Perdido Key Guide: Welcome First-timers to Florida’s Panhandle
Looking for a quiet vacation spot without beach crowds? Welcome to Perdido Key. This town sits on a narrow strip of beaches in the northwest tip of the Florida Panhandle that measures 16 miles. Visitors come here to avoid more tourist-heavy beach destinations and reconnect with nature. Keep reading this Perdido Key guide to learn more and plan a vacation soon.
Perdido Key Guide: What First-timers Need to Know
Getting to Perdido Key
This barrier island sits between Pensacola, Florida, and Orange Beach, Alabama, along the Gulf of Mexico’s coast. Visitors who drive will find an easy road trip option. Cities within an eight-hour drive include Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Jacksonville, Florida.
Those who prefer to fly and rent a car should book flights to Pensacola International Airport (PNS), which is a 30-minute drive. If traveling in a vehicle, two main interstates offer access to the island: I-10 and I-65. Once on the island, visitors are welcome to drive or bike around the area.
Types of Accommodations
Perdido Key offers a blend of hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, high-rise condo complexes and vacation homes. In addition, there are campgrounds and RV parks.
Many guests prefer to stay in a private vacation rental. The area has homes in all sizes for various budgets. Some condos are located in resorts with pools and golf courses. Others sit directly on the beach, have private pools or large backyards perfect for entertaining. No matter the type of home, guests are sure to enjoy the view. View vacation rentals in Perdido Key.
The island’s location offers easy access to big-city attractions. However, most come to Perdido Key to enjoy pristine beaches and laid-back vibes. The area is home to several parks, including Gulf Islands National Seashore and Big Lagoon State Park. Each offer different ecosystems ideal for boating, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Read about the best things to do in Perdido Key.
When not in the water or on the beach, visitors enjoy riding bicycles, learning about the Blue Angels, hiking, shopping and attending local events. A few festivals in Perdido Key include Blue Angels Air Shows, Marlin competitions and food festivals.
Golf is also big in the area. Players enjoy access to two well reviewed courses that offer different games. For example, Lost Key Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer design, offers a par 71 and Gulf Coast vibes. Perdido Bay Golf and Country Club offers a links-style course redesigned by Bill Bergin.
Perdido Key Guide to Nearby Attractions
In addition, those vacationing in Perdido Key can easily access attractions in Pensacola and Gulf Shores-Orange Beach. Pensacola is home to the National Naval Aviation Museum, art and science museums, Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum, baseball stadium, and go-kart tracks.
In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, about 30 minutes west, visitors will find more things to do. Examples include Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, Waterville USA, The Wharf entertainment center, mini-golf, an amusement park and even more beaches.
Where to Eat
When visiting Florida, eating seafood is a must. Many area restaurants serve fresh catches and local spins on traditional favorites. Fishman’s Corner, Louisiana Lagniapee, Flora-Bama and Sunset Grille all serve fresh seafood. The Jellyfish is a must for sushi.
Not into fish? No problem. Guests will enjoy pizza at Lillian’s, barbecue at Butch’s Bistro, and burgers at Islander Food Shack and Hub Stacey’s. Additionally, there are pubs, sports bars and waterfront dining options.