipped with various amenities to enhance the overall experience for visitors. The pier features a bait and tackle shop where anglers can purchase or rent equipment, ensuring that everyone is well-prepared for a day of fishing. Additionally, there are cleaning stations available for those who wish to clean their catch on-site. The pier is wheelchair accessible, making it inclusive for all visitors to enjoy the breathtaking views and fishing activities.

    Exploring Pensacola Beach Pier goes beyond just fishing – it’s a journey into the heart of a vibrant coastal community that thrives on the love for the sea. With its abundant fishing opportunities, convenient amenities, and lively events, the pier stands as a symbol of the rich maritime culture that defines Pensacola Beach.  If you are lucky, you can watch a Blue Angels Beach Buzz up close and personal.

    Whether you’re an angler seeking the thrill of a big catch or a visitor looking to immerse yourself in the coastal lifestyle, the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier Beach Pier welcomes you to a world where the ocean’s beauty meets the joy of fishing.

4. Fort Pickens – A Journey through History

Brief History:

Construction and Civil War:

  • Fort Pickens was constructed between 1829 and 1834 as part of a system of coastal forts designed to protect the United States.
  • During the Civil War (1861-1865), the fort played a crucial role in defending the Union-held Pensacola from Confederate forces.

Post-Civil War:

  • After the Civil War, Fort Pickens continued to serve as a military outpost and played a role in various conflicts, including the Spanish-American War and World War I.

World War II:

  • During World War II, Fort Pickens served as a training and coastal defense facility. The fort played a vital role in protecting the Gulf Coast from potential enemy attacks.

Decommissioning and Preservation:

  • Fort Pickens was decommissioned in 1947 and transferred to the National Park Service.
  • Today, it is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, preserving its historical significance.

Significance of Fort Pickens During Different Periods:

Civil War:

  • Fort Pickens played a key role in the defense of the Union-held Pensacola against Confederate forces. Its strategic location made it a target for both sides.

Spanish-American War:

  • During the Spanish-American War (1898), Fort Pickens was an important coastal defense post, protecting the Gulf Coast from potential threats.

World War II:

  • The fort served as a training facility and coastal defense during World War II, contributing to the overall defense of the United States.

Fort Pickens Guided Tours and Exhibits:

  • The Gulf Islands National Seashore offers ranger-led tours of Fort Pickens, providing insights into its history and significance.
  • The fort itself has exhibits and displays that showcase its military history, featuring artifacts, photographs, and information about the various periods it served.

Before planning a visit or attending any tours, it’s advisable to check with the Gulf Islands National Seashore for the latest information on guided tours and exhibits. Enjoy your exploration of Fort Pickens.

Fort Pickens

5. Pensacola Beach Culinary Delights

  1. Pensacola Beach Beachfront Dining:

    Pensacola Beach offers a variety of beachfront and waterfront restaurants and cafes that showcase delicious local seafood and specialties. Here are some popular options:
    1. Peg Leg Pete’s: Known for its laid-back atmosphere and fantastic seafood, Peg Leg Pete’s offers a diverse menu with fresh catches. Try their oysters, crab legs, and shrimp for a true taste of the Gulf.
    2. Flounder’s Chowder House: This beachfront spot is famous for its seafood chowder and offers a selection of Gulf Coast favorites. Enjoy your meal with a view of the water from their outdoor seating.  Also available to dock-n-dine.
    3. Crabs We Got ‘Em: With a fun and vibrant atmosphere, Crabs We Got ‘Em is a favorite for seafood lovers. Feast on their famous Crab Trap, a combination of snow crab, shrimp, and more.
    4. Red Fish Blue Fish: This restaurant boasts a casual setting and serves up fresh seafood with a Gulf Coast twist. Don’t miss their fish tacos and seafood gumbo.  This is a great kid friendly option and you can beach a pontoon boat in their backyard.
    5. The Grand Marlin: For a more upscale experience, The Grand Marlin offers fine dining with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Their seafood dishes are complemented by stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.  It’s one of the best restaurants in Pensacola.
    6. Casino Beach Bar & Grille: Located right on the beach, this spot is perfect for a casual meal with your toes in the sand. Enjoy seafood baskets, fish tacos, and other beachside favorites.  On Sundays during air show season, you can usually catch a beach buzz when our Hometown Heroes The Blue Angels fly by on their way home to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.

    Remember to check the current status and operating hours of these establishments, as they may be subject to change.  NAS Pensacola updates can be found in the link above.  Enjoy your dining experience in Pensacola Beach

  2. Picnic at Fort Pickens:

    Of course, Fort Pickens is a beautiful spot for a picnic! Here are some tips on great spots for a picnic within Fort Pickens:

    1. Parade Grounds: The open spaces of the parade grounds offer a scenic view and are great for spreading out a picnic blanket. It’s a central location within the fort.
    2. Battery Worth: This area provides a mix of history and nature. You can enjoy your picnic near the historic battery while taking in the coastal surroundings.
    3. Beach Area: Fort Pickens is located right on the Gulf of Mexico, and there are white sandy beach areas within the fort where you can set up your picnic. Enjoy the sound of the waves as you dine.
    4. Pensacola Bay Overlook: For a different view, head to the overlook areas that provide stunning vistas of Pensacola Bay. It’s a peaceful spot to enjoy your meal.
    5. Nature Trails: Explore the nature trails around Fort Pickens, and you might find a secluded spot along the way that’s perfect for a picnic. Just be sure to follow any park guidelines regarding picnicking along the trails.

    Remember to bring sunscreen, water, and all the goodies you need for your lunch.

    Enjoy your picnic and your day at Fort Pickens!