Seniors Enjoy A ‘Site Not To Miss’


CNN selected one site ‘not to be missed’ in each of our 50 states. In Mississippi, it was the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The Seashore offers senior travelers recreation opportunities and preserves natural and historic resources along the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands of Florida and Mississippi.

The protected regions include mainland areas and parts of seven islands. A unique dune habitat is created from wind and waves blowing sand into large piles, which are held in place by the root systems of beach grass and sea oats. The Gulf Islands National Seashore is known as “Mississippi’s Wilderness Shore.”


The Seashore spreads across two island chains off the coast of Mississippi and Florida’s panhandle. These scenic out-islands offer historic forts, white sand beaches, awesome emerald water and endless opportunities for seniors to learn and have fun.

Senior Military Historians Take Note

Military historians will find much to see and do at the Fort Barrancas Visitor Center, Fort Pickens, Pensacola Naval Air Station, and the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center. Senior visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery, hike a trail or explore the beautiful old historic brick forts within the park.

The Seashore is located on barrier islands which are a coastal landform and a type of barrier system, that is exceptionally flat and lumpy areas of sand, parallel to the mainland coast. These islands are famous for their natural, bright white sand, which is composed of quartz and scraggly pine tree forests that make a living among the sandy soil.


 Senior visitors will want to visit the Fort Pickens National Park. Fort Pickens is the largest of four forts built to defend Pensacola Bay, Florida, and its navy yard. The fort was begun in 1829, completed in 1834, and was named in honor of Major General Andrew Pickens of the South Carolina militia.

Pickens fought with distinction in several Revolutionary War battles and he also led several campaigns against the Cherokees, who called him “Wizard Owl.” That just has to be a total compliment, don’t you think? The park’s forts were built over a span of nearly 150 years; several were built as part of the Third System of coastal fortifications, a defensive system constructed between 1816 and 1867.

Outdoor enthusiasts can camp, fish, swim, snorkel, hike, bike, and birdwatch along miles of pristine shoreline. The Andrew Jackson Trail is one of nine trails leading out of Naval Live Oaks, which also offers a 40-mile biking loop.  Enjoy the Shore.  jeb

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