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Dry Tortugas National Park – A Hidden Gem in Key West, Florida

Dry Tortugas National Park florida

Located about 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is a hidden gem in the Florida Keys. Comprising seven small islands and crystal-clear waters, the park offers visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.


The park was established in 1935 and is known for its well-preserved 19th-century fort, Fort Jefferson. The fort was built between 1846 and 1875 and served as a military prison during the Civil War. Today, visitors can explore the fort and learn about its history through ranger-led tours.


One of the main attractions of Dry Tortugas National Park is its stunning coral reefs, which offer some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in the United States. Visitors can take a ferry or seaplane to the park and spend the day exploring the underwater world. The park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers.

For those interested in history, Fort Jefferson is a must-see attraction. The fort is the largest brick masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere and covers almost the entire island it sits on. Visitors can tour the fort and learn about its history through ranger-led tours.

Camping is also available on the park’s main island, Garden Key. Visitors can bring their own gear or rent it from the park’s concessionaire. However, camping reservations should be made well in advance as campsites fill up quickly.

Getting There

Dry Tortugas National Park is accessible only by boat or seaplane. The Yankee Freedom III is the park’s official ferry and departs from Key West daily. The ride takes approximately two and a half hours each way. Seaplanes are also available for those who want a more unique experience.


Dry Tortugas National Park is a hidden gem that is well worth a visit for anyone traveling to the Florida Keys. With its stunning coral reefs, well-preserved fort, and unique location, it offers visitors a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just want to escape the hustle and bustle of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-see destination.

Discover Florida’s top attractions, parks, bars, and more! Don’t miss out on the ultimate guide to the Sunshine State’s most exciting destinations. From the white sandy beaches to the thrilling theme parks, there’s something for everyone. Check out our article now and start planning your Florida adventure today!

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