Found on Cockspur Island between Savannah and Tybee Islands, Fort Pulaski National Monument, located in Georgia, is an ideal weekend getaway for the history buffs and non-history buffs alike. The fort itself has a diverse and long history and is educational as well as entertaining for both adults and children. Apart from marveling at the Fort visitors can partake in various outdoor activities under the bright Georgia sun. The various nature trails, the indoor museum, and guided tours make it a highly entertaining visit that grabs the attention of all sorts of enthusiasts.
This fort is monumental, not just for its historical events, but for being a landmark of military and scientific advancement. Fort Pulaski was unbreachable, until 1862, during the Civil War, when the Union army launched a rifled cannon that shattered the heavy brick fortification. The result of the cannon fire left the Confederate garrison inside with no choice but to surrender. The siege of Fort Pulaski was a momentous time in history as the invention of the rifled cannon rendered brick fortifications obsolete.
The fort was also ranked first on the list of “most spectacular harbor defense structures” during the Civil War era. The fort was made of 7.5-foot of solid brick called “Savannah Gray”. These bricks are rare and a very durable building material that offered excellent fortification. Today, the fort has been restored to its original glory using the same material and building techniques of centuries past.
Visitors can bring their pets along as well to explore Fort Pulaski National Monument and its surrounding areas. Leashed dogs can walk alongside their owners not only outdoors but indoors too.
The sun-dappled trails, fish-crammed marshes, and history-rich walls make sure all kinds of visitors return home happy and refreshed. With so many reasons to visit Fort Pulaski, it's definitely one of the unmissable places in Georgia.
Fort Pulaski is located on Cockspur Island at the aperture of the Savannah River, 15 miles east of Savannah, Georgia.
To get to the monument drive down Interstate 1-95 and take the exit 99 onto 1-16 East on James Memorial Hwy. Drive for seven miles and take exit 164 A onto Interstate 1-516 east. Then take the exit towards US-80 East. Drive straight for 14 miles on US-80 East to reach your beautiful destination. Roads lead to a large picnic area and to the Fort itself.
Fort Pulaski National Monument doesn’t offer any campground for RV camping. A little over 30 miles away, you'll find the Savannah South KOA in Richmond Hill.
The sites here have full hookups and can accommodate large RVs up to 70 feet in length. There is cable TV and Wi-Fi. Perhaps the most unique feature at this KOA is the 35 acre lake within its boundaries. You can even rent a boat right onsite.
Enjoy fishing in the lake or take a dip at the pool, which is open yearly from mid April to the beginning of November.
A short 11-minute drive away from Fort Pulaski lies the famous Tybee Island Lighthouse. The history of this lighthouse that reaches 145 feet dates back to 1736 and has been shining the light of guidance to mariners since then.
It is a historic and beautiful landmark that is worth the visit after you have had your fill of Fort Pulaski National Monument.
Located 12 miles and about a 25-minute drive from Fort Pulaski is the Bonaventure Cemetery, one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. If you are in the area, do not miss the chance to visit this one of a kind cemetery. Formerly known as, Evergreen Cemetery, Bonaventure Cemetery was once a plantation that had to be converted into a cemetery when all the other cemeteries in the city were nearing capacity.
The cemetery is very Victorian in style with its curving pathways, grassy areas, and lots of trees and bushes. It was also commonplace for the bereaved to gather here and remember the dead.
Before you venture to the fort itself, consider a visit to the Visitor Center and Museum with its many exhibits. The Visitor Center and Museum displays the achievements of General David Hunter and Robert E. Lee, as well as share the details regarding the construction of Fort Pulaski and the history and implication behind the 1862 battle for it.
The museum runs a 20-minute film called the “The battle for Fort Pulaski” that begins with the early construction of the fort and ends at the struggle for its control during the Civil War. The Visitor Center and Museum also have restrooms, a water fountain, and a bookstore.
The 13 miles of Hiker Biker Trail at Fort Pulaski National Monument allows the visitors to enjoy an excursion on their bikes that takes them through some important and beautiful sights.
The hike passes through a portion of the Central of Georgia Railway that once used to carry passengers from Savannah to Tybee Island. The trail also loops past the south channel of the Savannah River, providing a mind-blowing view of Cockspur Island across the channel.
Several benches are available along the trail so that bikers can rest before continuing the loop.
The fort is surrounded by some of the dreamiest and most beautiful nature trails. The one mile North Pier Trail, for instance, is decorated with lush vegetation, wooded surroundings, and crosses through the remnants of Fort Pulaski's original construction village and Battery Hambright.
A hike through this trail even leads to various encounters with the wildlife. These trails will lead you to sandy beaches, shimmering marshlands, and out-of-the-way spots that allow you to have a peaceful time alone.
With marshlands everywhere, 90% of the Fort Pulaski National Monument is categorized as a wetland. The marshlands cover 4800 acres of the area and are filled with salt, nutrient-rich marine waters. The water bodies surrounding the Fort Pulaski National Monument are populated with shrimp, mussels, oysters, clams, and usually, the same variety of marine life found in southern coastal estuaries.
The Fishing Pier Trail, which is four miles long and takes about 1.5 hours, allows you to enjoy the water of the south channel of the Savannah River. It's full of a variety of marine life so be sure to bring your fishing license.