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Make a Splash!

by Will Estell on April 17th, 2024

Welcome to some of the best resort pools on the Gulf Coast!

Learn about the best resort pools along the Gulf Coast.

Let’s face it, even though many of us take a beach vacation because of the beach, there’s a lot to be said for enjoying a long day lounging by a cool pool while sipping an even cooler drink, and watching the ones you love frolic in the soothing waters and warm sun of paradise. When it comes to over-the-top swimming pools, many of the resorts along the Northwest Florida and Alabama Gulf Coast are among the best in the entire country. But don’t take our word for it — jump right in and see a few of the best resort pools yourself. Who knows, you may even choose your next best destination largely based on that other body of water near the beach.

Here we’ve compiled some of the more impressive pool areas along this strip of the Gulf Coast, along with some enticing information that just may help you make the splash.

Waterscape Resort: Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Lazy river at Waterscape Resort
The lazy river at Waterscape Resort is surrounded by swaying palms and lush landscaping

Waterscape Resort’s awe inspiring pool area features a 10,000 sq. ft. multi-tier courtyard complete with three resort-style swimming pools (one seasonally heated), a lazy river, a cascading waterfall, and two spacious hot tubs. One pool is zero-entry, and another is designed for kids. A splash-pad area for the little ones, a number of guest-use grills, and a seasonal snack and drink bar are a few other amenities.

All of the condos at Waterscape Resort have fully furnished kitchens, spacious living areas and private balconies with full or partial Gulf views. Call a BeachGuide vacation planner at 888-404-2602 for help booking the best one for your group. Some condos extra bunkrooms or hall bunks. All are individually owned and priced according to view, updates and configuration.


Splash Resort: Panama City Beach, Florida

Kids of all ages enjoy the onsite water park at Splash Resort

When it comes to a name saying it all, Splash Resort, situated on the white sands of Panama City Beach, certainly conveys the right message. This favorite of vacationing families from around the country is well-appointed with exactly what you’d expect and desire of a true resort built around it’s pool area.

Splash Resort offers multiple indoor and outdoor pools, including two heated pools and hot tubs, as well as an indoor interactive waterpark, complete with slides, waterfalls, obstacles and even a little tikes splash pad for the youngest of water adventurers.

All of the condos at Splash Resort have fully furnished kitchens, spacious living areas and beachfront balconies.


Beachfront lazy river at Splash Resort in Panama City Beach, Florida.
Pool and lazy river join up with the water park onsite at Splash Resort in Panama City Beach

Hotel Effie Rooftop Pool: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Miramar Beach, FL

Luxurious rooftop pool at Hotel Effie
Endless views, a full bar, and Gulf breezes await guests at the luxurious rooftop pool at Sandestin Resort’s Hotel Effie

As if the newly opened Hotel Effie, situated inside the world-famous Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort wasn’t luxurious enough, they had to go and create the only rooftop pool area on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast. The panoramic 10th floor views are nothing short of amazing. The pool area is situated adjacent to the rooftop bar, offering a vast array of full-service drinks, along with a food menu for those hot days or cool nights lounging in the sky.

Hotel Effie offers guests private poolside cabanas, lounge and upright chairs, a few fun life-size-chess boards, and even rooftop cornhole games.

Destin West Beach & Bay Resort

Float your cares away in the bayside lazy river at Destin West Beach & Bay Resort, or walk over the elevated walkway to the beachside pools.

Vacationing at Destin West Beach & Bay Resort offers an unparalleled experience of luxury and serenity on the stunning Gulf Coast of Florida. Nestled between the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, this resort boasts breathtaking views and a wide range of amenities. Whether you prefer lounging on the pristine white sand beaches, relaxing by the sprawling pools or lazy river, or indulging in water sports like paddleboarding and kayaking, Destin West Beach & Bay Resort has something for everyone.

The resort offers spacious and fully equipped accommodations, ranging from cozy studios to luxurious condos, ensuring a comfortable stay for guests of all group sizes. There is no shortage of ways to unwind and make the most of your vacation. The seven breathtaking swimming pools, 700-foot lazy river lagoon, three outdoor hot tubs, state-of-the-art fitness center, and elevated walkway over U.S. 98 which provides beach-to-bay access, are just a few of the amenities you’ll love. Whether you seek adventure or simply wish to soak in the breathtaking views of the Gulf Coast, Destin West Beach & Bay Resort provides the perfect setting for an unforgettable getaway.


Holiday Inn Resort: Pensacola, Florida

Beachside pool and lazy river at Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach, Florida.

If you’re looking for a phenomenal pool on Pensacola Beach, then you’re in for a treat at Holiday Inn
Pensacola Beach
, where their Gulf-front pool flows into a lazy river that’s lined with beautiful palm trees, umbrellas, a tiki-hut bar, two good-size fire pits, and plenty of comfortable lounge chairs. The lazy river takes a loop then flows back into the pool, where you can take a dip before going for another ride around this fabulous beachside oasis. To make things even better, you can look up from any location of this pool area and be graced with the view of a large American flag flying above you.


Palms of Destin Resort: Destin, Florida

One of the largest and best resort pools in Destin is at The Palms.
One of five spacious, luxurious pools at The Palms

The pool area at The Palms is one of the most spacious of any in Destin. The resort may be across the highway from the beach, but whatever they lack in beachfront location, they went above-and-beyond to include in the fantastic pool area. Starting with a massive zero entry lagoon pool, this tropical oasis expands in three different directions, providing something for everyone who loves the water. Besides the zero-entry side, which is a big hit for younger children, there is a deeper side (well away from the shallow side), along with another entire side of the pool with three to five foot depths. All areas are pulled together by a tropical island in the center, complete with waterfall, ladder, and room to stand around in the five foot water. There’s even a wooden walking bridge that goes across from one side of the pool area to the other.

As if the large main pool isn’t enough, The Palms Destin Condo rentals also offer a large splash pad for children, and a smaller pool (think regular size hotel pool, but small comparatively) that’s also heated when need be, and a gigantic 20-person hot-tub.


Turquoise Place: Orange Beach, Alabama

Lazy river at Turquoise Place in Orange Beach
The lazy river at Turquoise Place

Turquoise Place in Orange Beach stands out due to the namesake turquoise glass walls that make up the entire outside of the building. When it came to the pool area, the developers made sure it was just as outstanding. This top-notch beachside resort features multiple outdoor pools, complete with a lazy river, a separate kiddie pool, and even an indoor pool.

The pool area is majestic, starting with the three-story towering waterfall. Below the falls you’ll find their giant zero-entry pool, and the 450 foot lazy river that meanders around the entire pool area. There are even in-pool speakers along with two additional smaller pools and two extra-large hot tubs.

Lagoon-style pool at Turquoise Place in Orange Beach

Phoenix on the Bay: Orange Beach, Alabama

Water slide at Phoenix on the Bay

This particular Phoenix On The Bay resort (because there are many Phoenix Condos along this stretch of the Alabama coastline) offers its visitors a great pool area, complete with a lazy river winding through expansive outdoor swimming
pools, forming the centerpiece of this unique pool. You can choose to sunbathe along the pool deck,
cool off in one of the pools, or just enjoy zipping again and again down the corkscrew water slide that
dumps you out into the main pool. This pool area also features a children’s pool complete with beautiful water fountains, lush landscaping lending to a tropical feel, and even an indoor pool and hot tub. For reservations, call 888-404-2602.

The Lazy River at Phoenix on the Bay meanders around multiple pools

The Island Resort: Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Misty, the resident mermaid at the Grotto pool, greets guests at the Grotto pool. Swim through the waterfall to a full-service bar, or visit the heated cabana pool or hot tub.

The pool area at The Island Resort is a huge reason so many are drawn to this iconic hotel in the heart of the
Fort Walton Beach area, and it’s certainly one of the primary reasons so many return each year. The
Island may sit along 600 feet of white sand and emerald waters, but the water inside the resort area is
pretty impressive too. The Island offers a large pool, complete with a grotto at its center, where you can
choose to walk or swim into as you make your way to the bar inside the cool rock formation surrounded
by water.

For those cooler months the cabana pool is heated for guests’ comfort. The Island amenities include a
large pool-side hot tub, onsite dining and a beachside bar and grill open year round.

Swim up to the grotto bar at The Island Hotel

Call a vacation planner at BeachGuide to book your stay at any of these featured resorts: 888-404-2602 or click any of the photos and book online today!


This article was originally written in May 2022 and updated in 2024 by BeachGuide editors.

From → Gulf Coast

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