Pensacola Beach occupies nearly eight miles of the 40-mile-long Santa Rosa barrier island. It is surrounded by the Santa Rosa Sound to the north, the Gulf of Mexico to the south and on either side by the federally protected Gulf Islands National Seashore. You can swim, fish, kayak and play at one of two area beach parks: Casino Beach and Quietwater Beach. Lively Casino Beach is considered the geographic center of the area, while Quietwater Beach is closer to the commercial center and features its own boardwalk and concert area. There is also plenty of access to quiet areas of the beach where you can avoid the crowds.
This narrow strip of sugar-white sand features two totally different waterfront experiences, as well as several historical and natural sites that have been preserved for hundreds of years. With only one highway and plenty of sidewalks in between the two shores, you can easily enjoy the Gulf side or opt for the serenity of the sound side. Public beaches with amenities are abundant, as well as attractions, shopping, dining opportunities, and the chance to explore preserved coastal territory.
The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier is one of the longest in the Gulf of Mexico at 1,470 feet, stretching beyond two sand bars. In addition to being a perfect vantage point for some of the most vivid sunsets you’ll ever see, the fishing pier is the perfect place to spot an abundance of marine life – including dolphins, manatees, rays, and sharks.
This was an excellent beach access. It had pavilions with grills and picnic tables if you wanted to grill out or picnic. It has restrooms where you can change before heading over to the beach area. The free area was large so it was easy to find an area away from the crowd. There is a parking lot for this access right in front of the pavilions and restrooms and also more parking across the street. It is quiet and a great place to spend the day if you just want to be at the beach with no interruptions. Just make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen!