Boardwalk trails cross a tidal outlet to Grand Lagoon in Big Lagoon State Park.

© Colin D. Young/Shutterstock

Big Lagoon State Park

Get a taste of the wilds on the Panhandle at Big Lagoon, a quilt of salt marshes, pine forest, bays, ponds and beaches, all interconnected by boardwalks and easy walking trails. Bird-watchers will be in heaven, which goes for anyone who wants a little peace and quiet.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Tarkiln Bayou Preserve State Park

3.55 MILES

This fascinating park preserves ecosystems that run from wet prairie to sandy shoreline to the eponymous Tarkiln Bayou, an eerie, alluring spill of dark…

2. Perdido Key State Park

4.04 MILES

This alluring coastal state park protects the 247-acre barrier island of the same name, a windblown, sand-strewn landscape of rolling dunes, tufts of…

3. Pensacola Lighthouse

5.67 MILES

Be on the lookout for ghosts of past lighthouse keepers as you climb the 177 steps of this 160ft, 1859 lighthouse, rumored to be haunted. The views are…

4. National Naval Aviation Museum


A visit to Pensacola is not complete without a trip to this enormous collection of military aircraft muscle and artifacts. Adults and children alike will…

5. Fort Barrancas & Advanced Redoubt


On a dramatic bluff overlooking Pensacola Bay, 19th-century Fort Barrancas was built by slaves atop an abandoned 18th-century Spanish fort. The fort, now…

6. Fort Pickens

6.66 MILES

Part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, this 1834 historic fort perched at the western extent of the Santa Rosa barrier island has survived wars and…

7. Alabama Point Beach

9.58 MILES

Part of Gulf State Park, this beach, located just west of the Florida border, is usually a little more quiet than other local stretches of sand. It's…

8. Pensacola Museum of Art

12.85 MILES

In the city's old jail (1908), this lovely art museum features an impressive, growing collection of major 20th- and 21st-century artists, spanning cubism,…