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Fort McRee, if Fort Pickens & Crab Island had a Baby


In a world where a raised sandbar and a national park could have a baby, I believe Fort McRee would be a product of Fort Pickens & Crab Island. Historic and bare beaches surrounded by emerald green, clear waters, most days anyway. A sunny oasis filled with boats, sun bathers and the smells and sounds of summer. Or spring if you’re like me and prefer a little less humidity and a little less crowd.

Warning — if you don’t have a boat, or a friend with a boat, or a friend of a friend with a boat that will throw you an invite, go find one before you continue reading. The only way to Fort Mcree is by boat or watercraft. Technically you can get there by foot, but that’s about an 11 mile hike from the eastern tip of Perdido Key. Luckily, if you can’t find a friend we can buy our friends. Salty Tours out of Pensacola Beach will show you and your friends an awesome day on the water exploring Ft. McRee.


On a picture perfect Pensacola day, you will find dozens of boats anchored up on the shore or in the bay all of which brought water toys and coolers full of Pub Subs, seltzers and maybe even some Jell-O shots if you’re lucky. My best days at Fort McRee have included island exploring, dolphin sightings, paddle boarding, and a man made water slide made from a giant tarp that starts at the top of a giant sand dune and ends in the bay water beneath. Insider tip — use a boogie board and avoid skin to tarp contact. Rug burns don’t need a rug.

My best nights at Fort McRee (yes, you can camp here, but forewarning there are zero facilities) include flounder gigging, bonfires, s’mores, star gazing and my dogs chasing off mischievous raccoons who were hoping to get some leftovers. Speaking from experience, if you’re camping don’t forget your flashlights, firewood and to check the weather first.

There is so much to love about this place we get to call home and the hidden gems continually appear and surprise me year after year. Fort McRee isn’t so hidden anymore, but it’s still equally as special. It’s officially March and this little slice of Gulf paradise is calling. Happy Fort McRee season everyone!