Fort Pickens – Gulf Islands National Seashore – Florida

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While visiting my parents earlier this summer, I took my kids to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, one of my favorite spots in Pensacola. The fort is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, so after exploring a bit of American history, we cooled off with a swim in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The fort, completed in 1834, was built to protect Pensacola Bay and has an interesting and important Civil War history. Although the fort was attacked, the Union soldiers held strong and Pickens and the Navy Yard it guarded never fell to the Confederates.

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In 1899 there was an accidental explosion when a fire reached the bastion’s magazine filled with gun powder. They say the explosion was so strong it blew bricks clear across to the other side of the bay.

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In 1886 Geronimo (Goyahkla) was imprisoned here at Pickens for a few months with some of his warriors before moving on to Fort Marion in St. Augustine. Some prominent Pensacola businessmen had petitioned to have Geronimo jailed at Pickens claiming it was the best place to hold him.  Really they just wanted to capitalize by using him as a tourist attraction.

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Sugar white sand – turquoise water – no waves

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Notice we’ve gone Brazilian – no towels only kangas

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And no Pensacola Beach day is complete without Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. For some reason the sign is always flashing hot when we pass 🙂

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A great day on the Gulf Coast!

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