Best Places to Kayak in Pensacola

Last Updated on July 6, 2022 by Ecorf

If the enticingly friendly and warm atmosphere at Pensacola isn’t enough to draw you to the city, the beautiful weather there is definitely sure to do the trick. And if the weather fails (which is an extreme rarity) there are still tons of activities you could spend time doing. But with Pensacola being the paradise that it is, these three things are often constant in the city.

Pensacola and Kayaking

Listing the fun things you could do in Pensacola would require more than a hundred pages for me to exhaust, but I can confidently tell you that kayaking would sit conveniently on top of the list. Why not? The water bodies that are all scattered around the city are sure to offer you the best kayaking experience irrespective of your kayaking skill level. 

Furthermore, the beautiful scenery that plays out around the water bodies is going to leave a mark on your memory for a very long time. And the best part is that all the water bodies in the city are great to kayak on. Which means you could set out at almost anywhere.

However, there would always be a best among equals. In this case, there are good places to kayak in Pensacola but there are even better places to kayak in the same city. For this reason, I have compiled for you a shortlist of the best places to kayak in Pensacola.


Best places to kayak

Big Lagoon State Park

This place not only offers itself as one of the best places to kayak in the city, but it also serves as a really great place to do a little bit of bird watching. The birds that you have built their nests around this lagoon include blue herons, Marsh birds, and winter ducks. Apart from the birds, the sight of the white beaches and the clear blue sky are enough to keep you entranced for as long as possible.

There are launch sites and campsites around where you would definitely have a lot of fun. However, you should know that the lagoon is shallow at some places and you have to be careful not to get stuck. You could ask around among the locals here to know what parts of the lagoon to avoid. 

Also, you would have to pay a little charge to get access to this lagoon from the park. If you’re alone, park entry costs $4, and it costs $6 for two to eight people. You could also rent yourself a kayak or some other kayaking gears here at the park.

Best Places to Kayak in Pensacola

Sanders Beach Complex

Here is another great place to enjoy the best of kayaking. When kayaking from this beach complex, you would get to see beautiful sights all around, including pelicans and other wildlife. You could also head out to a Marina not far away from here to see many boats. 

Also, heading out towards the Wahoo Stadium would expose you to an expanse of clear water where you could cruise on your kayak without doing much paddling.

Best Places to Kayak in Pensacola

Big Sabine Bay

Getting to this place alone is enough adventure on its own as this Bay isn’t as accessible as many others. Because of this, you would have to trek for a while and exercise those leg muscles. However, the trek isn’t without its own reward as you would be offered the best of the Pensacola Bay here. Well, you could catch a ride or a boat too if you don’t want to do a lot of trekking.

Close around is the Santa Rosa Island, which is mostly a salt marsh. Also, there are some creeks that are worthy of exploring on the island. Apart from the creeks, these salt marshes are an abode for many enticing wildlife creatures. 

Flying in the air above you are herons, ospreys, gulls, owls, and eagles. Below you in the water are crabs, killifish, sea horses, flounders, redfish, mullet, sea turtles, and if you are lucky, sharks. The flora here is not to be bested by the fauna as you would find dunes with cactuses, oak trees, and rosemary all around.


Pensacola Beach ‘Soundside’

The best thing about this place is that you would be paddling on a seemingly endless expanse of the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The ocean is always friendly and welcoming, effectively encouraging recreational kayaking.

Astonishing sight and sceneries would gladly play out around you the farther you kayak. But you must be careful to go along with a map as you wouldn’t want to get lost out on the ocean. 

Another great thing about this place is that you could rent yourself a kayak if you didn’t have any. The kayaks are rented out at really little charges.


Bayou Texar /17th Avenue Wayside Park

There are two really great places to launch here alone; the boat launch close to Pensacola Graffiti Bridge and the other close to Marina Oyster Barn. Launching from the former would give you expose you to the best Pensacola Bay has to offer. North of here, you would get to see the famous Twelfth Avenue Bridge and other interesting sights around. 

Going south instead would lead you to a place where you would get to see many delightful pelicans around. They always make a great sight to see. However, if you choose to visit the boat launch that is close to Marina Oyster Barn, you are going to sight really beautiful homes and structures that were strategically built to complement the beauty of the water.

Furthermore, there are also great sights and sceneries that wedge themselves in between the two boat launches. But be warned that the water around the Twelfth Avenue Bridge could be very shallow at times so you should about getting stuck.


Wrapping it All Up

As I mentioned earlier, almost all the water bodies at Pensacola are great for kayaking but these few that I listed are a few of the best. However, you could still visit other places if it suits you and I’m sure you would still have a great time. Isn’t that what matters the most?