"Dry Tortugas National Park" Top 5 Page for this destination Dry Tortugas National Park by ahouse2003

Dry Tortugas National Park Travel Guide: 67 reviews and 289 photos

The Sea

Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote national parks in the United States. It is a group of islands 70 miles west of Key West, FL and is only accessible by seaplane or boat. If you are visiting Key West, a day trip to Dry Tortugas is a must. The ocean is so blue and makes for great diving, snorkeling and fishing. The sea holds an abundance of life.


After Spain sold Florida to the US in the early 1800s, a Navy commander inspected the Tortugas in search of a place to build a naval base to stave off pirates. He was not happy with the Tortugas because there was no fresh water - that is where "Dry" came from. A few years went by and it was decided that a fort would be built there anyway with a lighthouse to keep ships from running aground in the coral reef and to build a Naval Defense for the Gulf Coast. The construction of Fort Jefferson started in 1846 - it is the most predominant figure of Dry Tortugas. It is the largest masonry construction in the Western Hemisphere - although it was never fully completed. It is quite beautiful, though, and offers great views of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

  • Last visit to Dry Tortugas National Park: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (7)

Comments (1)

  • Spacemanspiff's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2008 at 7:20 PM

    It costs a bit more to take the ferries these days but it is still well worth it. Nice tips and photos. Cheers, Chris


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