Explore the Emerald Coast near Fort Pickens

Fort pickins

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Fort Pickens is one of just four forts that didn't fall to the Confederates during the Civil War.

Nicholas Upton, Digital Editor
May 14, 2012
Filed under Destinations, Trailer Campgrounds

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With bright white beaches, perfect spring weather and plenty to do, Pensacola, Florida, is a great place to explore the Gulf of Mexico before the summer heat and humidity sets in. 

History buffs can check out the stalwart Fort Pickens, one of only four forts that never fell during the civil war. The towering guns and the massive walls house an important piece of American history and a story of bygone heroics.  Travelers can hear about the small regiment that held the fort and kept the Confederate army from using Pensacola bay.  The fort features daily tours, scenic oceanfront views and often hosts candlelight walks after dark.  Fort staffers change the itinerary often, so visitors should check online to find the current events.

For roving naturalists, the Emerald Coast is a site to behold.  Looking toward the Gulf from Pensacola, visitors can see the azure strip of water sandwiched between the mainland and the brilliant white beach.  The beach is made up almost entirely of fine quartz crystals; which makes for a soft spot to bask on top of the stunning color. 

The National Park Service hosts many activities to help people get in touch with the area at the Gulf Islands National Seashore.  

Events such as national Junior Ranger day for kids or marsh tours are tailored to get kids involved in the outdoors.  Stargazing excursions and guided picnic tours are perfect date options for anyone looking to get away from the RV for a while and have a little fun.  

A river otter runs along the beach.

A river otter runs along the beach.

The coast is also a great place to spot for aquatic wildlife.  Bottlenose dolphins, foxes, beavers, armadillos and river otters all call the Gulf Coast home.  

Since the area is a prime locale for snowbirds, there are many options when looking for a home base.  Emerald Beach RV Park, however, is one of the closest parks to the coast, and features coastal RV sites for an additional fee.  It’s located on the Santa Rosa Sound between Pensacola and another tourist hotspot: Destin, Florida. 

Any RVers looking for some beach rambling should take a closer look at the area at any time of the year, but if you can’t take the heat, get there early.  Temperatures average near 90 beginning in June with high humidity.  

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One Response to “Explore the Emerald Coast near Fort Pickens”

  1. Mary Ann Kee on June 7th, 2012 9:34 pm

    We just returned from staying several days on Santa Rosa island , we toured the old fort and found the history very interesting. We camped at Fort Pickens a national RV park . a very nice campground, we enjoyed being close enough to walk to the beach. A very nice place to stay.

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