You asked about anchoring
rather than marinas
, so I recommend the east end of Big Lagoon
, on the north side of the barrier island Perdido Key. This is actually slightly south and west of Pensacola proper.
With your draft
, if you study the charts
and watch your depthmeter, I suspect you can get close enough to shore to swim in, which would mean you have something to do even with no dink. There are two places just west of Spanish Point where the water
remains relatively deep close to shore. Not much to be found on the key itself but unspoiled natural beauty and a rew ruins of Fort McRee on the eastern end.
If you arrive from the outside, be advised that once inside when you turn to port to follow the ICW
westward, that first mile or so can be crowded with barges and recreational traffic, and is a bit narrow.