344 Masked and Brown Boobies - Dry Tortugas National Park off Key West FL - see enlarged and it was cropped 2x.
photo by Bill and Mavis T

Dry Tortugas National Park

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Dry Tortugas National Park is a United States National Park that contains a cluster of islands about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, USA on Garden Key.



Construction of Fort Jefferson was begun in 1846 but never completed. President Franklin Roosevelt declared it and the waters surrounding it a National Monument in 1935.


The Dry Tortugas exist in a subtropical climate. Temperatures range from the mid-50s to mid-80s. April and May are often idyllic. There are essentially two seasons: The winter season (December-March), which can be windy with rough seas, and the tropical storm season (June-November) during which Dry Tortugas experiences both hot, humid weather and calm seas or severe weather events. Due to our ever-changing weather patterns, an accurate weather forecast is recommended before your visit.

Getting there

The park is open year round during daylight hours, and is only accessible by boat or seaplane.

  • Key West Seaplane Service

  • Sunny Days Catamaran Ferry , 85-foot high-speed power catamaran. Total excursion length is between 8 and 9 hours, including two hours travel each way.

Traveling around

This is a cluster of 7 small islands. As such the only way to reach them (and travel between them) is by boat or seaplane.

The largest of the islands, Garden Key, hosts Fort Jefferson. Walking tours are provided and snorkeling is a must. All traffic is on foot.


  • Fort Jefferson

Things to do

  • Camping

  • Snorkel

  • Guided fishing trips

  • Guided wildlife viewing trips content=

  • Sailing charters and you can go diving there



Limited camping is available. It is $3/person per night.


  • Gift Shop, A small National Park Service Gift Shop is available inside Fort Jefferson on Garden Key. It offers a very limited selection of items.


A seven day pass is $5 for adults.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

Bill and Mavis T, Richard

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Ryan Holliday, John Broughton, Stacy Hall, Nick Roux and Ian Kirk, Inas and Huckabmm

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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