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Enjoy A Fun and Safe Beach Trip

Famed for its soft white sand, emerald-hued waters, and a carefree, easy-going atmosphere, Pensacola Beach has long been a favorite, family-friendly beach destination that locals cherish and newcomers embrace.

Awarded Florida’s Best Beach for the second time in a row in 2018, Pensacola Beach retains its picture-perfect postcard status thanks, in part, to the federally preserved seashore that bookends both sides of the island.

To ensure our beach remains pristine this Spring Break and is enjoyed by everyone, here are a few tips to guarantee everyone has a great time, stays safe and respects our beach community.

Know The Flag Colors

At Pensacola Beach, safety is our number one priority. You may notice colored flags flying at lifeguard stations and other beach entrances. This warning system is designed to alert the public about surf conditions. Here is what they mean:

Green flag – Low hazard. Conditions are calm. Swim with usual caution.

Yellow flag – Medium hazard. Moderate surf and currents. Swim with extra caution.

Red flag – High hazard. High surf and dangerous currents. No swimming or wading is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Double red flag – WATER IS CLOSED. This is used during hurricanes or natural disasters. No swimming, wading or surfing is allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Purple flag – Dangerous marine life is present. Exercise caution when in the water or on the shoreline.

Most importantly, know how to swim if you are going into the Gulf and always swim near a lifeguard. Lifeguards will be stationed daily starting March 1 at Casino Beach, with patrols driving the island, as necessary. Lifeguard stations at Park East, Park West and Quietwater Beach will be manned depending on staffing availabilities. 

Current flag colors and surf conditions are also accessible online at  In case of emergency, notify a lifeguard or call 911.


Adult beverages are allowed on the beach. Glass containers, underage drinking and public drunkenness are not. Illegal drugs and driving under the influence will not be tolerated. Laws and ordinances will be strictly enforced, for everyone’s safety.

Wherever you’re staying, please be respectful of your neighbors and keep your noise level in check.

Motorized vehicles, generators, grills, fires and any open flames are prohibited on the beach, as well.

Leave Only Your Footprints

Rule of thumb: If you brought it to the beach, carry it back with you.

Tents, umbrellas, chairs and other beach gear are not allowed to be left overnight on the beach. Trashcans are provided near all beach entrances, and you are asked to fill in any holes you may dig in the sand.

May through October is sea turtle nesting season. Here are a few tips to ensure their safety:

  1. GO DARK - When walking the beach at night during turtle season, remember to use a red flashlight. Sea turtles and hatchlings are less likely to be attracted and disoriented by red lighting. Also, remember to turn out your room lights.
  2. TURTLE ETIQUETTE - Don’t touch or harass a nesting sea turtle or baby hatchlings as they leave their nest. Watch quietly from a distance and never shine lights or use flash photography, which could disorient them.
  3. FILL IT IN and KNOCK IT DOWN - Fill in large holes, knock down sand castles and other obstacles to leave the beach flat for nesting sea turtles.
  4. LEAVE NO TRACE BEHIND – Remove all tents, canopies, furniture, toys and other obstacles from the beach every night.

Other Notes

In a coastal city, it’s important to remember a few things when making your way around. During peak season, it’s important to leave early and allow adequate time to get to your destination. Be cautious of pedestrians and marine life that may be crossing roads such as sea turtles and birds.

When parking on Pensacola Beach, there are several public access lots. Casino Beach is the main beach and will be the first parking lot in view. It has one entry and one exit so be alert and watch for signs.

Perdido Key has three Public Beach Access Points of which all are numbered. Perdido Key State Park is open 8 a.m. – sunset and is $3 per car per day.

The Gulf Islands National Seashore is located both on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key. It is $20 per carload, and the pass is good for seven days. The National Seashore is home to diverse wildlife, hiking trails, forts, paddle launches and so much more. When parking along any of the beaches be cautious of sand. Many cars sink when directly in contact off of the pavement.

Dogs are welcome at designated dog beaches only. You’ll find two dog beaches on Pensacola Beach for dogs on leashes and their owners. As always, please be courteous and remove pet waste.


Remember the motto, "Leave Only Your Footprints Behind." If you follow that advice, you will help to preserve the natural beauty of the beaches and help to ensure all residents and guests can have an enjoyable experience.

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