The 12 separate units of this park protect a series of barrier islands off of the Gulf Coast and offer a little bit of everything, including snorkeling, fishing and bicycling — though the main draw is simply relaxing on the sparkling white sands. Hike the bayous and coastal forests on the Mississippi side and explore several impressive brick forts on the Florida side, including historic Civil War forts and a Spanish colonial structure dating back to 1797.

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