5 of the Best Ways to Spend an Afternoon Around Pensacola Beach
There are so many fun things to do in the Pensacola Beach area, you’ll never get bored! Of course, the beach itself is the main attraction. But, even if you are taking a short vacation to our area, you will want to spend an afternoon checking out some of the fun activities that are available right here at the beach.
- Check out Fort Pickens, a pre-Civil War fort built in 1829 to defend Pensacola Bay, a much desired anchorage for its deep, protected waters, and surrounding areas, including the Pensacola Navy Yard, from foreign aggression. The Fort offers self guided tours, or check out the schedule for a fully guided tour by one of the park rangers or knowledgeable volunteers. The grounds of the Fort feature trails through lush vegetation in a most beautiful natural setting. Climb to the top, dotted with cannons, for spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay and explore the cool underside of the massive brick Fort. There is also a neat museum to visit showcasing history, as well as local flora and fauna. https://www.nps.gov/guis/learn/historyculture/fort-pickens.htm
- Choose one of our 3-4 hour dolphin cruise with remote beach stop options for a memorable afternoon on the water, complete with some down time on a most lovely beach that is accessible only by boat. The cruise itself traverses the beautiful waters of Pensacola Bay, Pensacola Pass and Big Lagoon, about an hour out, an hour back, and an hour on the beach for shelling, swimming, picnicking and relaxing, bay or Gulf side. Make it a half day (4 hours total) if you really want to chill and make it a true beach bum excursion. Drinks including wine and beer are provided, and there is full shade and a restroom aboard. https://jollysailing.com/dolphin-cruises/
- Hang out with the friendly staff at Horizon Paddle Hut on gorgeous Little Sabine Bay, a paddler’s paradise, with shallow, protected water. They will launch boards/kayaks for you and show you the ropes. You will likely see schools of fish, stingrays, birds, and maybe even a turtle or some dolphins up close and personal. The serenity of kayaking or paddle boarding will take you away. Or learn to sail on one of our sunfish sailboats from an experienced sailing instructor. It’s fun, easy and addictive! https://www.horizonpaddlehut.com/
- Take a ride down scenic Florida State Road 399, the road that connects Pensacola Beach to Navarre Beach, and find your own piece of nirvana. There are several parking lots between the two, where you can stop and stroll along a more isolated section of beach, and perhaps find some beautiful shells to take home with you! The beach less traveled often brings great rewards! There’s also a wonderous snorkeling reef on the Gulf side, which is best suited for experienced swimmers and snorkelers. https://myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/snorkeling-reefs; If you are looking for a more basic snorkel tour, we can take you by boat to some shallow water, protected areas that feature diverse habitats for marine life. https://jollysailing.com/snorkeling-tours/
- Change your whole L’attitude with a visit to Landshark Landing Beach Bar, next to the Margaritaville Beach Hotel on Pensacola Beach! Chill in a hammock under a palm tree, enjoy an ice cold Margarita and beer boiled shrimp, let the kids frolic in the Jolly Mon’s misted play area. There’s also a volleyball net and a fire pit! So much fun in the sun at this beachside gem, right across the street from Horizon Paddle Hut and the Jolly dock for dolphin cruise pickup. https://www.margaritavillehotel.com/drinks-and-dining/landshark-landing-beach-bar
We hope you enjoy our beaches! Have a great time, and don’t forget the sunscreen!