• Beach walkway to white sandy beach and bluegreen waters

    Gulf Islands

    National Seashore FL,MS

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    Small portion of Horn Island, Mississippi, closed to entry due to discovery of asbestos and possible other bio hazards. Click on more for map and press release. More »

People

Gulf Islands is a park steeped in a long history of settlement, conflict, and abandonment. When Europeans first visited the northern Gulf of Mexico in the early 1500s, they found Native American settlements that were populous and thriving.

Along the Gulf of Mexico, discovery by Europeans was followed by a long struggle for the region's control. Spain, in 1559, established a settlement in Florida on Pensacola Bay, but the place was abandoned soon afterward. Spaniards revived the settlement in 1698, surrendered it to the French in 1719, regained it by treaty in 1722, ceded it to the English in 1763, and repossessed it by force in 1781!

Gulf Islands National Seashore contains one of the most complete collections of publicly accessible structures relating to the evolution of seacoast defense in the United States. It represents a continuum of development from Spanish exploration and colonization through World War II.

The Apache

The Apaches at Fort Pickens

Ship Island People

Historic Figures African-Americans

President John Quincy Adams

Did You Know?

Two Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins ride the bow wave of the wooden passenger ferry.

Did you know that two thirds of Gulf Islands National Seashore is under water? The largest, most common, mammal in this underwater realm is the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.