Pensacola Beach, Florida is a beautiful spot on the Gulf Coast. I have lived in Pensacola for fifteen years and one thing that I never tire of is spending a day at the beach. My favorite time of year to visit Pensacola Beach is in early spring. When all of my friends are still shoveling snow, we are sitting in the snow white sand listening to the water roll in. It is usually a bit chilly to put your toes in the ocean, but my kids still brave the water.
There is a lot to do on Pensacola Beach but our favorite day includes three things: sitting in the sand, exploring a fort, and lunch with a pirate!
Wake up early in the morning and beat the crowds out to the beach. We try to arrive around 9am so that we can sail through the toll booth (don’t forget your dollar if you aren’t staying at the beach) and pick out the perfect spot in the sand. Casino Beach is where people go if they want to see and be seen. Quietwater Beach, also known as the mommy beach by locals, is the perfect place to go with the kids. The water is quiet, hence the name, and kids can walk out a ways and the water will still be below their knees. The Gulf Island National Seashore is another great place to spend the morning but not all stretches of sand are covered by lifeguards.
Once we are done building sand castles, we pack up our things and drive down the road to explore Ft. Pickens located on the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This pre-Civil War fort was one of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay and was prison to Geronimo at one point. My children love to grab their flashlights and explore the fort. After exploring the fort, we try to beat the crowd and eat lunch at Peg Leg Pete’s.
Peg Leg Pete’s is a great place to grab lunch with the family. Though the kid’s meals a bit pricey ($5.99 for most choices), they will love getting their grouper or chicken nuggets in the brightly colored sand bucket. The kid’s menu comes with crayons and a pirate eye patch to keep them entertained during the meal. If you don’t get to Peg Leg Pete’s early enough, the wait can be lengthy. There is a bar where mom and dad can grab a soda or a drink and then you can watch the kids play at the playground.