One of my favorite things about living in Pensacola is being close to the beach. As a child I spent every summer at my grandmother’s, playing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the Clearwater / St. Pete Beach area of Florida. The beach has long been my happy place. It’s where my soul goes to renew and relax. So of course when we first moved here, I asked everyone I knew where to find the best beach closest to my house. Everyone, and I mean everyone told me I had to go to Johnson’s Beach. Of course this left me confused? What was Johnson’s Beach? Where was Johnson’s Beach? So I did some researched and found that Johnson’s Beach is part of the Perdido Key area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Gulf Islands National Seashore includes 12 areas and stretches 160 miles from Cat Island, Mississippi to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. These areas include forts, beaches, picnic areas, trails, campgrounds and Johnson’s Beach in the Perdido Key area. Parts of the National Seashore are free of charge and parts of it you have to pay to enter like most national parks. We purchased an annual pass for one year for $30. You can purchase a visitors pass for $15 and it’s valid for seven days. There are also other passes you can purchase if you are planning trips to other national parks. You can learn more about the prices, which areas require a pass and purchase your pass here.
After being here a month and visiting Johnson’s Beach weekly, I can say that all of my friends were right. It’s the BEST place closest to my house to play on the beach. I love it for so many reasons but the main reason is, it’s not as crowded as most public access areas of the beach and there is lots of room to spread out, have fun and enjoy a day or even just an hour at the beach.
BTW, you should read this great article on how Johnson’s Beach got it’s name!
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