Gulf Islands National Seashore spreads across two island chains off the coast of Mississippi and Florida’s panhandle. These scenic out-islands offer historic forts, white sand beaches, and endless opportunities to learn and play.
Military historians will find much to see and do at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center, Fort Pickens, Pensacola Naval Air Station, and the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center. The park’s forts were built over a span of nearly 150 years; several were built as part of the Third System of coastal fortifications, a defensive system constructed between 1816 and 1867.
Outdoor enthusiasts can camp, fish, swim, snorkel, hike, bike, and birdwatch along miles of pristine shoreline. The Andrew Jackson Trail is one of nine trails leading out of Naval Live Oaks, which also offers a 40-mile biking loop.
In the Mississippi District of the park, the Davis Bayou Area offers a boat launch and hiking trails. Swimmers should head to West Ship Island, Santa Rosa Sound, Okaloosa Day Use Area, or Perdido Key.
Did You Know:
More than 80 percent of Gulf Islands National Seashore is underwater. Shallow pools provide habitat for a wide variety of sea creatures and migratory waterfowl.