The Magnolia State is rich with natural wonders, history, and culture, with plenty of ways to explore them too. Especially on the coast, where you can find ancient relics from the past still hiding among the wilderness of Mississippi. Ship Island has seven miles of secluded and pristine coastline, and on its sandy shores, you’ll find a historic fort that has lived through battles of war, witnessed deaths, and endured the tests of time.
Ship Island is a gorgeous getaway spot. With super clear water and powdery white beaches, you could totally imagine that you’re actually in the Caribbean as the waves crash over your feet.
But it’s also a great spot for history buffs. The remains of Fort Massachusetts still stand on the island, and touring the structure is an adventure all its own.
You can wander through its winding tunnels, climb the stairs to the top and overlook the ocean, and even stand toe-to-toe with cannons that once protected its brick walls.
As part of the Third System of Coastal Defense, the fort was intended to protect a deep-water pass on the way to New Orleans. It served as a prison for Confederate prisoners of war and saw many lives perish to dysentery, disease, and naval clashes.
It’s amazing to think that the crystal-clear waters you can frolic in today were once the scene of military battles and operations! That might just make its secluded serene shoreline feel that much more peaceful and beautiful.
Now, you can learn more about the battles and occupancies of the fort during lectures and tours held by the National Park Service from March through October.
You will have to find a way to the beachy shoreline by boat. Ship Island Excursions offers a great way for you to see all the island has to offer.
Along with dolphin watching, sunset, and seasonal fireworks cruises, they’ll ferry you from the mainland to the island and back, while educating you on the history of Ship Island along the way.
Fort Massachusetts On Ship Island
Address: 862H626H+W4 Ship Island, MS
Why You Need To Go: Explore the ancient fort and gorgeous beaches of Ship Island!
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.