Experience Nature’s Bounty on Pensacola Beach in Fall

By Katie King

When the summer season comes to an end along Pensacola Beach, that’s when you’ll find the locals come out to play. Fall is the perfect time of year here, in my opinion, for many reasons: The beaches are less crowded, space is ample, and the outdoor activities are still plentiful.

But the biggest reason why I love fall on the island: the climate.

Autumn on Pensacola Beach produces some of the most beautiful weather of the year – the sand and surf are still warm enough to swim, the sun is angled, the breeze is cool, and the milder temps let you linger outdoors a lot longer.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Locals aren’t the only ones that prefer fall on Pensacola Beach. Birds, fish, crustaceans, dolphins, turtles and more love it too – every inch of Pensacola Beach is teeming with life. And autumn is an excellent time of year for locals and visitors alike to explore our pristine sands and experience all it has to offer.

Discover the migratory birds and butterflies that arrive in autumn and winter to our shores. Learn all about the flora and fauna on Pensacola Beach while traveling along the Footprints in the Sand Eco-Trail. Informative, educational signs are posted at key locations all across Pensacola Beach, each one exploring a different ecological topic. You’ll learn the secrets of Pensacola Beach’s white sand, discover the dangerous journeys of sea turtles, identify mysterious seashells, and so much more.

Or, explore the seashore by kayak while paralleling the island along the calmer waters of the Santa Rosa Sound, a paddlers’ paradise where kayakers and canoeists enjoy the gorgeous views when it’s not so warm. Learn about our island’s unique ecology, wetlands and dune systems – and how each plays a vital role in fortifying and protecting our barrier island.

The fall brings excellent fishing conditions with the chance to catch some of the same summer species as well as fall favorites. Leading into October, you can still catch some of the best grouper, amberjack, triggerfish, wahoo, marlin, and tuna, as well as red snapper when the season reopens for a short period.

King mackerel is a good catch in the early fall, and the big redfish appear in November when the water cools down. Charter captains and boats on Pensacola Beach are abundant, passionate and knowledgeable on the hottest fall fishing holes. Or take a walk down the 1,471 foot Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier, home to a community of local fishermen who are always more than happy to let visiting anglers know what’s biting. It’s also one of the best places on the beach to catch a sunset or sunrise.

For an out of this world experience, literally, turn your eyes to the skies and unlock the wonders of the universe from Pensacola Beach. Autumn is considered an ‘observing season’ for astronomers, when the nights become longer again. In September and October, on the Fridays (and some Saturdays) closest to the new moon, members of the Escambia Amateur Astronomers (EAAA) hold deep stargazing and sky interpretation sessions along Pensacola Beach.

According to the EAAA, the trick to discovering other stars, moons, planets, galaxies and nebulas: very dark skies with very little light pollution. Well, and a telescope , that certainly helps. Natural moonlight can wash out the light from most stars, leaving only the brightest visible. That’s why the best time to stargaze is the days before each new moon, and there’s no better place for wide open skies than Pensacola Beach’s federally preserved Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Have I convinced you to come visit this fall yet? Fall lodging prices on the beach are a bargain, so that this opportunity to enjoy an amazing beach vacation on Pensacola Beach.