Gulf Islands National Seashore

Natural wonders

Straddling the Florida Panhandle (from Santa Rosa Island) and lower Mississippi (to Cat Island), Gulf Islands National Seashore invites nude beach bathers, and eco-tourists to take advantage of its long stretches of deserted beach. Boating and fishing enthusiasts will want to head out to open waters in the Florida sun.

Local Activities

Whether you're in the water or on shore, Gulf Islands National Seashore has plenty of outdoor activities. While many come to bike, camp, comb beaches and see the wildlife, this area is prime territory for:

Area Attractions

Even though Fort Pickens was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, portions remain open. This early 19th century coastal fort played a significant role in the Civil war and features a museum, wilderness area and archeological site. If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of Geronimo's ghost at sundown; locals say he still haunts the fort.

Area Events

Nightlife

Pensacola's Seville Historic District is home to many New Orleans-style pubs and bars. Wander around and see what takes your fancy.

Accommodation

Primitive or full-service sites with water / electric hookups are available at Davis Bayou Campground. Horn, Petit Bois and East Ship Islands are accessible only by boat. Naval Live Oaks Youth Group Tent Area offers sites as well. Try the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce for beach hotels or condo rentals.

Need to Know

With beaches and boating, Gulf Islands National Seashore is ideal for sunbathers and sailors alike. If you're ready to take the plunge, these Gulf Islands National Seashore activities will get things launched.

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Gulf Islands National Seashore is one of only two "National Seashores" in the U.S. Having grown up near and in the other one (Point Reyes National Seashore, north of Bolinas and Inverness in Marin County), I had to visit this one, and I'm very glad I can say I've been to both. The place to stay if you're coming with a group (and have saved up) is Portofino Island Resort, (http://www.portofinoisland.com) which is just adjacent, and has kayaks for rent, etc. Luxury up the elevator, primitive and wild a few paddlestrokes away -- a great combo. Try for the gulf view so you can enjoy the sunsets!
Posted on 4/7/2012 1:54:00 PM by Anonymous
Florida Beaches Guide