Fort Clinch
Amelia Island, Florida
Visited 4.09.14
Visit the Fort Clinch page here!

To be painfully accurate, Fort Clinch is not a starfort. It's a Polygonal Fort, a concept that came along in the mid-19th century as a reaction to the technological advancement of artillery.

One of the fun aspects of the American starfort is that there was never a "standard design." Though there were plenty of starforts that looked similar in execution, every single one was an individual work of engineering art, depending on the terrain, the designer and whathaveyou.
The Polygonal Fort, meanwhile, came along at a time when the US government was a whole lot more organized than it had been when it had been building starforts. Most of the American forts that were built during this period, including Fort Montgomery and Fort Schuyler, followed a very specific plan indeed, and as such look virtually identical to the Google Maps peruser today.

But who cares! We're talking about visiting Fort Clinch!
Whatever definition it goes by, Fort Clinch is five bastions, built to mount big guns, with a fortified area between them: The basic concept of a starfort! Today it is done up to appear as it did in 1864, during the US Civil War. Most of the rooms in the fort's interior buildings are filled with period artifacts or reproductions: Lots to look and poke at!

I suspect that at least some of the impressive museum-like stuff that I was seeing during my visit was due to an impending event, however.
This was just about the only negative part of my visit, and it wasn't the fault of Fort Clinch: Some big shindig was in the works, which was to commence after the fort closed to visitors for the day. As such, an army of caterers was swarming over the fort grounds, setting stuff up in some of the buildings, along the curtain walls and at least one of the bastions. They were doing their best to be as unobtrusive as possible, but...they were all over the place. Hard to get a decent picture of a fort's parade ground when there's a big white tent and shiny pickup trucks in the frame.
Again, though, I don't say this to take anything away from the fort, which is in excellent condition inside & out. Fort Clinch State Park is also a campground, so the fort's gift shop, where you go to pay for access to the fort ($6 to park, $2 entrance fee for the fort), is also a camp supply store, which always makes for a fun, lively shop.

At which I bought two Fort Clinch T-shirts, only to discover, a day later and many miles away, that I had been charged for three. This was really my fault more than anyone else's, for I hadn't been paying attention, plus I had been distracting the clerk (who also wasn't paying attention) with conversation.
But! The fort was beautiful, I had access to almost everything (one bastion was locked up tight, and the upper level of another was closed off, but the rest were wide open for exploration), under normal circumstances there are folks in period dress moseying around, doing period things, and the fort is circumnavigable (one can walk all the way around the fort's outside walls).

Please won't you click on any of the images on this page, which will take you to its full-sized counterpart, which are presented with even more of my descriptions of Fort Clinch!