While the beaches are beautiful, they can be dangerous if not aware of the tides and undertow. I feel that is the most important thing I can share with vacationers. Having lived here all my life I know of the dangers. If visiting Pensacola Beach please be aware of the Flags posted on the beach and of the sign at the toll bridge that indicates bad surf. Every year there are several drownings due to lack of knowledge of the dangers. The beaches here are beautiful and white. Please enjoy it but be cafeful and be safe.
Below is a web sight that tells about the flags posted and what they indicate.
Be advised, shark attacks are extremely common, especially at the beaches on Santa Rosa Island. These attacks have been known to occur in knee deep water. You may think I'm exaggerating the shark dangers, but just a week after we were there, we heard several stories on the news of several shark attacks on the same beach that we were swimming. Maybe we didn't see any because of the enormous crowd since it was Spring Break. This shows though that sharks are a very real danger, so swim at your own risk.
Some safety tips is to swim with your shirt on, as sharks can mistake the flickering light on the skin for edible fish. If you do encounter a shark right next to you try to stay as still as you can and not make too much movement, and wait for it to swim off. Sharks are actually misunderstood creatures, and most shark attacks happend because of confusion, and a lot of shark attacks are the fault of the person and not the shark. You can tell if a shark is getting territorial if it lowers its pectoral fins. If you see a shark in the distance, slowly get out of the water. If the shark gets too close and starts getting aggresive, go for its sensative spots. the nose and the eyes. And if you're paranoid, swim with a knife or just stay out of the water completely. Also try to stay in crowds of people. Sharks are more likely to attack individuals then crowds of people. Also try not to uriniate in the water, as that can also attract sharks. And if for some reason you're bleeding, get out and tell those around you to get out of the water immidiately. Remember sharks are an important part of the marine enviorment, and do more good then harm. If you listen to these safety tips, you should have a safe day at the beach.
pensacola is located in an area which is prone to summer hurricanes. the town of pensacola was destroyed twice in 1559 and 1722 by gulf of mexico hurricanes. in recent times pensacola has been hit by hurricane eloise 1975, frederic 1979, juan 1985, erin 1995, opal 1995, georges 1998, ivan 2004, and dennis 2005. today you can still see the devastation of hurricane ivan in nearby nararre beach. there is usually a three day warning of a hurricane land fall. when the authorities announce an evacuation leave the area immediately. the exit roads become jam packed with traffic, gas stations run out of gas, and you may have to drive 100 miles to find a hotel room.
If you are military and will be stationed here, consider calling the police department for crime stats for the neighborhood you want to move. After all the hurricaines many homeless people came here looking for jobs and when all the contractors left, the homeless stayed behind. Every stoplight and intersection has at least 3 people begging for money. Try to stay away from Warrington, Mobile Hwy, Pace St. and Cervanties St, there are a lot of gangs, prostitution and drug dealing neighborhoods. If you want to rent, try to stay away from apartments that cost less than $625 a month, they are usually the one's that accept HUD and do no criminal background check, so there is no way to know what kind of people you have next door. Also consider checking out the sex offender's registery in your area. In my area I had over 400 registered alone. And one more thing, be prepared to pay high gas prices during the summer when hurricaines are "expected" to come.
This is a great day to enjoy the beach and not have to worry about the tides. It can be so nice when the water is calm. It is also nice when you are luckly enough to be there when there are gentle waves in which you can ride upon. Just remember to be careful and it is a good idea not to swim alone.
It's almost unheard of, but, shark attacks do happen. Not long after one of our visits, a young man suffered a most unusual attack by a shark. The shark came in close to the beach and took one of the boys arms off. The shark was small and was captured right then and the boys arm was saved. I followed the report in the news but never heard if all turned out well or not. The point is, there are many places to swim on Santa Rosa Island but not all of them have protection for swimmers. Check things out with the Visitors Center on Santa Rosa Island.
Since the September 11 attacks on America security is of prime interest. The first time we visited the Museum all we saw at the gate at the Air Station was one guard. The second time was quite different. Armed guards. Barracades. We had to stop to be questioned. At first I was surprized. I shouldn't have been. I, like most Americans, have always been safe from attack from foreign forces. Not so anymore.
The guards there were friendly and understanding of our surprize and we tried to be helpful to them as well. I hope when you visit things are more open and free. As America has always been.
If you go to McGuire's, be careful of the signs on the restroom doors. Read carefully, they may not be as clear as you think. The sign will say Men's (or Ladies) and actually point to the other door. It was hilarious watching people go into the wrong bathrooms and coming out all confused. Fortunately no one took offence. I didn't get caught out but had to direct a few men out of the ladies with very red faces.
When driving through Gulf Breeze, the only way to access the beaches from downtown Pensacola, do not speed on the bridges or through the city. The travel time will not be long unless you are hassled by one of the many Gulf Breeze police who love to write tickets.
Pensacola is blessed with a plethora of lunch eatries, many of which will not drain your wallet.
FLOUNDER'S CHOWDER HOUSE at the most beutiful and unusual restaurant in town. The house specialty, fresh seafood charbroiled to perfection over flaming hardwood fires, will bring you back again and again.
You will enjoy the waterfront view of beautiful Santa Rosa Sound from Flounder's Beach, a Key West-style Beach Bar featuring the world's finest beach bands'neath the moon and the stars.
Food are Certified Angus Beef, heavily fat marbled, slow smoked over hickory wood fires outdoor smoke house.Beer Battered Fried Oysters and Sauted Scampi Style Crab Claws served with Hushpuppies, choice of Salad or Seafood Chowder, Potato and Fresh Whole Wheat Loaf.
Only the Best of the Golf Coast Award won by Flounder's in the Pensacola News Journal's Annual Polls.
Enjoy outdoor Waterfront Dining at Flounder's Chowder House!