Wildlife Lover? Do Not Miss To Visit The Gulf Islands National Seashore

The Mississippi areas have great and beautiful barrier islands, this is certainly a good place to visit if you enjoy beautiful scenery and hiking trails.

The crashing ocean on the most beautiful white beaches is a uniqueness that draws millions of tourists to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Visitors love the incredible fauna and flora, including the fertile marshes.

Throw in the great history of Mississippi and plenty of outdoor recreational activities. This vacation escape is an eye-opener and an opportunity to try something new and imaginative.

So, what exactly are the best places to visit in Mississippi? Find out below!

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Gulf Island National Seashore

Photo by Amy/Flickr

This is a paradise for bird watchers. There are at least 3000 bird species here. Among the sea of birds, you will see are the bald eagle, osprey soaring high, piping plover scurry, brown pelicans, and black skimmers among others.

The birds are at the beaches, marshes, inland and woodland. Everywhere you go gives you a chance to see different birds. The beaches are some of the best places to visit in Mississippi because of their splendor and they are home to many animal species that camouflage in the sand like the hermit crabs, sea turtles, hawksbill, leatherback, etc found on the sunny shores.

Butterflies too are in plenty such as monarch butterflies bursting in colorful aura. The island is home to alligators, which roam the marsh waters over 3000 miles of landing strip.

Visit the Third Systems Fort

The barrier island used to protect the mainland from foreign invasion. The fort was erected after the war of 1812 when the British empire tried to reclaim the US gulf coast.

The fort is a massive stone structure with 20-foot tall walls that are 4-feet thick making them virtually impenetrable. Canons are still there pointing towards the gulf. Although the forts have seen fierce battles, they still stand tall.

Go hiking

Hikers along the Florida Trail

Ocala National Forest

Hiking offers an opportunity to see amazing wildlife. Explore the narrow Petit Bois and Horn islands which you can access by boat. There are also the 0.25 miles Perdido Key Discovery trail and the Woodland Nature Trail close to Fort Barrancas. Hike the 7.5 miles of the Fort Pickens Florida trail along the beaches.

Scuba diving, fishing and snorkeling

pensacola scuba diving

This is the gulf of Mexico, remember. So, have fun in the water. Enjoy entertaining water ventures with your friends in this blue-green waters. Have a swim, go for a fishing expedition. Fishing is very popular in the Islands, which includes deep-sea finish, shore-fishing, crabbing, and pier-fishing. However, you may need a saltwater fishing permit with the exception of the Davis Bayou area which requires a freshwater fishing permit.

Alternatively, go scuba diving from the seawall at Fort Pickens. You can do it from the USS Massachusetts battleship wreck or the tugboat sport. Ensure you abide by the regulations and rules of the National Park.

Snorkeling is exciting and gives you an opportunity to experience the different fish varieties in the clear waters of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Stargazing

This is an opportunity to experience the breathtaking milky way galaxy and other hosts of stars using binoculars at night. The dark skies give you the front-row seat of the heavens, an experience like no other.

Camp under the skies in the state park. Pitch your tent and enjoy the awesome experience. You can also boat camp on the beautiful white beaches of West Petit Bois, Horn, Fort Pickens, or Petit Bois islands. There are no fee requirements, and you can sail 10-miles from the coat, but observe the guidelines protecting the fragile islands.

Visit the museums

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art welcomes you to the rich taste of Mississippian culture. The museum works with educators to ensure visitors learn the rich history. Artists often donate their works to this museum which gives kids and adults a perfect learning opportunity.

The GI museum is where you find preserved artifacts of the armed conflicts that ravaged American history. Occasionally, the museum hosts historical reenactment events explaining roles played by soldiers and honoring veterans.

Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and learn about the brave men and women who operate advanced spacecraft and aircraft which served the war. There are about 150 aircraft still on display.

Kayaking and paddleboarding

The beautiful emerald waters of Pensacola are ideal for learning how to paddleboard. This is a family-friendly activity, which explains its popularity. Take your time to explore the waters around the beach and have a fun adventure filled with unique experiences.

Get the kayak from the rental and navigate your way in the calm waters of Pensacola beach. Tubing is a water activity for all ages and is perfectly family-friendly. Besides, you can enjoy the slow relaxing current while having your snacks or drinks to make it more fun.

Visit the Gulf Breeze zoo

Let your kids see different zoo animals. There are over 800 animals spread on the 50 acres of land. You can feed the giraffe, alligator, or watch birds taking flight from the Australian aviary.
Alternatively, take a safari Train Ride going through the African Preserve then visit the petting area.

Visit the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park

It’s found a one-hour drive from Pensacola and situated in Fort Walton Beach. The marine park is home to several animals including dolphins, alligators, sea lions, turtles, snakes, and stingrays. Besides, there are shows, training demonstrations, and exhibitions.

Visitors can get personal with animals and enjoy amazing encounters like turtle, dolphin, sea lion, and penguin encounters.

Pensacola lighthouse

pensacola lighthouse

It’s time you climbed the 177 steps to the top of the lighthouse to get a clear view of the beautiful downtown Pensacola, Pensacola pass, Navy yard, and the intersection of the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay.

Buy souvenirs

The shops and restaurants have a rich taste of food and artifacts including handmade jewelry and pottery. Take something home to remember the trip by or for future reference. Buy antique furniture.
Vacation is supposed to be a learning experience full of fun activities. The Gulf Islands National Seashore offers a lot more. You have wildlife, bird-watching, a zoo, marine park, beautiful waters, and hiking trails among others to enjoy in one place. Where else can you get this unique experience?

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