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Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West

(4.2/5 based on 4,400+ reviews on the web)
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. It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Fort Zachary Taylor and many more Key West attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Key West travel itinerary maker.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Fort is worth a look. The beach area has great shaded picnic area for families. Plenty of parking. Seemed secluded.  more »
  • I unfortunately wasted a lot of money taking a boat to go snorkeling. We were then told to go to Fort Zachary and the snorkeling was AMAZING!! And you can use your own gear or rent theirs for $20!! It...  more »
  • The beach was very clean, not crowded and was by far the best view of the sunset. I was able to get great pictures.  more »
Google
  • This state park has everything you need to spend a great day. It has a large picnic area covered with tress that offer shadow and cover from the sun. The beach is very nice and the color of the water is a beautiful turquoise. The beach is a mixture of sand and rock but there are areas where getting into the water is very easy and it's really worth seeing. In addition, you can visit the fort and learn about the history of the place doing a self guided tour or listen to the daily park tour at 11 (I didn't so can't give an opinion on that). Entrance to the park is only 2.5 per person (walking or on a bike) and somewhere along 5 per car. This place is a great option to spend a sunny day if staying in key west and I would highly recommend it to couples, friends and families alike!
  • Absolutely fantastic 11am tour by our guide Kevin (Basically a walking encyclopedia! With a fantastic personality. Great job) Definitely worth your time to stop by and check it out.
  • We enjoyed our time in the Fort Zachary State Park so much, it's the best beach and the best place to view sunset in Key West. During the afternoon, we stayed at the beach, which was not as rocky as other beaches in Key West. So I would say it is the best beach in Key West. At the beach, there also is the famous signpost with the calculated distances to places all over the world. In the evening you should go to the west coast of the Park, I think there are signs which lead you the way to find it (signs say "sunset point" or similar) Because from there, you have a wonderful, picture-perfect view of the sunset. And you can avoid the crowds which you have on Mallory Square, there are not so many people watching the sunset in the park. The Fort was closed during our visit without any notice, that was a little bit disappointing.
  • Unique fort. Remarkable atmosphere. A little hidden secret spot. I had been to Key West many times before I got to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. The reason Fort Zachary Taylor is not better known is probably its location: When in Key West, the only indication of the fort is a small street sign. Because it is on the water behind the Truman Annex, you don’t pass it while walking or driving. Dredging of a ship channel resulted in earth being piled around the fort, which once was surrounded by water. What’s worse:  Most of its Civil War era cannons were missing. I had been to Key West many times before I got to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park.   *****
  • The beach and ocean floor are very rocky, so be sure to bring water shoes - BUT the beach is very nice, water clean and clear. Very good snorkeling as well. Pay to park and can rent chairs/umbrellas and snorkeling gear. Much better than Smathers beach.