The Complete Guide to Navarre Beach, Florida

Lifeguard tower on the beach, Navarre, Florida, USA
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Navarre Beach

Navarre Beach, Pensacola Beach, FL 32566, USA

If you’re looking for a largely undiscovered beach town where you can linger on pristine beaches without crowds, go on picnics, and stroll along a massive pier while spotting a dolphin or two, there’s no place better than Navarre Beach. Known as one of the most relaxing places for a beach vacation in the southeast, Navarre Beach in the northwest Florida Panhandle provides incredible panoramic views of the majestic Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound.

Best Time to Visit

Navarre Beach is a beautiful place to visit year-round. Your ideal time to visit will depend on what’s most important to you. To visit when the temperature and humidity are most comfortable for outdoor fun, try to come between mid-February and the end of May. The beach town is busiest in June, yet May and July are also very busy. Since the busiest season is also the most expensive, you may want to plan a trip during the early spring, fall, or winter. Navarre Beach and the surrounding communities host various events and festivals throughout the year, so you’re sure to find fun activities no matter which season you choose. 

Things to Do

Start your vacation in Navarre Beach with a free day to wander and take in the wonder of the natural beauty you're sure to find. Savor the wind through your hair. Dip your toes into the sparkling, aquamarine waters of the gulf. Walk on the soft, crystal white sand, then relax and savor a little sunset-watching along the shores of Navarre Beach. 

Rent a scooter from Sage's Paddle Company and devote a day to riding along the seashore. This locally owned business has a fun origin story. Sage's Paddle Company was founded by an 11-year-old named Sage who saw a need in the community for paddleboard rentals. The young, creative entrepreneur turned to her dad for a loan to start her business, and she experienced nearly immediate success. Sage is now a teenager who is still very involved in running her business, although she did close it for a few hours last spring so she could attend her prom. Sage's Paddle Company rents scooters, bikes, and kayaks in addition to paddleboards. It's a one-stop shop for enhancing fun on the beach. 

Once you have chosen your scooter or bike, go for a scenic, unforgettable ride through the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Visit Opal Beach in the Santa Rosa area of the Gulf Islands. It was formed in 1995 after Hurricane Opal swept through the area. Alternately, take a stroll along the Navarre Beach Pier. It has the distinction of being the longest pier in Florida. It stands 30 feet above the water and stretches for 1,545 feet.

Want to go snorkeling? Navarre Beach has three artificial reefs where you can snorkel and see a vast array of sea creatures. The Gulf Side Reef, the West Sound Side Reef, and the East Sound Side Reef are all accessible, with the East Sound Side Reef being the smallest and easiest to visit. Find these reefs near the shore in the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound. As part of the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary, the reefs make it easy for novice snorkelers to see marine life. If you're not keen on snorkeling, you also have the option of taking a clear bottom kayak tour of the Gulf Side Reef.

There are opportunities to get adventurous on land, too. Try a zipline tour with Adventures Unlimited to get bird's eye views of the local forests, beaches, and rivers. 

Where to Stay

With its exquisite white sand beaches, staying at a waterfront resort is a must for any trip to Navarre Beach. ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals has fully furnished, homey condos for rent with balconies and full kitchens. The on-site property amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, and direct access to the beach. If condos aren’t your style, they also offer furnished and decorated beach homes. 

For another resort-style experience, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Navarre Beach is a comfortable beachfront hotel. It’s an all-suite hotel that offers private balconies overlooking the beach. It also has an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a whirlpool. 

If you don’t mind staying a short drive from the beach, you may want to check out the options at Coldwater Gardens. It has accommodations for most budgets with a mix of glamping options, eco-design cottages, a modern treehouse you can stay in, campsites, and primitive camping areas. 

Getting Around

Travelers to Navarre Beach can quickly get to this gulf-side haven by flying into the Pensacola Airport, then renting a car to drive to Navarre. You can also take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. Alternately, if you’re based in the southeast, consider taking a road trip. Navarre Beach is easily accessible from State Road 87 and US Route 98. 

Tips for Visiting

Navarre Beach is beloved for its flourishing wildlife. Due in part to its low light pollution, it's a prized sea turtle habitat. Light pollution can confuse sea turtle hatchlings and cause them to go the wrong way when they come out of their nests. If you are visiting during sea turtle nesting season, which occurs between May through October, be sure to turn off the lights to any beach-facing rooms you occupy. Double-check to ensure you close the curtains and blinds after sunset. 

Wildlife along the seashore can be enjoyed in and out of the water. Although "Jaws 2" was largely filmed in Navarre Beach, you don't have to worry about seeing many sharks. Instead, look for dolphins that are sometimes visible along Navarre Beach. You may spot deer, birds, rabbits, and even perhaps a bear on land. Always observe wildlife from a safe distance and never disturb them.

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The Complete Guide to Navarre Beach, Florida