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Good For Kids

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A dry moat area located outside the main fort walls. It was a bit foggy on the day of the visit.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Fort Pickens

1400 Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, FL 32562
Fort is open 9-5. The park is open sunrise to sunset year round.
850-934-2600 2 hours
February 2011 Winter, Spring
$0-9 Pensacola Beach Florida
Website Historical Forts
First review
Fort Pickens is a masonry fort built by the US from 1829-1834 to protect Pensacola, Florida. The fort is located on the western end of Santa Rosa Island and can be reached by a causeway. The fort and other batteries on the island are part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Fort Pickens, which was named after a Revolutionary War officer, was built as part of a US coastal defense system begun after the War of 1812 to protect important harbors. It was one of several forts constructed to guard Pensacola. The fort was designed to carry 250 guns of various sizes and ranges and could accommodate 1,200 troops. During the Civil War Confederate troops failed to capture the fort in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island. It stayed in Union hands for the rest of the war. Fort Pickens played an important role in US coastal defense for many more years and batteries and bunkers were built, removed and rebuilt in and around the fort up through World War II. The military abandoned the fort in 1947 and it became part of the national seashore in 1971.

The fort is the island’s key attraction and is well-preserved and accessible. Brochures are available at the fort for self-guided tours of both the fort and other fortifications around the island. The tours are informative and together take about two hours. Guided fort tours are usually offered once per day, check with the park service for more information. In addition to the military sites, the park has miles of clean beaches and camping areas. Swimming and beach walking are popular here in nicer weather. With both historical attractions and beach activities, Fort Pickens is a fine choice for education and recreation in the Pensacola area.
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