Things to Do in Navarre Beach, FL: Beach Lovers, Families & More!

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  7. Things to Do in Navarre Beach, FL: Beach Lovers, Families & More!

Dreaming of a Florida beach vacation where soft white sand, clear emerald waters, and a relaxed vibe are the main attractions? Look no further than Navarre Beach, Florida. This “best-kept secret” offers everything for sun-soaked days, water adventures, and family-friendly discoveries – all with fewer crowds than some of its more bustling neighbors. Whether you picture yourself snorkeling, spotting dolphins, or exploring nearby history, let’s dive into all the best things to do in Navarre Beach!

Outdoor Things to Do in Navarre Beach & Water Adventures

Navarre Beach is a haven for beach lovers and water enthusiasts! Here’s how to make the most of its pristine shoreline and sparkling waters:

  • Activity Type: Swimming, sunbathing, beachcombing, volleyball
  • Location: The heart of Navarre Beach!
  • What to Bring: Beach towel, sunscreen, snacks, volleyball (optional)
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Miles of white sand, gentle waves, less crowded than many Florida beaches
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, but summer brings the warmest water
  • Activity Type: Snorkeling, exploring artificial reefs
  • Location: Offshore from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Snorkel gear, underwater camera (optional)
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Discover diverse marine life without venturing far from shore
  • Best Time to Visit: Calm, clear water days offer the best visibility

Kayaking & Paddleboarding

  • Activity Type: Water sports, exploring the shoreline
  • Location: Rentals available on Navarre Beach and in the Santa Rosa Sound
  • What to Bring: Lifejacket, water, hat, sunscreen
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Explore at your own pace, spot wildlife in calmer waters
  • Best Time to Visit: Mornings often have calmer conditions, summer offers warmer weather

Dolphin Watching

  • Activity Type: Wildlife spotting
  • Location: From the beach, pier, or a dolphin cruise
  • What to Bring: Binoculars, camera, patience
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Chance to see playful dolphins in their natural habitat
  • Best Time to Visit: Dolphin tours know the best spots, but they can be seen anytime

Family Fun in Navarre Beach

Families will find plenty to love in Navarre Beach, from splashing in the waves to encountering fascinating sea creatures. Here are a few spots sure to delight the whole crew:

  • Activity Type: Fishing, sightseeing, sunset watching
  • Location: Heart of Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Fishing gear (rentals available), camera, snacks
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Iconic pier experience, fun for all ages
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, sunsets are extra special!
  • Activity Type: Interactive exhibits, sea turtle education
  • Location: Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Curiosity and love of marine life
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Learn about sea turtles and conservation efforts
  • Best Time to Visit: Open year-round, check for special events

Gulf Breeze Zoo

  • Activity Type: Zoo, animal encounters, train rides, water play area
  • Location: Short drive from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Sunscreen, hats, comfy shoes, water bottles
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Animal-filled adventure, especially great for younger kids
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring or fall for milder weather

Exploring Navarre Beyond the Beach

Discover More: Day Trips from Navarre Beach

While Navarre Beach itself could easily fill your vacation days, these nearby attractions offer exciting options for expanding your adventures:

Fort Pickens (Gulf Islands National Seashore)

  • Activity Type: Historic site exploration, beach access
  • Location: Gulf Islands National Seashore, short drive from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Comfortable shoes, water, sunscreen, flashlight for tunnel exploration
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Immerse yourself in history, discover military forts, enjoy beautiful beaches less crowded than Navarre’s main stretch
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, but spring and fall offer milder temperatures

Pensacola Beach

  • Activity Type: Beach town, boardwalk, amusement rides, dining options
  • Location: Short drive from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Beach gear, spending money for attractions, appetite for diverse restaurants
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Experience a more developed beach scene, especially appealing if you crave nightlife or kid-focused attractions
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer for peak beach weather, shoulder seasons for smaller crowds
  • Activity Type: Educational exhibits, touch tanks, marine life programs
  • Location: Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Curiosity, kids who love hands-on learning
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Learn about marine conservation and Gulf Coast ecosystems, often have public programs with a family-friendly focus
  • Best Time to Visit: Check their schedule for special events, a good rainy day option too

Where to Eat in Navarre Beach

Taste the Bounty: Navarre Beach Restaurants

After all those beach adventures, you’ll have worked up an appetite! Here’s where to find delicious eats in Navarre Beach:

Andy D’s Beachside Restaurant & Deck Bar

  • Type: Beachfront dining, fresh seafood, lively atmosphere
  • Location: Directly on Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Appetite for seafood, camera for sunset views, casual beach vibes
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Savor fresh Gulf Coast flavors paired with stunning oceanfront views. A quintessential Navarre Beach dining experience.
  • Best Time to Visit: Go for sunset to make it extra special!

Sailors’ Grill

  • Type: Casual beachfront dining, American classics, local favorite
  • Location: On Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Laid-back attitude, readiness for comfort food after beach time
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Discover a local hangout known for satisfying breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with a side of beachy charm.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime you’re craving unfussy yet delicious food after a day exploring.

Where to Stay in Navarre Beach

Find Your Perfect Retreat: Navarre Beach Accommodations

Navarre Beach offers a range of accommodations to suit your style and preferences. Here’s a look at your options:

Beachfront Resorts and Hotels

  • Type: Resort experience, amenities, direct beach access
  • Location: Directly on Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Sunscreen, swimsuit, readiness to relax!
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Enjoy pools, on-site dining, and steps-from-the-sand convenience. Perfect for those seeking a hassle-free beach vacation.
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, but book early for peak season!

Cozy Vacation Rentals

  • Type: Home-away-from-home, flexibility, perfect for groups
  • Location: Varied throughout Navarre Beach and nearby areas
  • What to Bring: Groceries if utilizing kitchens, beach gear
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Ideal for families, those wanting more space, or longer stays. Experience the local lifestyle at your own pace.
  • Best Time to Visit: Shoulder seasons can offer better deals on rentals


  • Type: Camping, outdoor adventure, nature immersion
  • Location: Within the Gulf Islands National Seashore
  • What to Bring: Camping gear, an adventurous spirit
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Connect with nature and enjoy Navarre Beach’s pristine environment. Budget-friendly option for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and fall offer milder weather for camping

Tips for Choosing Your Accommodation

  • Prioritize location: Beachfront, walkable to town, or secluded?
  • Consider amenities: Which matter most to you – pools, kitchens, pet-friendly, etc.?
  • Book early: Especially during summer, popular places fill up fast!
  • Resources: Websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and the Navarre Beach Tourism Association can aid your search.

Even More to Explore: Nearby Places to Visit

Expand Your Adventures: Day Trips from Navarre Beach

While there’s plenty to keep you busy in Navarre Beach, consider these worthwhile day trips to expand your Florida experience:


  • Activity Type: Beach town, family attractions, shopping, dining
  • Location: Approximately a 30-45 minute drive from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Beach gear, spending money for attractions and shopping, sunscreen
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Experience a bustling beach destination with waterparks, outlet malls, a lively harbor, and diverse restaurants.
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer for the full beach experience, shoulder seasons for smaller crowds

Fort Walton Beach

  • Activity Type: Beachside relaxation, family attractions, diverse dining
  • Location: About a 20-30 minute drive from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Beach gear, curiosity for marine life encounters, appetite for a range of restaurants
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Attracts families with the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, offers a balance between beach time and varied things to do.
  • Best Time to Visit: Like Navarre Beach, summer is prime beach season


  • Activity Type: City exploration, museums, history, shopping
  • Location: About a 30-45 minute drive from Navarre Beach
  • What to Bring: Comfortable walking shoes, camera, interest in history
  • Why It’s a Must-Visit: Discover a larger city with a historic downtown, fascinating museums like the National Naval Aviation Museum, and a diverse range of restaurants and shops.
  • Best Time to Visit: Pensacola is enjoyable year-round, with festivals in various seasons

Getting to Navarre Beach & Transportation Tips

Getting to Navarre Beach

  • By Car: Navarre Beach is easily accessible by car, offering a scenic drive along the Gulf Coast. If traveling from further away, consider starting your road trip in a major southeastern city like Atlanta or New Orleans.
  • By Air: The nearest airports are Pensacola International Airport (PNS) and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS). From either airport, you can rent a car, arrange an airport shuttle, or connect to ride-sharing services to reach Navarre Beach.
  • By Bus: Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) offers bus service to Pensacola Beach. From there, you can explore options like taxis, water taxis, or rental cars to complete the journey to Navarre Beach depending on the season and your budget. Visit the ECAT website for schedules and fares:

Getting around Navarre Beach

  • By Car: A rental car provides the most flexibility for exploring Navarre Beach and its surroundings. Check popular companies like Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis.
  • By Taxi/Ride-share: Services like Uber and Lyft operate in the Navarre Beach area.
  • On Foot: The core of Navarre Beach is walkable, allowing you to explore shops, restaurants, and the waterfront easily. Consider packing comfortable walking shoes.

You’ve found your Florida escape! Navarre Beach delivers those laid-back beach days, exciting water adventures, and family-friendly fun – perfect for those seeking a break from the crowds. Its pristine beaches, relaxed atmosphere, and variety of things to do will have you falling in love with this coastal gem. Ready to make those beach vacation dreams a reality? Start planning your Navarre Beach getaway today! For more information, helpful resources, and to book your dream stay, visit the Navarre Beach Department.