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Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

(4.8/5 based on 3,400+ reviews on the web)
Encompassing the most isolated and far-flung islands of the Florida Keys, Dry Tortugas National Park showcases vibrant coral reefs, tropical landscapes, and an island fortress. Set in the Gulf of Mexico nearly 109 km (68 mi) away from Key West, the park can be accessed only by sea. You climb aboard the official ferry service licensed by park authorities to reach the seven islands. Stop by the visitor center located inside Fort Jefferson, a 19th-century brick castle occupying the second-largest islet, for information on the park's history, oceanic ecology, and archaeology. Watch carefully for some of the park's nearly 300 species of birds, including nesting pelicans, terns, and frigatebirds. Add Dry Tortugas National Park and other attractions to your Key West trip itinerary using our Key West family vacation planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • If there's wind and waves, you might get sea-sick and the snorkeling at Dry Tortugas will be poor. Big waves will ruin the visibility for snorkeling. Big waves will make the trip less enjoyable. I'm s...  more »
  • This is an expensive outing. It was sold out when we first tried to book it. But the weather the next day was supposed to be rainy. There were cancellations so we got in. The ferry ride was a bit roug...  more »
  • The ride is made by a single company, the Yankee Freedom ferry. Buy your ticket on the site in advance (it's fast and secure) because the demand is great. The boat takes around 2:30 to go and more 2:30 to return. Coming, has more or less 4 hours to meet the Fort Jefferson, lunch and scuba diving from snokel, recommend doing in that order, for you to enjoy your snorkeling time quietly at the end. The ferry offers breakfast during the trip and lunch right into place, all very organized and stress-free. Impressed me the Organization and friendliness of the staff. They do a tour of 20 minutes (actually a lecture) on the Fort soon on arrival to the island I found quite expendable, did not add much beyond what I had researched on the internet (but, search as it is worth knowing the story). So, I suggest you skip this part and enjoy your ride to the fullest. The beauty of the sea around the Fort is truly stunning.
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  • We camped for one night and it was amazing! One of a kind experience sleeping under the most stars I have ever seen in my entire life! Great customer service from the super friendly and knowledgeable park rangers and Yankee freedom staff! Would definitely recommend.
  • Probably one of the coolest places I've ever been. Do the whole day trip and take lunch and snorkeling gear. I can't imagine the beauty on a clear night. If you have a yacht, I would go and spend several days.
  • To get to Port Jefferson Monroe county, Florida you'll need to plan months in advance (unless you have a private boat). Look for this boat : Yankee Freedom- Dry Tortugas Ferry at 100 Grinnell Street, Key West and purchase tickets online. Next, decide if you want to do a day tour or overnight ( you'll need camping gear).. and once there --- walk around, there is much to see both man-made (the structure of the fort ) and nature. Awesome, a once in a lifetime trip if you are going to make one .. at the edge of the USA :)
  • This is easily the most underrated National Parks I've visited. Be sure to take the tour; it is FASCINATING. I'm not much of a snorkeler, but we had a great time swimming around the island, looking at the fish and ruins. Perfect for a day trip from Key West. And you're home in time for dinner.
  • An amazing fort surrounded by beautiful reefs, water, and beaches. Get a dose of history then go snorkeling with colorful fish. Wonderful place to spend a day.