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Dry Tortugas National Park

Separated from the mainland and encased by golden beaches and colorful coral reefs, this is a national park of fascinating ocean scenery.

Wander along the high ramparts of Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park and look out across the sparkling blue ocean all around you. Sunbathe on the sand of this idyllic haven or snorkel with an array of tropical fish. 

This archipelago of seven small islands was first documented by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León. On arrival he was amazed to find his ship surrounded by turtles and so named the area Las Tortugas (the Turtles). 

As you approach the main island, the imposing shape of Fort Jefferson will slowly begin to emerge above the waterline. Built during the middle of the 19th century, the hexagonal structure was intended to protect the lucrative trade route through the Gulf of Mexico. Notice the intricate red brickwork and the 2,000 arches that decorate the exterior. 

Leave the fort’s delightful inner garden and sink your feet into the soft, warm sand that clings to the island’s eastern shores. Lie in the sun and read a good book or paddle in the gentle waves lapping against the shore.

Experience some of the best snorkeling in North America during your trip. Set off from Dingy Beach to search for angelfish and nurse sharks among the offshore ruins. Find green, hawksbill, leatherback and loggerhead turtles swimming or resting in the sun just off South Beach. Spring and fall migrations swell bird population of the park to more than 300 species.

The park is 70 miles (112 kilometers) west of Key West off the southern tip of Florida. Trips to Dry Tortugas National Park depart daily from Key West. Getting to the park by ferry takes approximately 3 hours, while going by sea plane is the faster option. Pay the admission fee to enter the park on your transport. Take everything you need with you for the day because the park has no shopping or eating facilities. 

U.S. national parks offer a wide variety of exploration, relaxation and adventure opportunities for all types of travelers. Enjoy your sunny day with the turtles and other wildlife at Dry Tortugas National Park.


Guide to Exploring around Dry Tortugas National Park


Top Dry Tortugas National Park Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Dry Tortugas National Park

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Southernmost Beach Resort $226
Southernmost Beach Resort

Southernmost Beach Resort

1319 Duval Street, Key West, FL
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Key West Historic District, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of South Beach and Southernmost Point. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) away.

    Havana Cabana at Key West $125
    Havana Cabana at Key West

    Havana Cabana at Key West

    3420 N. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in New Town, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Key West Naval Station and within 3 mi (5 km) of Higgs Beach and Smathers Beach. Duval Street and South Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      24 North Hotel Key West $135
      24 North Hotel Key West

      24 North Hotel Key West

      3820 North Roosevelt Boulevard, Key West, FL
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in New Town, this hotel is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Key West Harbour and within 6 mi (10 km) of Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum and Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Harry S. Truman Little White House and Southernmost Point are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        The Gates Hotel Key West $143
        The Gates Hotel Key West

        The Gates Hotel Key West

        3824 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Key West, this hotel is 2.3 mi (3.8 km) from Key West Harbour and within 6 mi (10 km) of Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum and Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Southernmost Point and Mallory Square are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina $212
          Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

          Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina

          245 Front Street, Key West, FL
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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            DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West $143
            DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West

            DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand Key - Key West

            3990 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated near the airport, this resort is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Key West Naval Station and within 3 mi (5 km) of Smathers Beach and Key West Harbour. Fort East Martello Museum and Gallery and Key West Art and Historical Society are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Key West $131
              Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Key West

              Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Key West

              2400 N Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in New Town, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Higgs Beach, Duval Street, and South Beach. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Pier House Resort & Spa $238
                Pier House Resort & Spa

                Pier House Resort & Spa

                1 Duval St, Key West, FL
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Key West Historic District, this beachfront resort is in the city center, just steps from Ripley's Believe It or Not, Key West Shipwreck Museum, and Mallory Square. Key West Aquarium and Red Barn Theater are also within 5 minutes.