The Dry Tortugas, about 70 miles west of Key West, are a perfect destination for history buffs, families, and fans of our nation's historic National Park system. Once the home of a military base, the island chain now sits uninhabited, only a lighthouse and large installation remain in remembrance of the area's more active days.
Trips to the Dry Tortugas leave every day from Key West and generally take about two hours to complete each way. So if you've got the hankering for a great day trip outside of Key West, we here at Best on Key West would love to talk to you. Need some more information? Well here are 3 great activities for those about to journey to the Dry Tortugas.
Hop A Ride On The Dry Tortugas Ferry
There is no reason that your trip to the island chain can't actually be part of your adventure. While you can just as easily take a speedboat or catamaran to the Dry Tortugas, one of the most enjoyable ways to get around the island chain is by taking the Dry Tortugas ferry. The ferry goes at a slower speed than do other boats or catamarans. This will give you ample time to take in the sights and sounds of this now deserted National Park. The Dry Tortugas ferry leaves many times daily, so make sure to keep an eye on the scheduling in order to hop a ride.
Fort Jefferson - The Ghost Of The Dry Tortugas
At Best on Key West, we just love showing off Fort Jefferson. The fort is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, comprised of over 16 million bricks. The fort takes up nearly the entire island of Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas.
Originally a military installation, the island at one time housed over 1,000 soldiers and their families. During the Civil War, the fort was used as a federal prison. During this time, it house 4 men who were convicted as co-conspirators in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
The Dry Tortugas Light - The Lone Ranger
About three miles from Garden Key is the Dry Tortugas Light, is the solitary structure on the Dry Tortugas island. Originally built as a replacement for the lighthouse located on Fort Jefferson, it is now the only lighthouse left on the island chain.
Visitors to the Dry Tortugas can see for themselves a lighthouse that has stood the test of time, hurricanes, and storms. One of two lighthouses in the gulf operating during the Civil War, the Dry Tortugas Light was fully automated in 1988.
Need more help finding Key West attractions? From scuba diving in Key West to incredibly unique Key West inns that capture the spirit of this magical locale, to snorkeling in Key West, we have the resources and connections to make your stay in the US's southern most city fun without breaking the bank.
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