Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the least visited and most remote National Parks. However, it is a beautiful park comprising of seven small islands, nesting areas for various species of birds, colorful coral reefs and many undersea attractions. Dry Tortugas National Park is located around 70Kms west of Florida Key West. The Park is becoming a famous tourist destination. It attracts tourists with alluring blue waters, excellent coral reefs, marine life, assortment of bird life and the magnificent Fort Jefferson.
How to get to Dry Tortugas National Park
The 100 square mile park is accessible by boat or seaplane. You can find nautical charts for the route at marinas. Seaplanes are available from Key West for those who want to reach the park faster. The landings of the seaplanes are limited to within one mile of the fort.
Attractions & Activities
Fort Jefferson is one of the main attractions of the park. It was built from 1846 to 1862. The Fort was used as a prison for criminals and deserters during and after the Civil War. Later, it was used by the Navy. From 1935, the fort was designated as a National Monument. The walls of the Fort offer a spectacular sight. They are surrounded by a moat. A bridge is used to cross the moat. The moat is filled with sea water, turtle grass, sea squirts, jellyfish, queen conch, sea cucumber and mangrove snapper. You can see the exhibits depicting the history of the Fort.
Bird watching, fishing, snorkeling, boating, camping and swimming are the best activities that can be enjoyed in Dry Tortugas National Park. Guided birding tips are available in the month of April and May. During the period between March and September, you can see thousands of sooty terns in the Park. You can also see brown noodies here. Apart from sooty terns and noodies, brown boobies, double crested cormorants, brown pelicans and roseate terns can also be spotted.
If you have Florida salt water fishing license, you can enjoy fishing in Dry Tortugas National Park. Camping is allowed on Garden Key. The campground is located near Fort Jefferson. If you know swimming, you can explore the beautiful coral wonderlands that are located just 3 to 4 feet of water. Snorkeling offers you amazing opportunities to explore marine life.
If you want to stay in campgrounds, you need to bring all supplies, including water, food, ice, fuel and other items. Overnight accommodation is available in Key West.