The Beachgoer’s Guide to Navarre Beach

March 18, 2023

Navarre Beach is the perfect getaway for beach lovers. Covered in pristine white sand coastline overlooking the emerald green water of the Gulf of Mexico,  this laidback beach town is known as Florida’s best-kept secret—filled with unmatched natural beauty and countless ways to enjoy the beach.

Whether you’re looking for a family vacation without the crowds or a relaxing beach trip, our beachgoer’s guide to Navarre Beach has everything you need to plan your perfect beach days during your next vacation.

Our Favorite Beach Access Points in Navarre Beach

Navarre Beach offers a variety of beach access points, both on the Gulf of Mexico and the Santa Rosa Sound, many of which are free to the public. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite beach access points for newcomers to Navarre Beach.

Navarre Beach Fishing Pier

Straight off the Causeway is the area’s central beach access point, at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. It’s one of the area’s most popular beach spots with plenty of parking, local eateries and shops, and a hometown charm you won’t find anywhere else. 

Access to the beach at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is free to the public, while access to the pier is just $1 for adults and free for children 5 and under.

The Navarre Beach Fishing Pier is the longest pier in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, famous for its stunning views and local charm. Experienced and novice anglers alike can fish off the pier. There’s bait available for purchase at the pier store and rod rentals for new anglers. Admission for fishing off the pier is $7 for adults, $6 for Active Duty Military and Seniors, $4 for Youth (15 and under), and free for ages 5 and under.

Home to Windjammers On the Pier, the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier and beach access point offers one of the best locations for doing as the locals do—offering stunning views, family-friendly activities, and some of the area’s best seafood. 

Navarre Beach Marine Park

The Navarre Beach Marine Park is a naturally preserved coastline on the east side of Navarre Beach and a haven for the shore’s natural wonders. There are 5 pavilions, each with free access and parking, offering access to the beach on both the Sound and Gulf.

Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary

Navarre Beach Marine Park is also home to the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary, featuring artificial reefs that attract ocean life and snorkelers from near and far and are free and open to the public! 

According to the website, “This project created near shore artificial reefs in Santa Rosa Sound and the Gulf of Mexico off Navarre Beach… Near-shore reefs allow people of all skill levels to easily view marine life and ecosystems inhabiting the reefs by traveling only a few hundred feet off-shore. These reef sites offer an easy and inexpensive option to increase your snorkeling and diving abilities or check out a new piece of equipment.”

Offering three reefs—the East Sound Side Reef (the smallest and most shallow), West Sound Side Reef (the largest), and Gulf Side Reef—the Navarre Beach Marine Park is a great place to enjoy the area’s best water activities—from snorkeling to kayaking, diving, and more.

Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center

The Navarre Beach Marine Park is also home to the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center, an education center dedicated to protecting threatened and endangered sea turtles. The center’s main attraction is their resident ambassador Sweet Pea, a non-releasable green sea turtle. She’s many people’s first encounter with a sea turtle, making it an excellent activity for kids.

Gulf Island National Seashore

Part of the National Park Service, the Gulf Island National Seashore is home to pristine beaches, incredible wildlife, and miles of preserved seashore. When you’re ready for the ultimate peaceful setting, head 7 miles to the west end of the island for a serene beach day.

Located along Highway 399 are numerous parking lots with year-round access, this narrow, untouched stretch of beach is ideal for an uncrowded beach day or tranquil sunset. 

Opal Beach

Opal Beach is open from 8 am to sunset and requires an entrance fee or annual pass. This access point has amenities like outdoor showers and restrooms and is great for a family beach day.

Spanning seven miles of the Gulf Island National Seashore, Opal Beach is home to a trail marker for the Florida National Scenic Trail. You can take an invigorating hike or relaxing stroll along the seashore heading east to Navarre Beach or west toward Pensacola beach. The trail is also ideal for shelling on Navarre Beach. Walk along the shore in either direction, and you’re sure to find some treasures!

Sound Side Park

Sound Side Park is another access point on the Santa Rosa Sound and is a nice spot to enjoy calmer waters and watch the boats launch into the sound. The Navarre Beach Multiuse Path is located in Sound Side Park and trails west through the island. Enjoy a peaceful bike ride with the sun on your back as you explore Navarre Beach.

Navarre Beach is a beachgoer’s paradise. As “Florida’s Most Relaxing Place,” this easy-going beach town is the perfect escape from it all. From family activities to relaxing beach days to hiking and snorkeling along the seashore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on your beach getaway. Learn more about things to do in Navarre Beach and book your perfect Navarre Beach vacation rental with Scenic Stays today! 

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