Fodor's Expert Review Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park Historical Fodor's Choice

This park, 70 miles off the shores of Key West, consists of seven small islands. Most people spend their time on Garden Key, touring the 19th-century Fort Jefferson, the largest brick building in the Western Hemisphere, then heading out to snorkel on the protected reef. The brick fort acts like a gigantic, almost 16-acre reef. Around its moat walls, coral grows and schools of snapper, grouper, and wrasse hang out.

Serious snorkelers and divers head out farther offshore to epic formations, including Palmata Patch, one of the few surviving concentrations of elkhorn coral in the Keys. Day-trippers congregate on the sandy beach to relax in the sun and enjoy picnics. Overnight tent campers have use of restroom facilities and achieve a total getaway from noise, lights, and civilization in general.

The park has signposted a self-guided tour that takes about 45 minutes. You should budget more time if you're into photography because the scenic shots are hard to pass up. Ranger-guided... READ MORE

This park, 70 miles off the shores of Key West, consists of seven small islands. Most people spend their time on Garden Key, touring the 19th-century Fort Jefferson, the largest brick building in the Western Hemisphere, then heading out to snorkel on the protected reef. The brick fort acts like a gigantic, almost 16-acre reef. Around its moat walls, coral grows and schools of snapper, grouper, and wrasse hang out.

Serious snorkelers and divers head out farther offshore to epic formations, including Palmata Patch, one of the few surviving concentrations of elkhorn coral in the Keys. Day-trippers congregate on the sandy beach to relax in the sun and enjoy picnics. Overnight tent campers have use of restroom facilities and achieve a total getaway from noise, lights, and civilization in general.

The park has signposted a self-guided tour that takes about 45 minutes. You should budget more time if you're into photography because the scenic shots are hard to pass up. Ranger-guided tours are also available at certain times. Check in at the visitor center for a schedule.

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Historical Family Fodor's Choice National Park Outdoor

Quick Facts

Key West, Florida  USA

305-242–7700

www.nps.gov/drto

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $15

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