Extend The Experience: Gulf Islands National Seashore

May 22, 2020Book Of The Week, Extend The Experience

Gulf Islands National Seashore 

The beautiful Gulf Islands National Seashore, straddling Florida and Mississippi, includes maritime forests, white quartz beaches, bayous, nature trails, and historic military fortifications. Created in 1971 by Congress, the Gulf Islands have been a destination for millions of visitors to hike, boat, camp, and learn in the park’s unique cross-section of nature and American history. You may find yourself surrounded by Monarch butterflies on their epic migration to Mexico. Or marveling about how major weather events, like Hurricane Katrina, change the landscape of the islands.

Book of the Week

This week’s book of the week is Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Park in Pictures.

Hot white sand, cool blue water, barrier islands and coastal forests rich in wildlife, and a diverse array of historical sites and structures make Gulf Islands National Seashore one of the most popular and appealing of America’s coastal parks. This book takes you on a visual adventure! No wonder millions of visitors come every year from near and far to swim, fish, camp, watch wildlife, learn about American history, and relax in the shade of live oaks and beach umbrellas. A hotbed of diversity caressed by cool breezes from the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Islands National Seashore wins hearts, engages the intellect, and soothes the harried spirit. Enjoy your journey!

Places of Interest 

Fort Pickens

Historic Fort Pickens was built during the 1800’s to defend Pensacola Bay, considered one of the most important strategic bays in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Naval Live Oaks Reservation

The nation’s first federal tree farm was authorized by Congress during the presidency of John Quincy Adams, to ensure the Navy had access to live oak timber for the building of war ships. The USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, the oldest commissioned ship in the US Navy, was built from live oaks in 1795. Take a visit to Naval Live Oaks Reservation through this video posted by the National Park Service.


Bonus Park Content

Explore these places and more of the beautiful Gulf Islands through this stunning picture documentary and learn about this precious national treasure. For a full video exploration of the islands, check out local station WSRE’s documentary below.

Jr Ranger Content

Does your Junior Ranger want to become a Junior Ranger Sounds Explorer? The National Park Service has a whole library of park sounds for you to explore. So grab some headphones, close your eyes, and enjoy the sounds of the national parks. Explore now! 

Passport Virtual Cancellation 

Gulf Islands NS

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty that Gulf Islands National Seashore is famous for – all from your home! Explore the white sandy beaches and aquamarine waters that draw millions of visitors to the islands on the Gulf of Mexico every year. With these virtual experiences you can also learn about the history of an area that has shaped–and still shapes–the United States of America. Add this park to your virtual Passport today!

Shop The Experience

Usually when we buy pins, patches, and hiking medallions it’s to commemorate the experience we’ve just had at a national park. Right now, many of us just can’t get to the parks we love, so let’s consider this purchase a promise—to go on that trip you’ve been planning, to see that view you’ve been dreaming of, or to hike that hike that’s been calling your name for months. Here are a few items from Gulf Islands National Seashore to help you get inspired.

Gulf Islands National Seashore
Collectible Lapel Pin

Gulf Islands National Seashore Embroidered Patch

Fort Pickens
Hiking Medallion

Support The Experience

A picture of Highland Lighthouse, Truro MA

Support Your Parks

If you are passionate about education and your national parks, consider a gift today. Your gift of $10 or more will make more books available online for free and allow us to reach new audiences with the stories of our history, culture, and environment that your national parks preserve.

New Ways to Celebrate Passport® 35

New Ways to Celebrate Passport® 35

Let’s get this party started! Since 1986, the Passport To Your National Parks® program has helped millions of visitors discover America’s treasures, while helping to protect them for future generations. Now visitors can celebrate 35 years of Passport with two...

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