This masonry fort was begun in 1847 but never completely finished. It was garrisoned during the Civil War—by the Union after a brief occupation by Confederates at the beginning of the war—the Spanish-American War and WWII. The fort was built to protect Cumberland Sound, which is the approach to the town of Fernandina, which was the most important city in Florida at the time. The location, literally at the extreme northeastern tip of the state, is the key to its present popularity. It’s surrounded by parkland, and the drive in from the state park gate passes under live oaks thickly hung with Spanish moss. There are large, isolated campsites if you brought your tent, otherwise, tour the fort (there are Civil War-era re-enactors here the first weekend of each month and interpretive exhibits and guides at other times), look for shark’s teeth along the beach or fish from the pier. It’s a great day outdoors and kids love looking at real cannons and picking up shells on the beach.
Attractions & Landmarks, Parks, Gardens & Cemeteries, Tours