Perdido Key, Florida is an unincorporated community located in Escambia County, Florida, between Pensacola, Florida and Orange Beach, Alabama. "Perdido" means "lost" in the Spanish language, and Perdido Key is sometimes called "Lost Key" by local residents and businesses.
The community is located on Perdido Key, a barrier island located in extreme northwest Florida and southeast Alabama. The Florida district of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is located at the east end of the island. No more than a few hundred yards wide in most places, Perdido Key stretches some 16 miles from Perdido Pass Bridge near Orange Beach, Alabama, to just across from Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola, Florida.
Perdido Key is said to have once had an estimated 300 natural springs bubbling up from the sandy bottom. There were so many around the bridge that when construction on the high-rise bridge began, bridge engineers were appalled to see pilings sinking down below the surface, following the soft course of a natural spring.
They had their work cut out to build cofferdams to shore up the pilings to prevent them from sinking.
It was not until about 1933 that Perdido Key became an island. Before that time, the area was a small peninsula just to the west of Pensacola, crossed by a large ditch that was narrow enough to jump across, and sometimes filled with alligators. This ditch would become the Intracoastal Waterway in 1933.
The azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico frame the famed white beaches of this very special place. These beaches and their dune habitat play host to a variety of visitors and residents throughout the year.