Gorgeous views await at the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, where you’re welcome to stroll casually or try your hand at fishing. Either way, you’ll enjoy the beautiful scenery and the Gulf breeze.
Best known as a fishing destination, the pier accommodates anglers of all ages and all skill levels. It stretches an incredible 1,470 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, ensuring that you and your fellow visitors have plenty of space. At the end of the pier, you’ll find a wide platform — perfect for getting a taste of deep sea fishing. With depths reaching up to 20 feet, you’re sure to eventually score a great catch. Species vary based on the time of year and even the time of day, but Spanish mackerel, flounder, whitefish, and cobia are common.
Don’t worry if you don’t already have fishing gear; you’ll find everything you need at the onsite bait and tackle shop. The shop’s pleasant staff members are always happy to update you on the day’s conditions and let you know which fish are biting.
Not interested in fishing? Not a problem — simply walking the pier is enjoyable. While a small fee is assessed for non-fishing visitors, it’s definitely worth the charge. This fee prevents the pier from feeling overly crowded and helps to ensure that it remains well-maintained. Regular visitors can take advantage of annual walking passes.
No matter how often you stop by or how far you walk, you’ll love the expansive views. The pier is particularly gorgeous at sunrise and sunset. You’ll also enjoy observing anglers as they land exciting catches. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot dolphins, sea turtles, or other marine animals. Several signs warn that feeding these animals is strictly prohibited.
Set aside some time during your stroll to grab a bench and take it all in. A slower way of life dominates at the pier, where those who avoid rushing are able to enjoy the best views and the ultimate in relaxation.
If you intend to spend several hours at the pier, be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Even locals are surprised by how quickly they can become sunburned and dehydrated. Unfortunately, unlike some Emerald Coast piers, no restroom is offered beyond the shore. Restrooms and changing facilities are, however, available on the beach. Plan accordingly if you’d like to avoid a long walk before you’re actually ready to return to shore.
-The Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier maintains separate charges for fishers and spectators. As an angler, your increased fee allows you to avoid the hassle of obtaining your Florida fishing license in advance — a definite perk for vacationers or locals who don’t fish on a regular basis.
-The pier regularly hosts fishing tournaments and other special events, but often neglects to provide updates on its Facebook page or website. When in doubt, call or ask the bait and tackle shop staff in person to inquire about upcoming events. The cobia tournament is arguably the most anticipated event, with considerable winnings granted to those who catch the first, second, or third largest cobia.
-Although the vast pier offers plenty of space for walkers and anglers alike, it can sometimes grow crowded during the afternoon. For your best chance at a peaceful catch or a solitary stroll, plan to show up promptly when the pier opens — bright and early at 6 am.