Our first priority for this road trip was to escape the winter weather and find some warmer air to settle into. After almost a week of traveling south, we finally made it to the gulf coast and were blown away with the beach scape that we found here. The Gulf Shores National Seashore is incredibly beautiful, with miles of pristine white sand beaches and calm emerald green water. We had no idea the Pensacola area of Florida held such a gem!
Luckily, Christian had planned ahead and booked a few nights at the Fort Pickens campground, which is within the National Seashore, and we were not disappointed. In fact, we liked it so much, that we stayed an extra night to help us fully relax into our new life-style. There are five camping loops within the campground (A, B, C, D, & E) and we had the pleasure of spending time in both loop A and loop E.
Our first two evenings were spent in loop A, which seems to be the most popular within the campground. It’s separate from the other loops and has the added benefit of a lot of natural foliage around each campsite, which adds some privacy and good ambiance.
Loop E wasn’t as private as loop A, but it was still completely adequate for camping. This loop was linked with the three other loops (B, C, &D) and felt more like a standard RV park. We still ended up with a decent site that had a tree and backed to some tall marsh grasses.
The highlight of this campground is that it’s just a short walk through the dunes to one of the best beaches we’ve ever seen.
One of the best beaches we’ve ever seen:
And if the beach isn’t so much your thing, you’re in luck! The park has some really great biking/walking trails that will take you over to Fort Pickens, which was built in 1834 to defend Pensacola Bay. You can explore the Fort, browse the museum, fish (no license required) on the pier, or hang out on the bay side with the large birds that frequent the shore.
Overall, we loved the Fort Pickens campground and the surrounding area of Pensacola, FL. We were truly dazzled by its beauty and kept asking ourselves why we had never thought to travel here before. Most of all, we were happy to finally be into the warmer weather and enjoying some incredible scenery.
Cost: $20/night and $8 National Seashore Entrance Fee (good for 7 days)
*We chose to go ahead and purchase our America the Beautiful pass here for $80, which includes entrance to all National Parks and Seashores
Pros: Level sites, Spacious, Water & Electric Hookups, Dozen on-air TV channels, Adequate Shower and Rest Room facilities, Many spots are shaded, Easy beach access, Excellent Walking/Bike paths
Cons: Restrooms could be updated, Store and Laundry were closed for maintenance when we were there, Ten Miles to shopping and civilization.
Overall: We give this campground Five Stars and definitely recommend it to anyone who is passing through the Pensacola, FL area.