It appears that we’re not going to get a real winter in Pensacola this year, because spring is definitely here. My patio furniture and grills are a lovely shade of pollen yellow, and my azalea bushes have burst forth in all their hot pink glory!
With beautiful weather comes the desire to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and commune with nature. Here on the northwest Gulf Coast of Florida, we're lucky to have numerous options to do just this. So, that’s what my family is doing. We’ve decided to take a family outing each week to get out of the house, get some exercise, and enjoy each other’s company! And I decided this would be a great way to get in some Pensacola/ Gulf Coast photography fun.
This past Sunday was our first official, “family day” outing. At the request of the middle child (I thought it’d be fun to let them take turns picking the upcoming week’s outing), we headed to Big Lagoon State Park in West Pensacola, FL to check out some trails and get our toes wet.
One of the great things about Big Lagoon State Park is that they have trails with raised, wooden walkways AND sand trails. The raised walkways take you to and across Long Pond and through some of the marshy areas to the campground. They were especially appreciated as our exploring party included a very grumpy toddler who decided he wanted to ride in the stroller instead of walk.
Long Pond (pictured above) is one of my favorite spots to nature watch at Big Lagoon. The park provides canoes as well as a lovely, little pavilion where you can rest. Make sure to take note of the “No Swimming” sign, though! Long Pond has alligators!
Next, the kids and I headed down to the Observation Platform near the Governor’s Pavilion. It was a great place for us to watch for boats and birds (as well as sit down for a refreshing drink).
Another favorite spot of ours that we didn’t get to this past Sunday is the Observation Tower (seen in the distance here). The Observation Tower at Big Lagoon is a fantastic place to watch boats sailing down the intracoastal waterway.
Our last stop was West Beach. The kids needed some time to play in the sand and splash around in the water and I wanted to replicate a picture I took 4 years ago of just my girls with all 3 kids.
If you’re looking for a great place to spend the day without having to even leave town, you can’t go wrong with Big Lagoon State Park. It’s one of our favorite places because of the many adventure options it offers. It also boasts a boat launch, camp ground, several pavilions, and 2 play grounds.
Big Lagoon State Park is open from 8am - sunset daily. Admission fees are $4 for a single occupant vehicle or $6 for a vehicle carrying 2 - 8 visitors.
Amanda is the prop buying, location scouting, ponytail sporting, flip flop wearing, owner/ operator/ and woman behind the camera for Finding Beauty in the Ordinary Photography.