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Big Lagoon State Park

Big Lagoon State Park is a 705-acre Florida State Park located on the northwestern Florida coast, approximately 10 miles southwest of Pensacola on Gulf Beach Highway.

It offers swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking and paddling.

It is also the starting point for a 1,515-mile sea kayaking journey on the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail around the entire state.

It is a charming tangle of saltwater marshes and pine flatwoods, and is a crowd-favorite among RV travelers.

The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including migratory birds, alligators, and various species of fish. The park features a number of amenities, including a boardwalk, hiking trails, a swimming area, and a fishing pier.

Sun over Perdido Key and Big Lagoon State Park Pensacola Florida

Big Lagoon State Park camping

Big Lagoon State Park has a campground with over 100 campsites that are suitable for tents, RVs, and trailers. 

The campsites have electric and water hookups, and a central dump station is available for RV campers. 

The campground also has a bathhouse with hot showers and restrooms. The campsites are located in a wooded area near the park’s beach and swimming area, and are available for rent year-round. 

Reservations can be made online or by contacting the park directly. 

In addition to the campsites, the park also has a group camping area that can accommodate up to 25 people. 

The group camping area has a shelter with picnic tables and a fireplace, as well as a nearby bathroom with hot showers.

Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Sally in 2020 and the storm surge and heavy rainfalls that accompanied it, some of the park’s recreational areas and trails are closed.

The beach, kayak launch, picnic area(s), observation tower and several boardwarks are closed.  

RV camping at Big Lagoon State Park

Camping at Big Lagoon is a popular option for visitors, with both tent and RV sites available.

The campground features 75 campsites and is open year-around.

Some of the campsites are situated along the boardwalk that leads to the beach(when it opens back up!), offering scenic views and easy access to the water.

Due to the hurricane damage imposed on Big Lagoon by Hurricane Sally and the slow approval of restoration funds, the sites have not been updated to the degree that other Florida state parks have.

All but a couple of the sites are sandy – if you’re lucky or like me have made out a list of the best sites in every park you’ve visited, you’ll likely end up with an uneven site with dirt.

It’s just something to be aware of.

Pet policy at Big Lagoon State Park

Pets are allowed at Big Lagoon State Park, but they must be kept on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet at all times.

Pets are not allowed on the beach, but they are permitted in the campground and on the trails.

Visitors are expected to clean up after their pets and dispose of waste properly.

It’s important to note that the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators and venomous snakes, so it’s important to keep your pet under close supervision at all times.

Big Lagoon State Park fees

There is a fee to enter Big Lagoon State Park. 

As of 2021, the cost is $6 per vehicle for a single-day pass, or $8 for a multi-day pass. Annual passes are also available for $60.

As of 2021, the cost for a campsite with electric and water hookups is $24 per night plus a $7 per day utility fee.

Group camping is also available for a fee of $100 per night for up to 25 people. 

Fees are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to check the park’s website or contact the park directly for the most up-to-date information.

Things to do near Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola

Some popular activities in the area include:

Visit the Pensacola Beach

Located just a short drive from the park, the Pensacola Beach is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Pensacola Beach water tower

Explore the Gulf Islands National Seashore

This national park spans more than 160,000 acres and includes barrier islands, sand dunes, and maritime forests. It’s a great place to hike, bike, or go birdwatching.

Fort Pickens entrance Bob Pudlock

Check out the National Aviation Museum

This museum is home to more than 150 aircraft and features exhibits on the history of flight.

There are more than 4,000 artifacts and over 150 beautifully restored aircraft representing Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aviation.

If you’re bringing kids along, there are flight simulators and great eye-popping short movies at the on-site theatre.

If you’re in town at the right town, the highlight for many people is to see the Navy Blue Angels practice; check out the Blue Angels practice schedule.

Visit Fort Pickens

This historic fort, built in the early 1800s, is located on a barrier island and offers panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Fort Pickens is a great place to learn about the area’s military history, plus it has incredible views and beach access along the Pensacola Bay and Gulf of Mexico.

Fort Pickens entrance courtesy Getty Images

Go shopping and dining in downtown Pensacola

The city’s historic downtown area is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars.

Take a boat tour

There are several companies that offer boat tours of the area, including dolphin-watching tours and sunset cruises.

Living near Big Lagoon State Park

Living near Big Lagoon State Park in Pensacola, Florida could be a great experience for those who enjoy outdoor activities and a laid-back lifestyle. 

Pensacola is a small city with a rich history and a thriving arts scene, and there are plenty of opportunities for cultural events and entertainment. 

The city is also home to a number of military bases, which contribute to the local economy and provide employment opportunities. 

The cost of living in Pensacola is relatively affordable compared to other cities in the U.S., and the area has a warm and sunny climate, with average temperatures ranging from the low 60s in the winter to the mid-90s in the summer.

Directions to Big Lagoon State Park

The park is located about 15 miles west of downtown Pensacola, and the drive should take about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic.

If you are using a GPS device or map app, you can use the following address for the park: 12301 Gulf Beach Hwy, Pensacola, FL 32507.

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