It’s the humidity — AND it’s the heat.

As a pasty Brit ex-pat who can easily burst into flames on a typical summer day, I’ll share some ideas on how to beat the heat, without camping inside with the AC set on “cryo-freeze.”

So grab your sunscreen and get geared up for some summer fun. You might have to get your feet wet, though.

1. Dive into Snorkeling

Want to explore what’s under the shimmering blue-green water? We built some artificial reefs for that. Sea turtles, rays and the local fish residents swarm the reefs, which are encrusted with shellfish and vegetation.

On Pensacola Beach, the Pensacola Bay Snorkel Reef is located on the bayside lot just before the Fort Pickens gate. You can enjoy snorkeling fun in protected waters just a short swim from shore.

On the Gulfside, the Park East snorkel reef is better geared for paddleboard or kayak. It’s 1.4 miles east of Portofino Island Resort on the Gulf side — located a healthy 500 feet offshore.

The Perdido Key Reef on Johnson Beach is located at Public Beach Access #1 on Sandy Key Drive, off Johnson’s Beach Road.

Check out some snorkel /dive options >

Snorkeling at the beach

2. Paddleboarding

Don’t think of a paddleboard as a workout. It’s more like a big floatie that you can take into the cooler water while others bake in the sun.

You can explore the coast just a few yards offshore, raft up with friends — and take a refreshing dip whenever you want. Yes, you can even pack a cooler and lounge.

In the end, hey, you exercised!

If you’re a beginner, get some lessons from the locals. Stick to protected waters — and always watch the wind.

Check out some paddleboarding options >

Paddleboarding at Park East on Pensacola Beach

3. Float on down a Coldwater Creek

Remember the simple times, floating on an inner tube with your toes dangling in the cool water? You can turn down the heat and turn back the clock at Adventures Unlimited.

Fed by a cool upland spring, the Coldwater Creek near Milton is one of the top-rated paddling destinations in the state.

Adventures Unlimited's Coldwater Creek headquarters provides an outdoors destination for canoes, kayaks, and inner tube rentals — and even paddleboards. The staff provides transportation for customers. If you’re going tubing, you can upgrade to a tube with a seat bottom and a seatback (Just my opinion, but I think a wet bottom is part of the tubing experience). You can also rent a tube for your cooler. No Styrofoam or glass is allowed.  

The creek runs through secluded, sugar-white sandbars, where you can stop and rest — from your resting. Once back at the Adventures Unlimited base camp, you can tour the skies on the high-octane zipline canopy tour. There are cabin rentals and camping available.

Photo By @kylehail32


4. Ride the Lazy River at Sam’s Fun City

There’s an oasis in the heart of Pensacola. Sam’s Fun City is home to Surf City — where you can feed the need for speed on water slides and the Flash Flood and Shark Attack tube slides.

More my speed - you can find folks like me obliviously cruising around on a tube in the 750-foot Endless River. There are plenty of areas for the young kids too — with play pools, kiddie slides and fountains.

5. Schedule Around the Sun

There are so many things to do to beat the heat, but one of the best ways I found is to schedule around the heat. It’s also fantastic for beating the crowds.

Select a beach on our beach finder and plan your beach trip in the morning. I find the beach so much more relaxing before the crowds arrive, and you can feel the sun warming your skin as it builds up the energy.

You can comb the beach, paddle, swim — heck, rent a jet ski. Pack up your gear as others are filing toward the beach. Then grab an early lunch before the hungry masses arrive — people-watching is still a thing!

Family on the Beach

You can then go shopping or visit some of the air-conditioned cool spots such as the National Naval Aviation Museum or shop around Downtown Pensacola.

Now, you have earned your AC. And that’s what I call beating the heat!

Have another fun way to beat the heat suggestion? Leave a comment below!