If sports and recreation are your favorite pastimes, Pensacola makes an ideal vacation destination. Located along Florida’s Emerald Coast, Pensacola is paradise for those who favor a sporting lifestyle. Eighteen miles of white sandy beaches and an average of 343 days of sunshine each year add up to nearly endless opportunities to enjoy the region’s natural splendor. Here are four ways to experience Pensacola for sports enthusiasts.

On the Beach

When it comes to beaches, Pensacola is tough to beat. In fact, it’s nearly impossible. Pensacola Beach was named Best Florida Beach by USA Today’s 2018 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. In 2019, it ranked among America’s top five beaches by Trip Advisor. The powdery sand and never-ending sunshine beckon beach visits, while the boardwalk entices with an array of restaurants and shops. The real action, however, is in the water. With gentle waves and water temperatures averaging 72 degrees, it’s an ideal setting for water sports. Swimming, snorkeling, parasailing, diving and paddle boarding are some of the sports enjoyed all year long.

On the Links

With more than a half-dozen courses and many others nearby, Pensacola is renowned for great golfing. Perdido Key’s coastal links present challenging courses with unmatched beauty and gentle ocean breezes. The area’s mainland courses match premium facilities with elevation changes and pine-lined fairways. With so many exciting options, be sure to book your Pensacola tee times early.

On the Boat

The expansive crystal blue waters of Pensacola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico provide a picturesque setting for sailing. The area’s numerous yacht clubs sponsor regattas throughout the year and provide educational opportunities for young and novice boaters. Dozens of anchorages in the deep bay waters provide intimate backgrounds for a serene, sun-filled day. Boaters often witness the area’s teeming wildlife, including blue crabs, dolphins, eagles, pelicans and rays.

On the Water

Pensacola is a top destination for fishermen. Three bays, a river and a very big gulf provide ample opportunities for anglers to cast out in a variety of settings. The Escambia River may be only the fourth largest in Florida, but it boasts the state’s most diverse freshwater fish population with an amazing 85 native species, including bluegill, pickerel and several varieties of bass, catfish and sunfish.

Once known as the “Red Snapper Capital of the World,” Pensacola Bay tempts fishermen with flounder, bluefish and tarpons in the summer months. The Gulf of Mexico is home to prized game fish like Wahoo, grouper, blue marlin and black fin and yellow fin tuna. Competitive fishermen are lured to the area for its many fishing tournaments.

The sporting lifestyle is well supported in Pensacola. Its wide variety of activities truly offers something for everyone.


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