Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

4.8
#1 of 182 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.
Create an itinerary including Dry Tortugas National Park
map
Dry Tortugas National Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
4,032 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Great crew. Lots of food for breakfast and lunch. Fort Jefferson was amazing. Lots of swim and snorkel time. A must do trip!  more »
  • This marine expedition is great. Take the day. A catamaran takes you to the island which has a historic Fort. A beautiful and adventurous journey
    View original
  • The ferry ride out to Dry Tortugas was very pleasant with the crew taking great care of the passengers. The food was very basic but well appreciated. The location is amazing in its historical relevanc...  more »
Google
  • Great camping experience. Beautiful and Historic Fort Jefferson is a treasure located 70 miles from Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. The Ferry Yankee Freedom 3 takes you there in 2.5 hours, loads and unloads your gear. Snorkel, kayak or swim. A relaxing vacation.
  • So breath taking. Took the seaplane did the full day. Well worth it got to see everything and take our time. Our first hour snorkeling the water was super cloudy as the day went on it cleared to show the beauty.
  • This is now my favorite​ National Park. We were only able to camp for one night on our trip but I already want to go spend more time here. The park rangers were knowledgeable, safety conscience, and very helpful. Fort Jefferson is really fun to explore in the rain, in the sun, in the day and at night. I loved camping here. We met some new friends who were birding. They taught us about several species of birds I never heard of. And I named the campground walk way "hermit crab way", there were so many.
  • Another "must see". Extremely beautiful place. Amazing history behind the the fort. It was good going there but water got a little rough on the way back. Very informative staff. Definitely one of our highlights of our vacation.
  • Beautiful, isolated island you can visit either by seaplane (300$ and up round) or ferry (180$ return), besides private boat. A maximum of 10 campers are allowed every day on the boat but you must book months in advance, and then take everything you'll need during your stay. What you get is good snorkel, wandering inside Fort Jefferson, lots of magnificent fish and birds and other animals, quiet beaches, peace and calm. If you have a kayak you can bring it on the ferry and paddle to Loggerhead Key weather allowing. You can visit Garden Key, where Fort Jefferson is, all year round, but the neighboring Bush Key is only open to visitors from about December to March. One should appreciate the hard work of rangers and workers in Fort Jefferson - pay a visit to the visitor store, where you can learn more about the fort and island, have your national park passport stamped and buy some nice souvenirs.

Plan your trip to Key West

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

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.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Key West by other users

18 days in Florida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Miami & Florida Keys BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, teens, outdoors, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, teens, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Florida Keys BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, romantic, beaches, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, kids, culture, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Florida BY A USER FROM LITHUANIA April, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Florida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, outdoors, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans