Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West

#1 of 6 in Beaches in Key West
Beach · State Park
Offering a mix of history and recreation, Fort Zachary Taylor centers on a military fort from the Civil War era. Construction began in 1845 and lasted nearly 20 years. The fort played an important role in a network of military garrisons located along the southeastern coast. Deactivated in the 1940s, the fort contains the largest collection of Civil War cannons in the country. Take a short tour of the military establishment, and then spend time swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving on the sandy beach. To escape tourist crowds near the fort, hike or cycle the natural trails crisscrossing the park. Add Fort Zachary Taylor and other attractions to your Key West trip itinerary using our Key West trip planner.
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Fort Zachary Taylor reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6,705 reviews
  • this state park has a historic fort, which is very interesting. they also have a very nice beach, with umbrellas. the park is a 15 or 20 minute walk from the old town and makes for a really nice side....  more »
  • Affordable and clean beach in key west. Cost $7 for us to get in by car. Fort is small but free to tour. Beach is nice. Bring your own chairs to save money. Chairs and snorkeling gear available for...  more »
  • We walked to the park from our rental unit. Key West is a great walkable city. I enjoyed laying on the beach and also walking around the old fort. Bring water shoes!! lots of rocks so a bit hard....  more »
  • Fort Zachary Taylor was a great place to enjoy the sun and beach on Key West. I was told by some locals that is one of the cleanest beaches due to it's status as a State Park and that proved true. While other beaches on the island had significant amounts of smelly seaweed this beach was completely clear. Just a few notes on what to expect. First, you will need to pay a fee to get in, I rode my bike in and paid just $2.50. Second, if you want a chair or umbrella on the beach be prepared to pay. You can always bring in your own chairs/umbrellas/shade so I'd recommend that if possible. There is a small stand that sells food and drinks and the prices aren't too bad for what you'll get. The beach also has snorkel equipment for rent if needed, I did not check out these options. Lastly, the beach is more rocky than sandy so depending on what your looking for this may or may not fit your vision of a beach. Personally I managed fine without shoes or sandals, just had to be very cautious about where I stepped, especially on entrance/exit from the water.
  • Such a beautiful beach and area! We were coming off a cruise and while everyone went off to shop we found this gem only a few steps off the naval base. The right side of the beach is very rocky, but head left towards the Navy beach and it is absolutely beautiful. Lots of lush vegetation, huge iguanas, and beautiful fish right off the beach. Would definitely recommend stopping here! Hopefully will be back again soon. I recommend going in the morning early because it's most peaceful then.
  • We loved the place. We took our wedding pictures at the park which came out great. We saw a big iguana wandering around. Very well maintained and clean beach and rest area. I highly recommend it. The entry fee is valid for an entire day, so if you leave but want to come back later the same day, they'll let you in without having to pay twice which is great.
  • Beautiful! You do have to pay for parking but it’s worth it.. we paid $7 for 1 car and 2 people. There are numerous free shaded picnic tables, clean bathrooms, a snack bar, and even umbrella and chair rentals, if interested. An umbrella and 2 chairs are $30, $20 for 1 chair and umbrella, $15 for umbrella only. Water is clean and warm. Lots of trees to provide shade. We had a great day!
  • Beautiful beach in Key West. The facilities were very nice and there were several different areas for picnics under the shade of pine trees and palms. There were several places to take picturesque shots. It is a large state park and on a week day it was not crowded. The water was nice for swimming and snorkeling. The only con...the sand was rocky on the beach and even in the water I would suggest water shoes for those with tender feet.

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