We recently stayed at a wonderful military campground in Pensacola, FL: Blue Angel Naval Recreation Area, also known as Blue Angel Park. It is operated by Pensacola Naval Air Station, but is actually 9 miles outside of the NAS back gate and off of Hwy 98 just before the Lillian Hwy bridge to Alabama.
There are two separate camping areas here along the northern shore of beautiful Perdido Bay: Battleship Row and Anchor Cove, as well as a mobile home rental section.
- RV: 75 large paved RV full hook-up sites. We have a 44’ Fifth Wheel and fit in it no problem. Every site had a picnic table and fire ring. There are two bathhouses and laundry rooms with change machines.
- Tent: Near the beach, there are 4 elevated 10’ x 10’ tent platforms with picnic tables and fire rings. A single water spigot is shared. There’s also a beach bathhouse.
- RV: 72 sites with water and electricity. There is a dump station available.
- Tent: 4 elevated 10’ x 10’ tent platforms with water and electricity.
- Cabins: 7 rustic cabins with a full-size bed, television, microwave, and air conditioner. No running water or bathrooms, but they are close to the bathhouse.
- Mobile Homes: 12 two-bedroom mobile homes. Outside each trailer is a fire ring with a cooking grill and picnic table.
Both camping areas have bathhouses and laundry facilities. Although they don’t offer cable or internet, our Dish Satellite and Verizon hotspots worked great in the Battleship Row section.
One of the great things about this campground is the range of activities. They have a 35-acre wooded paintball course (open weekends only), three 18-hole championship disc golf courses, mini golf, playgrounds, a beautiful beach, numerous hiking trails, and several geocaches. The Blue Angel Outpost Marina has kayaks, paddleboards and sailboats for hourly rental. They even offer small boat sailing courses by reservation April through September.
You can make reservations online at: http://get.dodlodging.net/propertys/Blue-Angel-Naval-Recreational-Area-Pensacola or by phone via Navy Getaways at 1-877-NAVY BED (628-9233). Blue Angel Park is open year-round for active/retired military and DoD employees and their family members. To verify patron eligibility for Navy Getaway Parks click here.
Gulf Coast Beaches
The closest beach area on the Gulf of Mexico is Perdido Key. It’s only about a 20-minute drive and where there is the National Seashore and Perdido Key State Park, as well as public beach access. Pensacola Beach is actually about an hour away.
Our Favorite Area Attraction
While there we paid a visit to Uncle Sandy’s Macaw Bird Park, a parrot rescue and sanctuary. Entry costs $5.00 for adults (13+) and $2.00 per child and includes one cup of peanuts to feed the birds. The money goes directly to help these beautiful birds and to educate people about the demands of owning a parrot, the kind of lifestyle a parrot lives, and how to provide them with essential needs to keep them happy and healthy. You’ll get one-on-one handling of an exotic bird and the chance enter the largest open flight aviaries in the Florida panhandle.