Camping in History

When you’re ready to connect with the great outdoors, check out Gulf Islands National Seashore campgrounds near historic Ft. Pickens in Pensacola Beach. Nationally recognized as a top 10 place to camp, you’ll find multiple loops, dozens of campsites, and a variety of amenities and access points. Some loops offer basic tent camping and bare essentials while others offer electrical hookups, hot showers, and more. The park offers pet-friendly and bonafide group camping options as well. Wherever you settle, it’s all within close proximity of beaches and trails.

Keep in mind

As one of the best campsites in the country, the park takes great pride in preservation and providing all guests an authentically natural experience. With this in mind, there are rules and regulations in place that help us preserve this majestic area.


Be sure to create a checklist of camping essentials including plenty of food, water, ice, sunscreen, firewood, and bug repellant. As a national park, there’s very limited access to items you would typically find in a general store like ice and firewood. And remember that cell phone service may be fickle in some spots, so plan accordingly.


Because Ft. Pickens is a nationally recognized destination for camping, sites book up fast. Hop on to make your reservations up to six months in advance.

Fort Pickens campground signage.


Many camping loops offer electric hookups and potable water while others are more primitive. Several loops cater to specific classes of recreational vehicles, so be sure to visit for more information. Wherever you land, most campsites will be close to hot showers, public restrooms, and laundry facilities. There’s also free wifi in the Ft. Pickens Discovery Center.


Please note that campsite reservation fees are separate from the $25 Gulf Islands National Park entrance fee. Upon arrival, be prepared to show a valid national parks pass or pay the entrance fee.

Ready for adventure?

Ft. Pickens has no shortage of awesome activities to enjoy. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic up for long hikes and winding bike rides or a history buff ready to explore the fort’s archives, our 300+ days of annual sunshine will make every outing a pleasure. 

For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s so much to experience within the park’s preserved beauty. Surrounded by the sound and the Gulf of Mexico, there are excellent fishing, diving, and birdwatching opportunities at every turn. There are miles of shoreline, coves, and trails to explore where you can encounter little more than nature if you so desire.

Fort Pickens campground marsh in Pensacola Beach, Florida.