Incorporated in 1961, Gulf Breeze remains the only city in South Santa Rosa County, FL. The 1960s expansion of the Pensacola Bay Bridge mobilized residents to adopt a city charter government in order to provide for public safety and environmental sustainability. In the 1980s, the city’s police department was the first accredited agency in the region and today consistently earns an Excelsior rating. The city seal prominently displays a heritage oak, as Gulf Breeze has been recognized as a Tree City USA for over 30 years.
Gulf Breeze is located on the end of the Fairpoint peninsula and is the “front porch” to Pensacola Beach. Our peninsula city is separated to the north by a three mile bridge across Pensacola Bay from the City of Pensacola and to the south by the Bob Sikes Bridge over Santa Rosa Sound to Pensacola Beach. On the east, landward up the peninsula to the east is the 1,329 acre Naval Live Oaks portion of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. As a result, residents enjoy a quiet residential community just a few minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and the City of Pensacola.
Technology and medical tourism industries call Gulf Breeze home, including Baptist Emergency Room and Hospital, Andrews Institute of Orthaedics & Sports Medicine, Ascension Sacred Heart Pediatric Care Center, and various specialty care facilities. There are three Santa Rosa County schools side-by-side in the City of Gulf Breeze. Gulf Breeze Elementary, Middle and High Schools regularly achieve national academic excellence as indicated by high test scores and athletic excellence in sports.
The City enjoys a progressive Council-Manager form of government. Born out of the U.S. progressive reform movement at the turn of the 20th century, the council-manager system was designed to combat corruption and unethical activity in local government by promoting effective management within a transparent, responsive, and accountable structure. Since its establishment, the council-manager form has become the most popular structure of local government in the United States.
The Council-Manager form encourages open communication between citizens and their government. Under this form, each member of the governing body has an equal voice in policy development and fiscal oversight. This gives neighborhoods and diverse groups a greater opportunity to influence policy, resulting in miles of walking trails and boardwalks, world-class parks and a golf cart-friendly community.
Gulf Breeze has 18 miles of waterfront and three protected bayous where residents enjoy all sorts of waterfront activities. The City has one of the best boat ramps in the area in close proximity to the Pensacola pass. There are 105 acres of undeveloped park property along the water for a leisurely walk in the woods.
Gulf Breeze shares a rich history with the entire Florida Panhandle. In 1559, Tristan de Luna arrived in Pensacola Bay with 500 Spanish soldiers. The first settlement was abandoned due to diseases, disasters and hostile Indians, but other Europeans followed. In the late 1700’s, the British occupied the peninsula and named it Town Point.
By the early 1930’s, bridges between Pensacola and Gulf Breeze and Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach were completed as was Highway 98. Gulf Breeze’s namesake was established in 1936 when the Gulf Breeze Cottages and Store opened a post office branch where Live Oaks Plaza now stands.
The Naval Live Oaks Reservation was the home of America’s first experimental tree farm, established by President John Quincy Adams in 1828. It was established to provide raw material to support shipbuilding for the Navy in the area. Today, Naval Live Oaks is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a unit of the National Park Service.
In Gulf Breeze, you’ll find the best of all worlds – unspoiled natural beauty and a relaxed lifestyle.