My husband and I decided to take the long way home from Pensacola last weekend. We started our journey driving east on Hwy 399 toward Navarre, a lonely stretch of road where the sand creeps out onto the pavement and blows into drifts that look for all the world like snow. The highway hugs the beach, and when you enter Gulf Islands National Seashore, the horizon is unfettered by buildings or power lines. When you turn off your car you can hear the melody of the surf and the wind rustling through the sea oats.
Maybe that is an exaggeration but the beach sure feels like it. I believe there is an admittance charge. We have a senior pass so our fee was waived. Whatever the charge it would be worth it and I believe the charge would cover multiple days. There are nice parking lots located next to covered open areas where you can sit and picnic. There are also bathrooms and showering stations so you can clean up after walking the beach. People bring their lawn chairs, umbrellas, beach toys and relax. There are not hundreds of people there and there are no businesses or residences on the shoreline. It’s just you walking the shore, looking for seashells, sand dollars (we scored 2), seeing the pelicans fly overhead, looking for dolphins. They were out there; unfortunately we did not see them but were told about them. Nothing but the sound of the waves. It is so peaceful words can’t describe. We went here 2 days in a row during the day. The next day we went to Destin. Hundreds of people on the shoreline. Building after building on the shoreline. Not any seashells. Went back to Gulf Islands National Seashore near Navarre after dinner and it was wonderful. So quiet, so relaxing. And if the sky is just right, the sunset makes it the perfect ending!!!!
Navarre Beach County Park is a diamond in the rough, this County Beach Park is located on the most picturesque beaches in the Country (Santa Rosa Island). Free Admission for vehicles, Large (For Rent) Pavilions, Unlimited Parking, and the crystal white beach sand is among the prime Beach Wedding locations in the region. Once a Florida State Park, the damage from Hurricane Ivan (2004) and Hurricane Dennis (2005) Navarre Beach State Park was returned to County Control. Nestled next to Eglin Air Force Base, you are at the Peninsula between Santa Rosa Island and the community of Navarre Beach.
NAVARRE BEACH MARINE SCIENCE CENTER Located along one of ten National Seashores, the science center is an excellent place to learn about marine life, watersheds and the important relationships between them.
Thousands of students from across Florida and the Gulf Coast come here to learn through hands-on activities from touch tanks to dolphin rescue. Families and visitors of all ages can take part, too, by registering in advance for vacation activities here. Private tours of the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station are now available and offer an up close and personal experience! Click here for information to book your personal tour today.
Navarre Beach Marine Park is open to the public free of charge, from sun-up to sun-down daily. Located at the intersection of Gulf Boulevard and the Causeway Road in Navarre Beach. After crossing the bridge into Navarre Beach, turn left on Gulf Boulevard.