The Gulf of Mexico has always has been import to American History and Culture. During colonization times is supported Spanish, French and British development in the Americas. Along the coast one can find Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, Fort Massachusetts on West Ship Island Fort Barrancas, Fort McRee and multiple ship island lighthouses.
Today the Gulf of Mexico provides a beach for people to come together and enjoy the best seashore that America has to offer. The park today not only holds historical tours of the many forts and lighthouses along the seashore, but many other activities as well. Many guests to the Gulf Island National Seashore enjoy bicycling along paths, bird watching the diverse fowl, boating with a variety of boats, camping along the sandy beach, stargazing on warm nights, hiking along the white sands, participating in ranger programs, boarding tour boats, snorkling the aquamarine waters, swimming in the warm waters, watching the blue angel flights, and hunting waterfowl. More than 280 species of birds live and visit the Gulf Island seashore, making it a perfect place for nature enthusiasts.
What attracts most people to this seashore in particular is the Barrier Islands along the coasts. These seven dynamic bars of sand are true treasures of the Gulf. These barrier islands move, erode and grow with the currents and help shape the seashore. The most important role these barrier islands fill is protecting human communities against ocean storms as well as salt marshes and seagrass beds. They help buffer the harsh gulf's wave action. These islands include Cat Island, East Ship Island, Horn Island, Petit Bois Island, West Petit Bois Island, Santa Rosa Island and West Ship Island.
Whether you are visiting Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, Gulf Islands National Seashore is a must visit to experience the best that the Gulf has to offer.