Florida 399, Gulf Breeze, FL, USA
8am - sunset
swim, fun-paid-activities, water-activities
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Opal Beach offers emerald coast waters and magnificent white beaches!
Beautiful Opal Beach is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. It is situated in the Florida Panhandle between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach. Known for its white-sand beaches and emerald waters, this area is a travel destination that is gaining in popularity.
From Navarre, start your journey driving west on Hwy 399 toward Pensacola Beach. Cruise a lonely stretch of road where you’re surrounded by sugar-white sand dunes and wind-blown sea oats. Opal Beach is the real stunner but the drive to reach it is a treat on its own.
Entrance fees are required and collected at most areas of Gulf Islands National Seashore and Opal Beach is no different. There is a ranger station as you enter Opal Beach with an attendant on duty during the summer months and weekends. If no attendant is on duty you may pay using the honor system at the self-registration kiosk. Grab an envelope, put your money in (cash or check only), tear off the receipt, and place it on the dashboard of your vehicle. If you have a National Park annual pass or a Gulf Island National Seashore entrance pass already, you may leave that on the dashboard as well. Up-to-date fee information can be located on the park’s website.
This day-use beach offers numerous public restrooms, outdoor showers, as well as picnic shelters. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. There are five groups of buildings, labeled A through E, with each group having one restroom and four picnic pavilions with tables. While most pavilions and tables are first come first served, Groups A and E require a reservation. If interested in reserving these sites for a large group you can call (850) 934-2605 or visit the National Park Service’s website for details. There are no trash cans located on Opal Beach so you must take your trash with you. A favorite local motto is “leave only your footprints.” Glass containers and pets are not allowed on the beaches.
There are also three other beach parking lots within the Santa Rosa Area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore that are free to use, but they do not offer facilities. Be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen to protect you from the hot Florida sun. Also, consider bringing life jackets to ensure that all little ones swim safely.