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Explore Pensacola Area Parks

From pristine beach vistas to unspoiled marshlands to serene coastal woodlands, Pensacola boasts a wealth of parks that highlight the natural beauty of our environment. Visitors are never far from an example of why we believe Mother Nature calls Pensacola home.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

USA Today recently affirmed what folks in Pensacola always knew: Gulf Islands National Seashore is the best beach around. The news site's readers named it not only the best beach in Florida, but the best beach in the eastern United States. Three of the park’s Pensacola sections – the Santa Rosa Area on the east side of Pensacola Beach, Fort Pickens on the western edge of Pensacola Beach, and Johnson Beach on Perdido Key – feature miles of Gulf front roadway sided only by rolling white sand dunes, sea oats, and endless horizon. Visitors are more likely to encounter a dolphin, sea turtle or osprey than neon lights, loud music or a billboard.

Another area of Gulf Islands National Seashore, Naval Live Oaks, adjoins Gulf Breeze to the east. Naval Live Oaks – home to the park’s visitor center – offers miles of trails, picnic pavilions, and shorelines on Santa Rosa Sound and Pensacola Bay.

Picturesque Perdido

Perdido Key and the southwest corner of Escambia County offer hidden gems of natural beauty at several parks, including Johnson Beach. At Big Lagoon State Park you'll find an amphitheater, fishing, wildlife, swimming and hiking through unspoiled Florida wilderness. It's a favorite location for outdoor weddings, and oddly enough, crabbing. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park is home to four rare, carnivorous pitcher plant species, which you can view from an elevated boardwalk. And finally – located on the island itself – Perdido Key State Park – offers picnic facilities, fishing opportunities, and undisturbed access to both the Gulf of Mexico and Old River. 

Beautiful Pensacola

At Escambia Bay's Bay Bluffs Park, a network of wooden boardwalks that descend from the aptly-named Scenic Highway to the shoreline below. Head to University of West Florida to enjoy a variety of woodland and wetland trails, including Edward Ball Nature Trail. This trail includes a half mile of boardwalk through the beautiful hardwood swamps of Thompson Bayou. You'll find a web of bike paths just off the boardwalk. Downtown Pensacola is dotted with smaller, historical parks perfect for exploring the past or enjoying a picnic. 


Plan Your Outings

Check out the many ways you can lose yourself in Pensacola’s picturesque scenery. Just be mindful of your step – that’s Mother Nature’s back yard you’re exploring.

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