When it comes to enjoying the beauty of Pensacola Beach’s bayside, the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and the beautiful Big Sabine Bay, there’s no better way to experience them than by renting a pontoon boat. A boat can get you to some beautiful places accessible primarily by boat.
Pontoon boats have spacious decks, comfortable seating, and versatility, offering an incredible opportunity to explore the waterways at your own pace. In this article, I’d like to share six ideas of places to explore when renting a pontoon boat on Pensacola Beach.
1. Discover Big Sabine Bay
Just east of Portofino on Pensacola Beach is a beautiful stretch of undeveloped coastline ready for exploring. Renting a pontoon boat allows you to chart your course and discover Big Sabine Bay and the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which has miles of beach stretching between Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach.
If you bring a kayak or paddleboard, you can explore Big Sabine Bay’s shallow estuary and canals. Or pull up and anchor at the beach, enjoy uncrowded beaches, and go for a refreshing swim.
2. Explore Gulf Islands National Seashore
One of the most breathtaking natural wonders along the Gulf Coast is the Gulf Islands National Seashore. I’ve already mentioned the area between Pensacola Beach and Navarre. Still, the natural area continues west of Pensacola Beach to Fort Pickens and east of Perdido Key. If you like to get away from the crowds and enjoy endless beaches, then a pontoon boat can get you to some amazing places to drop, anchor, and enjoy the day.
3. Take a Self-Guided Dolphin Tours
One of the most exciting experiences you can have while boating in Pensacola Beach is encountering dolphins in their natural habitat. With a pontoon boat rental, you can embark on your self-guided dolphin tour. Cruising along the Intracoastal Waterway in Santa Rosa Sound or Pensacola Bay, you’ll have the chance to spot these magnificent creatures leaping and playing in the waves. I’ve spent much of my life in powered and human-powered boats, and it’s always a thrill to see dolphins swimming by.
4. Take a Self-guided Fishing Adventures
For those who enjoy angling, renting a pontoon boat opens up fishing opportunities. The Pensacola Bay Area boasts an abundance of game fish, including redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and more. Grab your fishing gear, hop aboard your rented pontoon boat, and set off fishing in the pristine waters for a day. With ample space on the deck, you can comfortably cast your lines and reel in your catch of the day while enjoying the peaceful serenity of the open water.
5. Embark on History at Visit Deadman’s Island
Deadman’s Island is one of the popular self-guided kayaking tours we offer, but this Island is also accessible by boat. Did you know the University of West Florida discovered historic ships and artifacts in Pensacola Bay, and Deadman’s Island is one of those locations? Deadman’s Island has been a popular place for locals and awaits you to explore. Deadman’s Island is a great place to swim, snorkel or relax in the coastal breeze.
6. Go Camping in Paradise
If you are looking for a unique adventure, have you considered camping along the shoreline? You can pull up many places; even in some areas, you can pitch a tent along the coastline. Imagine waking up to the coastal sounds right outside your tent. Here are a few spots in the Pensacola Bay area you can do just that.
- Big Sabine Bay – there is a small primitive camping area at Big Sabine Bay. This campsite is along the Florida National Scenic Trail.
- Deadman’s Island – just off Gulf Breeze, there is a small uncrowded Island where you can pitch a tent.
- Sand Island – Boat in backcountry camping is allowed in the Gulf Islands National Seashore on the east end of Perdido Key. You can get all the details here. This area is beautiful and popular with the locals.
What are you waiting for? With a small boat, you can have an amazing experience exploring the coastline of Pensacola Beach and have freedom, adventure, and relaxation in one unforgettable journey. From exploring the enchanting Big Sabine Bay to venturing out to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, you’ll discover hidden corners of paradise only accessible by boat. With the added thrill of self-guided dolphin tours and the excitement of fishing adventures, renting a pontoon boat opens up possibilities for nature enthusiasts and those seeking leisurely days on the water. So, grab your sunscreen, gather your friends or family, and set sail for an unforgettable adventure on a pontoon boat in Pensacola Beach.
About This Page
Outdoor Gulf Coast has compiled a list of area outfitters we feel you will have the best experience with on your next Gulf Coast Adventure. To ensure your tour is a safe and memorable experience, we have carefully curated a list of trusted outfitters in the Pensacola Bay Area.
Please note that the links provided on this page are affiliate links, connecting you directly to these reputable tour providers. The booking is handled through individual providers. Rest assured, these outfitters prioritize your safety and enjoyment, offering professional guides and well-maintained equipment to enhance your dolphin tour experience.
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