Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

4.7
#1 of 183 in Nature in Florida
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. Put Dry Tortugas National Park into our Key West trip site and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Dry Tortugas National Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
4,121 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Sone of the most unspoiled water in FL....Reef is incredable...Fishing is out of this world but you will need a charter or your own boat  more »
  • This day trip was so worth it. The beauty of this place is amazing. No need to edit any of the photos at all. We did the boat excursion and loved every part of this day. This should be on everyone's b...  more »
  • One of the highlights of our trip to Key West. Not everyday that you get fly in a sea plane. The journey to the fort was part of the DryTortugas experience. Definitely spring for the Sea Plane. You wo...  more »
Google
  • Not the easiest National Park to get to, but absolutely worth it if you like history, forts and beautiful surroundings. Ferry or seaplane are the transportation choices. I took the ferry and that was fun. I recommend taking a tour with the park guide when you arrive. The tour stories will make the place come alive and put it in context. Many people snorkel and the water is beautiful. I enjoyed walking the fort and moat walls. Taking the ferry is a long day but it gave me enough time to see all I wanted to see. Camping available but arrange ahead of time. It was a perfect day and great memory for me. It can be hot so prepare accordingly and bring comfortable walking shoes. There is a tiny ranger station that sells limited provisions and souvenirs . Snorkel gear often provided for free by the transportation company you take to get there.
  • Love it here. Took the seaplane--worth it and SO quiet here! (Arrived after ferry left for the day. ) Saw turtles, sharks, and shipwreck from the air. Great snorkeling. So full of beauty and history.
  • Camped at Fort Jefferson for two nights and three days, fishing for dinner and kayaking to submerged keys and shipwrecks. Made good friends among the small group of primitive campers. At night you can see the Milky Way and a trillion stars. Once the waters calm down after the 2017 hurricane season, snorkeling will get back to normal and the lighthouse repairs will be completed!
  • Fascinating history, good snorkeling and interesting ruined fort. It is a long boat ride out and back. Staff are attentive. A great day trip from the Keys.
  • Absolutely awesome park. This was on the top of my list to visit as far as national parks go. Not the best by any means but for it's remoteness and uniqueness. Lots to do here. Fort Jefferson is incredible. What a sight! Lots of history here and almost full access to the whole place. Then there is the picture perfect water around it. The best I've ever seen. Best snorkeling anywhere. Unfortunately was not able to do to much due to high winds reducing visibility. Took the ferry over. Down side is it takes 5 hrs round trip to get there. With only about 4 hrs of free time on the island it's hardly enough time to see and do it all. Plenty of reasons to go back. Defintiely would like to do the seaplane out but that is pricey. If ever in Key West, this is a must go! Enjoy!

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Where to stay in Key West

To explore the best of what Key West has to offer on foot, stay near Old Town, a picturesque neighborhood famous for its streets lined with tropical trees and gardens. Most hotels in this area feature rooftop decks, where you can meet friends for cocktails and enjoy ocean views at sunset. If you don't mind driving to where most of the action is, consider staying at a budget-priced inn or bed and breakfast on the eastern end of the island.
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