By: Alison Van Houten


50 best parks

Gulf Island National Seashore

Stretching for 160 miles along the coast, Gulf Island National Seashore extends all the way into the Florida Panhandle. Its ecosystems range from sultry bayous to gorgeous white-sand barrier islands, and you’re liable to see everything from dolphins and sea turtles to American black bears and armadillos. Explore the wild islets on foot, by boat, and in the water—the snorkeling and diving are prime. On shore, the 15.5-mile round-trip Live Oaks Bicycle Route connects the Davis Bayou Campground to the town of Ocean Springs, where you can resupply. Boat-in backcountry camping is available on the gorgeous Perdido Key.


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