Florida Guide > Other Florida
Pensacola is hidden away in the extreme west of the Florida Panhandle, very close to the state line with Alabama and is much closer to New Orleans and Atlanta than it is to Orlando. But Pensacola is certainly big on Florida hospitality and boasts some of the finest beaches to be found anywhere on the planet.
Pensacola Beach is, in fact, located on Santa Rosa Island, which is home to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a fifty-two mile spit of land, where pristine white sand meets the warm emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
From the city, Pensacola Beach is reached by taking the US98 south, via the Bay Bridge and Gulf Breeze Parkway. Casino Beach lies at the heart of Pensacola Beach and is the hub for an array of watersports, which include, parasailing, deep-sea fishing and surfing. Also nearby is Quietwater Beach, but this is located on the north shore of Santa Rosa Island and provides safe and shallow water, especially favoured by families with children.
The Casino Beach area has lots of shops and award-winning restaurants to satisfy all tastes, with seafood, not surprisingly, being the speciality dish.
Pensacola Beach Pier stretches out into the Gulf and offers a different perspective to the visitor who is prepared to stroll along its length. Marine life abounds and it’s not unusual to catch sight of manatees, dolphins, sharks and an abundance of crabs. The pier is also an ideal spot to catch an idyllic sunset across the wide expanses of the Gulf of Mexico.
Back at the beach the public pavilions host a range of free open-air concerts several evenings a week during the warm weather. All tastes in music appear to be catered for, should your choice be jazz, rock, country or even light classical.
Away from the central area the pace slackens, and the landscape becomes more undeveloped. To the west Langdon Beach, is far less populated and offers the visitor the opportunity to bike, hike or enjoy this beautiful area in virtually complete solitude.
To the east is the Naval Live Oaks Center, which is a haven for bird lovers. This 1300 acre woodland is home to the mockingbird, woodpecker and blue heron to name but a few, and has several marked trails for the visitor.
This is an unspoilt and diverse area that is well away from the usual tourist routes, but should you find yourself in this corner of Florida, for whatever reason, you will not be disappointed.
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