Dry Tortugas National Park on the map

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Dry Tortugas National Park

 

In the south, 70 nautical mi west of Key West, FL

 

Known for its famous marine and bird life and its legends of pirates and sunken treasure, the park includes a cluster of seven islands or "keys" amid 100 square mi of shoals, water, and coral gardens. Fort Jefferson, its main cultural feature, is the largest 19th-century American coastal fort. The park was proclaimed as Fort Jefferson National Monument in 1935 and redesignated as Dry Tortugas National Park in 1992.

 

WHAT TO SEE & DO

 

Fishing, picnicking, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, touring historic structures. Facilities: Visitor center (Fort Jefferson). Book and chart sale areas, grates, picnic tables. Programs & Events: Occasional ranger-led tours, campfire talks, moat walks, living-history programs. Tips & Hints: Go mid-Apr.-mid-May for migrating birds, June-Aug. for best weather. Busiest Mar.-May, least crowded Sept.-Nov.

 

FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS

 

Free. Florida saltwater fishing license required. Fort Jefferson open daily dawn-dusk. Grounds outside fort open daily. Bush Key closed to visitors Feb.-Sept. to protect nesting sooty and noddy terns. Visitor center open daily 8-5.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

 

70 mi west of Key West, FL. Several boat and air-taxi services offer trips to the park. Closest airport: Key West International

Dry Tortugas National Park on the map