Perdido Key is a barrier island that extends from the Florida city of Pensacola to the Alabama city of Orange Beach. Stretching some sixteen miles in length, it is little more than a few hundred yards wide in most places. White-sand beaches are found along the coastline, which is a big reason why this island is popular with tourists. The relaxed nature of Perdido Key also proves alluring, though there is certainly enough to keep you busy if you want to stay active.
While part of Perdido Key is an unincorporated community, some 60 percent of the island is part of a federal or state park. This means that there are plenty of undeveloped areas to explore. For outdoor enthusiasts, the Perdido Key State Recreation Area offers wide beaches, and you can bring along a basket of food and take advantage of the picnic shelters. Popular activities at the Perdido Key State Recreation Area include swimming and sunbathing. You can also do some surf fishing if you please, provided that you have the necessary saltwater license. While you're strolling along the boardwalks at the park or picnicking by the beach, you might keep an eye out for animals. Several endangered species are found on the island, and they include the Perdido Key beach mouse.
While looking to enjoy some outdoor recreation on Perdido Key vacations, visitors can also consider entering the boundaries of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. This preserve is found in both Alabama and Florida and includes parts of the mainland and parts of the various coastal islands. The eastern end of Perdido Key is where you can access part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Rosamond Johnson Beach. Open from 8 a.m. until the sun goes down, Rosamond Johnson Beach offers seasonal lifeguards to help keep visitors safe. It also has picnic shelters, showers, and restrooms.
When you're not hanging out at the beach while visiting this part of Perdido Key, you can hop on the Nature Trail that can be found on the Sound side of the island and take a self-guided tour that sees you passing a salt marsh and walking through a maritime forest. The admission fee for the Gulf Islands National Seashore on Perdido Key is good for seven days, and it also allows for admission to Fort Pickens on nearby Santa Rosa Island and the Naval Live Oaks area in Gulf Breeze.
Perdido Key can seem like a place that time forgot when you find yourself exploring the many natural expanses. It is without question a place where you recharge your batteries and escape from the cares of everyday life. This doesn't mean that you will have trouble finding signs of humanity, however. There are numerous vacation rental properties on the island, and several restaurants team up to provide visitors with some tempting dining options. Also found on Perdido Key is a golf course, which is good news for those who like to tee it up. This course offers eighteen immaculate holes and is part of the Lost Key Golf & Beach Club community.
A number of bridges connect Perdido Key to other destinations in Florida and Alabama. As for the Perdido Key hotels, they come in the form of condo hotels. The guest units provide the kinds of amenities that you would expect to enjoy at home, such as a full kitchen, and more often than not, they are much more spacious than your average hotel room.