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Old 04-07-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
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Gulf Shore to Ft. Pickens Campground?

I extended my first trip and will heading to Ft. Pickens for 7 nights after spending 10 nights at Gulf Shores State Park. I have been to Gulf Shores, so I know how to get there. Mapquest shows the route going from GS to Ft. Pickens going straight into Pensacola. I am concerned that this route may not be the best for a motorhome.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
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There won't be any 6% or better grades to climb on that route.
Keep doors locked and don't stop to get out of MH in that area. And you should be OK.

Big semi trucks with trailers drive and deliver in that area every day with no problems.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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You've got three options, you can take 90 along the coast into Pensacola, it's not bad, a lot of traffic and lights. You can hit canal to the beach toll road, go north to 98 I think, whatever goes thru Foley, and go east into Pensacola, it's not bad, just a lot of lights. Your third choice is to take the beach tollway back to i10 , east to Pensacola. It's not 5-10 minutes different either way. I usually do the 98? Route to avoid the beach traffic unless I want to see the sights.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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Beware that the Garcon Point bridge is rather expensive. Traffic that way is much less but when I got home and checked my Sunpass balance it was an $11.50 toll for RV and toad.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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reubenray,

I live on Santa Rosa Island, about 7 Miles from Ft. Pickens.

I don't know when you're heading this way but right now it's still spring break time for colleges and the traffic only 98 is probably pretty heavy. And, personally, I don't find the majority of that drive to be all that scenic.

When we come home from that direction, we take I-10 E to the I-110 exit. Exit I-110 at the Beaches exit (Chase Street). This is a left hand exit down to a stop light at Chase and 9th Avenue. Continue through that light to the next light and turn left. (It dead ends at the bay so you have to go either left or right.) You'll see the 3 Mile Bridge in the distance. Cross that and stay in the outside lane. You'll be in Gulf Breeze. At the first light in Gulf Breeze do not get in the extreme outside lane. That's a "right turn only" lane.

Go through the three stop lights and veer right when you see the overpass and the big sailfish sign (either of the 2 outside lanes will let you do this). This is just past the high school. There's a road sign that says to the beach. Hard to miss. Cross the Bob Sikes toll bridge. Toll is $1.00 for you and your toad as long as you're hooked together. (Used to be 50 cents per axle but they dropped that a few years ago.)

Stay in the outside lane because you'll be making a Y to the right just before you reach our one and only traffic light. Signage indicates that this is the way to Fort Pickens. Keep driving west.

About a mile after your turn - just a little past Peg Leg Pete's Restaurant - look for the 4 story pink and white house on the right. That's us. Honk as you go by.

Seriously, though, regarding going through Pensacola. Some areas would be tight for a MH if you got lost, but the route you'd be coming is more of a problem because of traffic. As for keeping your doors locked and staying in the MH... While there are areas of Pensacola I wouldn't wander around in alone, especially at night - I can't think of any that I'd be afraid to drive through during the day.

If you're coming in on a pretty weekend, try to get here early. Traffic can get pretty heavy and slow on the toll bridge after 10:30 or 11:00 until late in the afternoon.

Oh, watch your speed coming through Gulf Breeze and on the beach. Don't exceed the posted limit by more than 5 MPH - no matter how fast you see the locals driving. Once you hit the National Seashore, be really careful. The rangers don't tolerate speeding in the bird nesting areas. They'll usually let you slide for 5 MPH over elsewhere unless conditions indicate you should be going slower.

Tuesday nights there's a free concert at the Gulf side amphitheater in the core area of the beach. Other free things to do also during the week in the greater P"cola area.

Have a safe trip and I hope you enjoy our area. Let me know if you have any questions about things to do, or places to eat if you want a break from eating in the MH.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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Forgot to say that you shouldn't get to the Garcon Point toll bridge. You'd have driven well east past your exit. But I do agree that the toll for that bridge is ridiculously high, I avoid it most of the time unless speed is more important that the additional cost.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #7
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We will be at Ft. Pickens starting on June 8th. Surely spring break will be over by then.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:20 PM   #8
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If you have bikes, both these parks are excellent bike roaming parks. They are flat and large.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
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We'll be at Fort Pickens 7-10X7 15 for the air show. Loop A has 50amp and some of loop c. Don't forget to tour the fort and the fishing pier. I've seen 40 lb fish caught there and you don't need a license to fish the pier.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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Yes, spring break will be over. Local schools start getting out around that time but don't pose as much of a traffic issue. Weekends will still have heavy traffic, and the 8th is a Saturday. (My birthday and we have a wedding on the other end of the Island to go to so that's why I know without looking at a calendar.)

Great time of year, though. Not blazing hot yet and fewer people than later in the summer when all the schools, all over the country, are out. Water will have warmed up quite a bit by then, too.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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macgyver,

I hope the air show isn't your only reason for coming. It's uncertain if the Blues will fly or not due to sequestration budget cuts. Right now they aren't flying any practice sessions and no practice = no shows.

The Island Authority (the powers that be here on the Island) are scrambling trying to find out if there's any way they can pay for the Blues to fly. At any rate, the plan is to have the civilian part of the show whether the Blues fly or not. Blues weekend is a huge moneymaker for the businesses out here on the Island. Some take in a quarter of their annual income during that time.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #12
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They announced on the local news today that the Blue Angels have cancelled the 2013 performances.

Floridafran - I noticed that there is a Toll Bridge at Gulf Breeze. Am I say to assume there will be a RV lane?
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Old 04-09-2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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Yes, they did cancel the rest of the season for the Blues. I sent macgyver a private message since he said he was coming for that.

They do not have a dedicated RV lane on the toll bridge. We have a 31 footer, and our friends down the street have a much bigger rig. We've both used each of the 4 lanes at one time or another without a problem.

Not all of the lanes are always open. It depends on the amount of traffic they anticipate. (Although at times it seems more like it's on the whim of the toll takers.) There are lights above the 3 inside lanes which are either red or green, depending on if they're open or not.

There is also an extremely far right lane, which is open on the right hand side, making it the widest lane. It has no indicator light, you have to look to see if it's blocked off with orange cones. Occasionally there's also a sign on the dividing barrier between it and the lane to the left which says OPEN with an arrow pointing to the right. It almost looks like you're veering toward the bike path to use it. Hard to describe but you'll understand when you see it.

While this lane is wider, it has the disadvantage of forcing you to merge with 2 other lanes of traffic. It's a 2 lane bridge, with a 4 lane toll booth, reverting to 2 lanes on the other side.

My best advice is to stay in the outside lane as you cross the bridge. If the far right lane is open and you'd feel better using that, then you have the option to do so or stay with one of the others. The other reason to stay there is that you'll have to veer right not far up the road to get to Ft. Pickens and it can be hard to get over if traffic is very heavy.

Feel free to ask me any other questions and I'll be glad to help as much as I can.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #14
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We just left Fort Pickens and are currently at Gulf State Park. The way I am going to try and give you was good for us. Not many stop lights. When you leave GS stay on 182 which will become 292 in Florida also known as Gulf Beach Hwy. You will intersect Navy Blvd which means you are on the right track. Shortly after that you will go over a bay bridge. Not far after that you will make your 1st right. Just after you pass the railroad tracks take Main Street. It is a two lane but easy passage. You will pass Joe Patt's on the right (which by the way you are going to want to visit there during your stay. A Great seafood market). You will also pass the new baseball stadium. Stay to the right and you will then get on the Pensacola Bay Bridge. Stay in the right lane it is easy to miss the Gulf Breeze exit. Another poster gave you great directions once you get to Gulf Breeze. We had several people tell us to use 98. Sure glad we didn't. Took a little more an hour and a half. Hope this makes sense.
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