Gulf Breeze Beach, FL
Located across the bay from Pensacola, Gulf Breeze is great for snorkeling, hiking or birding at Gulf Islands National Seashore, a nationally protected park. Gulf Breeze is a city located on the Fairpoint Peninsula in Santa Rosa County, Florida, United States and is a suburb of Pensacola which lies to the north, across Pensacola Bay. It is surrounded by major water bodies on three sides. Additionally, the eastern portion of Gulf Breeze is occupied by the Naval Live Oaks Reservation. As a result, new growth occurs east of the city limits along U.S. Highway 98.
There is no shortage of attractions and entertainment in and near Gulf Breeze, Florida. One the largest aviation museums in the world is the National Naval Aviation museum located less than 30 minutes from Gulf Breeze in Pensacola, Florida. Gulf Breeze charms its visitors with beautiful, sandy white beaches and emerald green waters. Gulf Breeze has nearly year-round tropical weather. You can enjoy a tropical vacation or weekend getaway at the luxury resorts in and around Gulf Breeze.
The Gulf Breeze Zoo is a 50 acre zoo that includes hundreds of animals, a boardwalk overlooking a free range preserve, CP Huntington style train, as well as other amenities. The Gulf Breeze Zoo features various events throughout the year including Boo at the Zoo and Zoo Lights.
With an average of 300 days of sun, the Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Bay area is an outdoor activities paradise.
Of course, the snowy white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico beckons from across the Bob Sike’s Bridge. There is a strip of beach waiting year round. Winter time affords lovely walks along the water’s edge with a constantly varied selection of seashells. And the long, hot summers make fishing, diving, boating, water-skiing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and swimming a daily past-time.
The City of Gulf Breeze has more of its land (53%) devoted to parks than any other city of its size. The South Santa Rosa Recreation Center or Shoreline Park, is a 138-acre complex with indoor, outdoor and Sound-side waterfront resources for almost every sport, including a playground for young children. The Tiger Point Sports Park on east Gulf Breeze Parkway is a 30-acre County facility that also provides ball fields and tennis courts as well as playgrounds and walking/running track.
Competitive sports enthusiasts will find 5ks, 10ks, marathons, half marathons, triathlons, golf and tennis tournaments, and water events scheduled all year round. The Pensacola Bay area is also known for its strong athletic programs for children of all ages in golf, tennis, swimming, yachting, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, football and lacrosse.
The Gulf Islands National Seashore includes the Naval Live Oak Reservation on Gulf Breeze Parkway with trails, picnic areas, and a Visitor Center. Opal Beach Day-Use Area, between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach, offers picnic shelters and handicapped access. Fort Pickens (on Pensacola Beach) and Fort Barrancas, at NAS Pensacola, are Civil War era forts that provide hours of exploration. There is a fee to enter Fort Pickens. Picnicking, fishing, swimming, and camping facilities are available at Ft. Pickens also.
Gulf Breeze is also home to the Gulf Breeze Zoo located at Gulf Breeze Parkway (highway 98). Zoo visitors can feed the animals in the petting zoo, stroll along winding sidewalks amid many caged habitats and ride the safari train in an open range living environment where animals are an arms length away or hanging out on lush green islands.
Golfing enthusiasts can reserve tee time on 40 courses within a 100 miles circuit from Gulf Breeze, beginning with an outing at Tiger Point Golf Club at Gulf Breeze Parkway.
Milton, the Canoeing Capital of Florida is 20 miles north which gives freshwater enthusiasts abundant opportunities for recreation on the Blackwater, Sweetwater and Coldwater Rivers. Blackwater River State Forest is the largest state forest in Florida, with more than 183,000 acres of woodlands, lakes and streams for camping, hiking, biking, tubing, canoeing and fishing. On the west side of Pensacola, visitors can also enjoy hiking, biking and camping at Big Lagoon State Park.
Every year Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Bay area resident enjoy two hometown shows of their own angels – the Blue Angels, the Navy’s precision flight demonstration team stationed at NAS Pensacola. In July, they thrill audiences with a show over the Gulf on Pensacola Beach. In November, they end their season with a huge air show on base. These are “must see” events.
Pensacola is also home to a variety sports teams. The Blue Wahoos, a feeder team for the Cincinnati Reds, play in the brand new Maritime Park on the waterfront in downtown Pensacola. The Pensacola Civic Center turns into the icy home of the Pensacola Ice Flyers during ice hockey season. Also, the Pensacola Aviators are a nationally recognized rugby team that plays on the fields at the Univ. of West Florida. And racing enthusiasts can visit, Five Flags Speedway.
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