"Dry Tortugas" Top 5 Page for this destination Dry Tortugas National Park by Ericasmurf99

Dry Tortugas National Park Travel Guide: 65 reviews and 282 photos

A great day trip from Key West

If you are going to be in Key West for a few days, I highly recommend a day trip out to the Dry Tortugas! Tortugas is spanish for turtles; when this land was first discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513, he saw and caught hundreds of turtles, hence the name Tortugas.

You can come out to the island by boat or plane. If you take one of the boat tours, they will supply snorkle gear, breakfast and lunch for you. It takes almost 2 hours to get to Tortugas by boat.

Fort History

After the War of 1812, a group of forts from Maine to Texas was envisioned to provide defense for the United States of America from foreign invaders. Fort Jefferson was built to protect the southern coastline of the United States and the lifeline of commerce to and from the Mississippi River. The fort was planned to be the greatest of the group.

During and after the Civil War the fort began to be used as a prison for deserters and other criminals, most notably Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was sentenced to life in prison for his part in President Lincoln's assassination. Dr. Mudd, perhaps unknowingly, repaired the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth - the man who assassinated Lincoln.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful water that you won't find in Key West
  • Cons:Bare bones place - come prepared
  • In a nutshell:Good day trip from Key West
  • Intro Updated Jul 7, 2007
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  • Spacemanspiff's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2007 at 9:57 AM

    Hi Erica, Nice travel page of the Dry Tortugas. I just added my own recently. Keep up the good work.

Ericasmurf99

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