Travel

Like some of Florida’s other parks, Fort Pickens began as a military fort on Santa Rosa island in the 1800s and remained in use until 1947. These days, the old fort still stands, but it’s the surrounding beach that’s the real draw. This tiny corner of the Gulf Coast is comparatively underdeveloped (no towering buildings or hotels) and the seven-mile stretch of white sand is as pristine as you’ll find. Bicycle lanes run parallel to the beach and separate picnic areas mean settling in for the day is no problem.

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