Pensacola beaches are, called the World's Whitest Beaches because of the white sand there. The beaches are located on the Santa Rosa barrier island. The island is surrounded by Santa Rosa Sound (north), Pensacola Bay (east), Choctawhatchee Bay (west) and the Gulf of Mexico (south). The city of Pensacola Beach and the Navarre Beach community are located on the island. Oriole Beach (east of Gulf Breeze) is located north of Santa Rosa Island across Santa Rosa Sound on the Fairpoint Peninsula.
Attractions on Santa Rosa Island include Casino Beach in the city of Pensacola Beach and features restaurants and family entertainment. Quietwater Beach Boardwalk is located on Santa Rosa Sound and features restaurants, retail shopping, nightclubs and an eclectic collection of musicians and sidewalk artists. Concerts on The Boardwalk are held on a large sea shell stage. Fort Pickens is a pentagonal military fort on the west end of the island. The fort was completed in 1834 and remained in service until 1947. It is now a part of the Gulf Islands National Service and administered by the National Park Service. "Dome of a Home", a concret dome house built in 2002 to withstand hurricanes is also located on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola Beach. Navarre Beach Marine Park is located east of Narvarre Beach on Santa Rosa Island. This park features wildlife viewing, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, hiking, birding, bicycling, skating, and more.