by Revati Tamboli Updated on 14 Nov 2018
Tucked in the Fairpoint Peninsula, the Gulf Breeze is a waterfront suburb of the Santa Rosa County. Thriving along the Pensacola Bay, the Gulf Breeze, as the name suggests, is surrounded by three significant water bodies. The eastern side of the suburb is equipped by the Naval Live Oaks Reservation, resulting in rapid population increase along the U.S. Highway 98. From exploring taking a stroll along the Gulf Islands National Sea Shore to relax on the public beach with glistening quartz sand –the recreational opportunities are many.
Let's explore the best things to do in Gulf Breeze:
1. Nature Getaway at Naval Live Oaks Nature Preserve
Naval Live Oaks Nature Park is a nature preserve in the city of Gulf Breeze with hiking trails spanning about 7.5 miles through the coastal habitats. Enlisted in the US National Register of Historic Places, the park sprawls over 1300 acres with a visitor’s center, public beach area and picnic area containing a roofed picnic pavilion with numerous picnic tables.
The trail from the picnic area will take you to a bluff offering panorama of the Pensacola Bay. Enjoy swimming, kayaking and padlle boarding in the shallow water areas. It offers free entrance and basic amenities like restrooms and parking lots. The park is opened throughout the year and is an apt destination for sighting birds like pelicans, herons, egrets, osprey and many more.
2. Visit Iron Gargoyle Antique Mall
Iron Gargoyle Antique Mall is one of the best places to visit in Gulf Breeze for purchasing or browsing through antique items. This antique store with an area of 12,000 square feet stores many used and vintage items like Depression glass, fishing equipment, old tools, barn wood, fireplace mantles, mid-century pieces of frames and flatware, Porcelain cutlery and crockery and many more. The store is opened in all 7 days of the week except some major public holidays.
3. Enjoy Relaxing in Shoreline Park
Shoreline Park is a waterfront park that features a public dock for a boat launch, a swimming area, and shoreline fishing spots. One of the best features of the park is that it has a separate dog park where you can take your pet out for a stroll through the live Oak plantation. Enjoy fishing from the pier or from the shore, enjoy a picnic or go out for swimming –the choice is yours.
The Shoreline Park North is also equipped with basic amenities of restrooms and a vast parking lot. Other prominent features of the park include:
- 2 Dual Gymnasiums,
- 250 seat auditorium,
- 2 multi-purpose rooms,
- 6 Lighted Baseball fields,
- 1 Lighted soccer fields,
- 8 Lighted tennis courts,
- 2 Sand Beach Volleyball Courts,
- Skate Park and
- 18-hole Disc Golf Course
4. Wildlife viewing at Gulf Breeze Zoo
The 50 acre Gulf Breeze Zoo is a popular tourist attraction in Gulf Breeze that features a 30-acre preserve for free roaming through a guided train ride and the rest 20-acre dedicated to walking exhibits. The walking exhibit area showcases various wild animals like marsupials, tortoises, tigers, lions, bears and many exotic birds like Ostriches, Macaws, Rheas, Emus, Owls, Flamingos, Toucan and Peafowls.
Explore the petting and feeding area, giraffe and parakeet enclosures, camel, otter, Red River Hogs and Alligator exhibits and Primate Exhibit with Golden Headed Lion Tamarins, Gibbons, Lemurs and more. You can also take a train ride where you can get close-up sightings of Nile hippos, gorillas, antelope, deer and rhinoceros in guided tours of 20 minutes. View Antelope, Capybara, Kudu and Gorilla from the extended boardwalk.
5. Enjoy snorkeling at Deadman’s Island
Deadman’s Island is a small island with sandy beaches which offers you multiple recreations like fishing, snorkelling and kayaking. It is a place where you can catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins which makes it one of major points of interest in Gulf breeze. The site also consists of artificial oyster reefs which make snorkelling enjoyable. You can reach this beautiful island from woodland park and Gulf Breeze Boat lunch.
6. Shop at Gulf Breeze Flea Market
The Flea Market is a 45 acre area with numerous vendors selling thousands of items on every Saturday and Sunday. From new to used goods, rare to necessary items and those which are hard to buy –you will find everything here under one roof. Enjoy free admission, free parking and accessible paved walkways along with the pet-friendly area where you can carry your pet or put in a stroller. For gastronomy, there is the Hot Dog Shack that lets you have food while sitting down.
7. Take a sip in Rollins Distillery
Rollins Distillery is one of the famous places to visit in Gulf Breeze as it offers guided tours to know about its meticulously crafted vodka and rum. This small distillery at the Midway Plaza also offers you free sample tasting of its produce and if you are satisfied you can even purchase bottles of vodka and rum right there. During the tour, you would be made aware of the distillation process of its products while also learn the bartending basics with your favourite spirits and liquors. All the products are 100% distilled from Florida Molasses and hence, the taste is magnificent.
8. Play golf at Tiger Point Golf Club
Tiger Point Golf Club is opened daily from 7 am to 6 pm with a nice restaurant on the site by the scenic shores of the Santa Rosa Sound. The golf club organizes several golfing tournaments and is a perfect blend of challenge and recreation while cherishing the coastal view from the coastal golf course. It also features practice facilities with putting and chipping green areas where beginners can learn golf in a private atmosphere. There is also a gift shop selling equipment, accessories, and apparels from top manufactures, golf lessons, clinic, and the Sunset Grille.
9. Enjoy seafood at restaurants of Gulf breeze
The city has numerous restaurants like Dave’s Oyster Bar and Grill, La Brisa Restaurant and Aegean Breeze which are famous for sea food delicacies. While Aegean Breeze specializes in Mediterranean and Greek sea food, La Brisa Restaurant specializes in American sea food. Dave’s Oyster Bar is famous foods like Baked Oysters, Soft Shell Crab, Clam Chowder, Red Fish, Tuna Dip and more.
10. Check out the Pensacola Beach Sign
Pensacola Beach sign is a historic landmark in the city of Gulf breeze that points the way to the Pensacola Beach and Bob Sikes Bridge. It is a colourful sign featuring a yellow, green and orange finned sailfish on both sides. This sign has been featured regularly for the promotion of Pensacola tourism and is a prominent point of interest in Gulf breeze since decades.