Three Santa Rosa County public schools are located in Gulf Breeze: Gulf Breeze Elementary, Middle and High schools. Students in all three schools regularly achieve high test scores and Gulf Breeze High School has been rated several times as an A+ school by the State of Florida. Nearby are numerous community colleges and universities for residents seeking higher education, including Pensacola Junior College and The University of West Florida, and Pensacola Christian College.
Parks & Recreation
Gulf Breeze has dedicated 517 acres of land to parks. Shoreline Park, the major recreation area in Gulf Breeze, encompasses about 155 acres divided into northern and southern regions. Shoreline Park North is home to the Gulf Breeze Recreation Center and facilities for baseball, football, soccer, outdoor basketball and softball, as well as the Sunset Kids Park and eight lighted tennis courts. Shoreline Park South has over 105 wooded acres extending to the edge of Santa Rosa Sound. Shoreline Park South is only seven miles from the Pensacola Pass and boasts the most popular boat launch in the area. Facilities include picnic tables, a fishing pier, a swimming area, a large gazebo and a nature trail. The Gulf Breeze Municipal Fishing Pier runs parallel to the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Depending on the time of year, red fish, white trout, speckled trout, black drum, flounder, and bluefish are possible catches.
Sun worshippers in Gulf Breeze can mix and mingle at popular local beaches or claim isolated stretches of sand for themselves. All sorts of waterfront activities—including water-skiing, jet skiing, fishing and boating—are available on the miles of sandy beaches and protected bayous. Motorboats, sailboats, surfers and windsurfers coexist easily while parasailers float overhead and fishermen try their luck from sea and shore. Fishing opportunities abound in Gulf Breeze. There are several charter boats that serve avid fishermen, as well as spots along the beach for children to fish. Kids also enjoy riding go-carts and jet skis, playing games in the arcades and testing their skills on miniature golf courses.
For those who prefer to stay dry, there are hundreds of acres of undeveloped park property along the water, perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic in the woods. Recreational options include spending an afternoon enjoying the wildlife at the Gulf Breeze Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens or teeing off on one of the immaculately landscaped local championship golf courses. The climate is mild enough to encourage outdoor recreation year-round.
Pensacola Beach remains the hub of Santa Rosa Island and offers miles of unspoiled white sand, emerald water and numerous restaurants. Much of this barrier island is protected from development. The Gulf Islands National Seashore keeps beaches accessible to the public and preserves the area's environment and history. The Port of Pensacola is northwest Florida's leading deep-water port and a major source of business in the region. Other areas of interest include Pensacola's downtown area, the historical district, Pensacola Symphony, area theatres and museums, Seville Square, and Maritime Park, which is in the current stages of production.
Pensacola Beach is home to historic Fort Pickens. The fort was completed in 1834 and used until WWII, when modern weapons made traditional coastal defense obsolete. Fort Pickens today is a popular tourist attraction. The fort contains a number of plaster-lined rooms that were intended as officers' quarters and later were used to house Apache prisoners. Geronimo once lived at the fort in rooms along the south wall, which have since collapsed. Fort Pickens now houses an auditorium, a museum, and a visitor's center offering information about the area.
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