Dry Tortugas

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by mtemail on August 18, 2006

Dry Tortugas

Seventy miles off the west coast of Key West is the national park of the Dry Tortugas. You can get to the island one of two ways; by a large tourist boat or by seaplane. I recommend the Seaplanes of Key West trip without a doubt . . .this is our second time of taking the trip and with great advice we took the 2 pm flight, this is a TERRIFIC time to fly because you arrive just as the large tourist boat is packing up to return to Key West. This gets you on the island when no one else (with the exception of those who are camping there--but that number is very small) is there. It gives you a private tropical island with the most spectacular water views... The setting is just beautiful from every angle.

First of all the Seaplane trip is a fun ride--you take off from Key West Airport , fly reasonably low over beautiful water views, pass a couple of ship wrecks, and arrive at the Dry Torgugas landing on the water which is such a thrill for all.

You end up on the island about 2 hours. On the island you have a pristine beach for some very nice snorkeling--there are very close coral areas and very calm and clear waters, and then you can walk Fort Jefferson (the largest brick building in the western hemisphere. After the war of 1812 the United Sates of America began construction of a chain of coastal defense forts stretching from Maine to Texas. Construction of Fort Jefferson began in 1846. Construction continued for over 30 years but the Fort, which covers 11 of the key’s 16 acres, was never finished, the hugeness of the fort and the repeating patterns of brick make for excellent photos with the topical blue water background. Dr. Mudd’s cell is the primary point of attraction. Dr. Mudd is the physician who treated John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln’s assassin), who was imprisoned for his act of humanity, thus the saying " your name is Mud".

Without a doubt this is a really wonderful way to spend a day from Key West, the trip is a little costly--it was over 1400.00 for the eight of us, but I can say without a doubt it was worth every cent and I would gladly and willingly do it again’.
Dry Tortugas National Park
70 Miles West Of Key West
Key West, Florida, 33041


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