Navarre is a sleepy beach town, about a 40-minute drive east of Pensacola. If you’re wondering where exactly is Navarre, FL, we’ve got you covered. Located on the mainland of the Florida Panhandle, Navarre also extends onto a barrier island, using the Navarre Beach Causeway, called the Navarre Beach Marina Park. The city’s shores feature emerald waters and white sand that are characteristic of Gulf Coast beaches. In a most fitting fashion, many things to do here are focused on activities that take advantage of Navarre’s outdoor beauty and indigenous animals.
Read on to find out about the top 10 things you can do in Navarre, FL:
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1. Gulf Breeze Zoo
Located about a 10-minute drive west of Navarre is the Gulf Breeze Zoo, a 50-acre (20.2-hectare) zoo, perfect for all animal lovers. This zoo may be small compared to others, but it is well maintained and has a large variety of animals. The zoo has big cats, reptiles, savannah animals, birds, gorillas, rhinos, hippos, a petting area, and more.
The zoo’s closing hours vary, depending on the time of year, but it always opens at 9 am. From January to February, and from October to December, the zoo closes at 4 pm. And from March 1st to September 30th, the zoo closes at 5 pm. Admission prices vary greatly depending on the age of the guest, and what kind of pass is purchased. There are also discounts available for military members and groups, so consulting the ticket prices on the zoo’s website is a good idea. The zoo is host to many events, such as birthday parties, as well as Halloween and holiday season special events.
Gulf Breeze Zoo
Address: 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
Website: Gulf Breeze Zoo
2. Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 7 Hatchlings Emerging 6 Sea Turtles Surfing 5 Conch...Posted by Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center on Friday, 20 December 2013
Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center is located right off of Gulf Avenue when you get to Navarre Beach Marina Park’s barrier island. As its name suggests, the center specializes in the health of sea turtles, but they also are invested in the well-being of tortoises, crab, and other marine life. Guests have fun interacting with the variety of sea animals they would not normally get to see at a traditional zoo. The facility is especially great for children to learn about the importance of conservation and what humans can do to help and improve the lives of sea turtles and other marine life.
The facility is open from Tuesday through Friday, from 12 pm to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is 5 USD per person, military and seniors over the age of 65 are 4 USD.
Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center
Address: 8740 Gulf Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566
3. Panhandle Butterfly House
For a relaxing encounter with nature, the Panhandle Butterfly House is the place to go. This facility is home to native species of Florida butterflies that soar through the open exhibit, feeding on plants and colorful flowers. Caterpillars can also be seen as they venture on their journey from squishy little larvae to beautiful butterflies. The butterfly house is open from Thursdays to Saturdays, from 10 am to 3 pm, from May to August, and also holds a special event in October, to celebrate the migration of Monarch butterflies that occurs during that time.
Guided tours of the facility are available when scheduled 10 days in advance, for a minimum of 10 people. There is a minimum donation of 2 USD per person that is suggested when visiting the facility.
Panhandle Butterfly House
Address: 8581 Navarre Pkwy; Navarre, FL
Website: Panhandle Butterfly House
4. Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruise
See one of nature’s most graceful creatures in action, on an open-air catamaran, during the Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruise. This two-hour cruise will take you through the clear waters of the Gulf, while playful dolphins swim and leap beside you. Admission to the cruise starts at 27 USD for adults and 15 USD for children, ages 4 through 12. Children 3 years and younger have free admission. Cruises require at least 12 guests to set sail, so, should that requirement not be met, your cruise will be canceled or rescheduled.
Dolphin cruises take place in the morning, mid-day, and evening. The company also holds cruises that feature the Blue Angles air show, and 4th of July Fireworks shows. The catamaran has bathroom facilities, as well as a bar and food items for sale.
Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruise
Address: 400 Quietwater Beach Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
Website: Pensacola Beach Dolphin Cruise
5. Navarre Beach Marine Science Station
This fun science museum is located right off Gulf Boulevard when you arrive at Navarre Beach Marine Park. This former ranger station was turned into an environmental center in 2008 by some marine science students that wanted to help the community better learn about their environment, around them. Today, the center is the consistent host to thousands of students and regular community members that come to learn about Pensacola’s local marine life.
Guests can enjoy interactive activities that are also highly educational and inspiring. The center also hosts summer camps, birthdays, and guided beach tours. They have everything you need to enjoy some fascinating marine science.
Navarre Beach Marine Science Station
Address: 8638 Blue Heron Court, Navarre, FL 32566
Website: Navarre Beach Marine Science Station
6. Navarre Beach
Of course, one of the easiest and most versatile activities is to simply visit Navarre Beach, itself. The shore, with its dunes and white sand, makes for lovely scenery, along with the clear Gulf waters. Year after year, Navarre’s beaches are named among the best in the country and if you visit, you’ll see why. Guests are welcome to bring beach sports equipment with them, along with food and drinks. Just remember to clean up properly after yourselves. Take a right turn at Gulf Boulevard, after taking the Navarre Causeway to the barrier island, and the Navarre Beach Pier will be right on your left.
Navarre Beach Pier
Address: 8579 Gulf Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566
7. The Club at Hidden Creek
As one of the Panhandle’s best golf courses, the Club at Hidden Creek is a must for golf enthusiasts. The club features an 18 hole, par 72 course, that has been acclaimed by golf professionals. The course also features excellent dining at its Creekside Southern Grill, where it serves lunch, dinner, and brunch. Practice driving, chipping, and putting areas are also available. Rates to play on the course vary, depending on the time of day players want to attend, and also by the day of the week. So determining your schedule, and seeing how it compares with their online rates, is a good idea for those wanting to get in some world-class tee time, during their travels.
The Club at Hidden Creek
Address: 3070 P.G.A Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566
Website: The Club at Hidden Creek
8. Fly the Boat
Time for some high-flying fun with Fly the Boat. This unique attraction lets you, the guest, learn to fly the Weigh Shift Amphibious plane, over the Navarre shores. The Navarre Pier Flight is 99 USD per person, and the Opal Beach Flight is 149 USD per person. The Discovery Flight, which lets guests get an introductory lesson into flying the aircraft, is 299 USD per person. There are also special rates for large groups. Guests can also purchase a video or photos from the wing-mounted cameras if they so desire. These amazing views aren’t available anywhere else, so get them while you can!
Fly the Boat
Address: 8161 2nd St, Navarre, FL 32566
Website: Fly the Boat
9. Browse the gift and novelty shops in NavarreIf you love to browse around novelty shops and pick up gifts, you’ll enjoy Marlene’s Sea Shell City. Souvenirs are affordable and you’ll find postcards. The shop stocks shells, which the kids enjoy. There’s a range of unique items that may attract collectors, like sailboats and ships.
Then there’s Salt Water Cottage which is a cute boutique with jewelry and clothing items. You can also buy books and food items.
Sand Dollar Cottage also stocks interesting gifts, but you can also find local art here. You can pick up cards and novelty items like soap and candles.
Gift & novelty shops
Marlene’s Sea Shell City: 8771 Navarre Pkwy, Navarre, FL
Salt Water Cottage: 8470 Navarre Pkwy, Navarre, FL
Sand Dollar Cottage: 1900 Highway 87, Navarre, FL
10. Take a day drive to Okaloosa Island's Gulfarium
Visit Okaloosa Island for the day, Navarre Beach’s closest neighbor. You’ll find the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk which is full of shops and cafes. But the main attraction is the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park. The place is open every day of the year except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. As much of it’s covered, it’s also a good place for a rainy day.
Watch the dolphin and sea lion shows and marvel at the water world. There are sharks to see as well as seals. You can grab something to eat at the food concessions and watch the beautiful sea otters. Parking is free for your convenience.
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Address: 1010 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Website: Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
The gifts from Navarre
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