Biking Pensacola Beach
One of our favorite ways to explore beautiful Pensacola Beach is on two wheels.
Lucky for you, we’ve got the wheels … if you’ve got the inclination to hop on and go wherever the day takes you.
Just pop by our Front Desk to check out a beach cruiser – a type of bicycle made specifically for lazy rides along the wide sidewalk that’s perfect for single riders, couples or families.
From our beachfront hotel, you can turn right toward the western tip of the island for a lovely jaunt that could take you all the way into Fort Pickens (for as long as a 20-mile round trip) or to the last parking lot on the public beach (which is 5 miles there and back).
However far you choose to ride, there’s plenty to stop and see along the way.
Heading west from the Surf and Sand, you’ll pass one of our favorite restaurants. Peg Leg Pete’s is a local spot that can get quite crowded in the summer. Stop into the “Under Where Bar” below the main dining room for a quick drink, or let the kids play in the sand playground before you head back on your merry way.
Next on your route, you’ll pass the Island Cross, a 10-foot cross said to commemorate the first Christian mass ever held in the United States. Both the cross and the dune upon which it stands have survived many a natural disaster, including Hurricane Ivan, which rattled this beachside community in 2004.
It’s a serene ride, on a wide paved path that can accommodate the many cyclists, walkers and runners who are sure to be out enjoying the exercise and scenery.
You could also choose to turn left, heading east on the island beyond the boardwalk (where there are traffic lights and safe crossings) to pedal along Via de Luna Drive.
If you go this route, you’ll find …
Red Fish Blue Fish, a wonderful outdoor eatery where kids can run free and play lawn games at the ‘best backyard on the beach,’ a perfect spot for sunset seekers.
There are also many quieter beaches down this way, both on the Santa Rosa Sound and Gulf side. In fact, if you make it all the way to the end (about 5 miles) you’ll reach Gulf Islands National Seashore, a stretch of pristine beach beyond the buildings.
Locals make beach cruising an art form, taking their time to stop anywhere the wind blows … whether for a dip or a drink, a cheerful conversation with a new friend or a moment of reflection.
We can’t wait to hear about your beach cruising adventures.
– Ashley Kahn Salley
Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels