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“History”
Review of Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors can take a self-guided tour of this authentic fort active during the Civil War and later used as a jail to hold the infamous American Indian chief Geronimo.
Norman, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“History”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

Very intresting place to visit. The fort was constructed to withstand heavy fire. The area was clean and a good place for familys to visit.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Vinson2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

I was really surprised at the history of this fort. Really interesting; glad that it is being preserved by the Federal government. I think local businesses in Pensacola should help with the costs as this Fort can be an attraction for additional tourists. The views of the gulf are wonderful. Take your time with the self-guided tour. Photographers will enjoy finding unique angles to capture details of the historic structure.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ramon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
68 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Beach”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

What a wonderful park. The fort was very interesting. The beach was perfect. We were there on a Sunday, had lots of room to spread out. Bathroom was clean and they had several nice picnic areas.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank The-Forets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florence, Kentucky
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“You are here for the beach”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

The actual campground here is mediocre at best. D Loop is where we stayed. Bathrooms were disgusting!! Nasty! Use the bathrooms and showers in the adjacent loop. D Loop is mostly tent campers and I guess we don't rate a decent shower house experience? Tent campers need clean facilities too! We stayed from Sunday to Saturday and the grass (what there is of it) sort of needed mowing in D loop when we checked in. It was tall in spots some places and all over in others. Friday morning of our stay, at 7 am the landscaping crew shows up and starts the riding mowers and weed eaters!! People were very very upset. Families with babies and small children especially and rightly so. If the people at check-in would have informed campers that mowing would take place on such and such a day and time then at least we would have had a heads up and been prepared. Rude and thoughtless. However, the campground is 95% full through the week and 100% for the most part on the weekends. So no real good time to mow but giving guests some warning would be great! Put it on the calendar they give you?? Then due to our tent sites I suppose, we discover why the grass is high in spots...they just mow around all your things. So if you have a chair sitting out and they need to mow they just mow around it and move on. The camp store is privately owned or contracted and they were OUT OF ICE for the last 5 days we were there. Now, this is not necessarily a life altering situation until you take into consideration we are at least 7 miles from Pensacola Beach and the nearest Tom Thumb station. 7 miles is not even normally a big deal but with the speed limit being 15-20 miles an hour in and out of the park...it takes a good 20 minutes to get from the campground to the nearest gas station/store for ice. Turtles and shore bird nests are the reason they give for the speed limit. Never saw a turtle or a shore bird nest but whatever. Bottom line on this is take what you NEED and WANT for the duration of your stay and plan to have to drive out of the park for ice etc due to camp store being unreliable on stock. However, the camp ground is super quiet given the capacity. Tent/pop up camping is sometimes unforgiving when big diesel pick up trucks pull out before daylight and shine headlights! LOL These are the folks fishing and boating leaving for their day. Also, there are no pull through sites anywhere we could see. So if you prefer these kind of sites you won't find them here.

That is the negative...now for the positive! All the pads, even in D loop are paved and that is nice. The campsites are $35 per night for everyone! A mere walk to the beaches! I mean you are in the Gulf and you are on the beach, right?? If you get to the beaches before 10:30 in the morning you practically have the place to yourself. There are several boardwalks along the camp road to the beaches but Langdon Beach is the only section with a pavilion, life guards and rest rooms. And you really need to drive to Langdon. It's not close enough to the camp ground to carry your gear for a day at the beach. You will need to take your cooler etc. Jet ski and para-sailing are available in Pensacola Beach but not in the park. You can rent kayaks here as well as umbrellas, chairs and paddle boards. These are not set up and available until about 10 am. Seemingly, if you are the first to rent, paddle boards/kayaks are $5 more then as they get busy you see the drop in price. They rent by the hour and it was between $15-$20 an hour. Again, as with the camp store this is a private enterprise. There is a laundry room on site and that was welcomed. But have your own laundry supplies. Also, no sewer hook ups for travel trailers. No sewer hook up at all. All sites have water and electric but you will need to go to dump station or use the shower houses. The nice bathrooms have a sink station to wash dishes.

Fort Pickens itself is a fantastic treasure! One of the best kept secrets ever. Take the guided tour and these days and times are noted on your calendar you get at check-in. Take heed! Most guided tours start at 6pm and the museum in the Fort as well as the gift shop close promptly at 5 pm. We missed both of these because we figured if the tour starts at the gift shop wouldn't it stand to reason the gift shop and museum would be open to cater to tour participants dollars? Nope! It is, after all the National Park Service i.e. the government. *sigh*

If you own a Segway...take it! This park is a blast for Segway riders. Units with rugged tires would fair best due to the sand but still. Bikes and skateboards also fair well here.

Over all....this is something we will most definitely do again. I mean, you are here for the the beach right? There is so much to see and do in the park that your campsite is mostly for sleeping regardless of who is camping. Everyone was friendly and the locals are awesome.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank WillasOma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Starkville, Mississippi
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great history and location is fantastic”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

You can get a little history lesson while enjoying time on the beach! No fee for entry to the Fort or the tours or activities, but there is the entry fee into the National Park, which is $8 per car and is good for 1 week.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank MsJenni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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