Can you give me some pros and cons for these 3 locations?
Destin is a resort town. Super crowded. Navarre is pretty quiet. There is no other city on the Gulf Coast like Pensacola. You have the fantastic white sand beaches like the rest of the panhandle, yet there is a vibrant historic downtown area just off the island. It's a livable community with a college and university, museums, Blue Angels, minor league baseball and hockey, art galleries and theatre. But I'm biased. I like the big city amenities but with the beach vibe community.
Is there a "village" on Pensacola Beach where you can shop and eat? Where are some good fishing spots?
There is a fishing pier, but the best fishing is done with a guide. I'd go out on a boat and know you are going to catch something and have a good time while doing it. I'd recommend Bout Time charters, but there are plenty others to choose from as well. And yes, Pensacola Beach has shopping and dining within walking distance to most hotels or condos on the island, but the best way to travel on the island is by bicycle. That's how the locals get around.
Lol! Austin doesn't really mean it's dead but there are far less dining options. On the other hand, if you are looking for less crowds, I guess you know that should be your choice.
Pensacola is probably a good choice, based on the time of year you are choosing. If you really want to go to Destin, check out the Crystal Beach or Miramar Beach areas. They are off of Scenic 98. If you can stay off of big Hwy 98, you will be fine there.
I guess I should have used a few more words...I actually love Navarre Beach but I don't think it's ideal for tourists. And OP, if you choose Pensacola you will definitely want to stay on Pensacola Beach, not in Pensacola.
Destin- shopping here, very crowded, bad traffic, active night life
Pensacola Beach- less crowded than Destin, plenty of restaurants, night life if you want it, less crowded beaches, more relaxing than Destin, not so much for shopping
Navarre- beach relaxation, not much to do here, less crowded than both Destin and Pensacola Beach but also smaller, less options
Oh so nice to hear this bc I'm debating Navarro w pensecola bc I heard the water is much better in Navarro but if it's the same .. I'm down for pensecola. Don't care for destin as I don't like crowds and party kids.