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DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK

Key West, FL 33040

 

The 7 Best Things about Key West’s DRY TORTUGAS

by Dianne Ackerman 

Picture this: you step onto a sea-plane, where everyone gets a window seat. The plane takes off, and you soar at low heights over the brilliant turquoise waters. Sea and sky is everywhere you look. Then, in the distance, you see the island and a structure emerging like a phoenix from the water: the pentagon-shaped Fort Jefferson, the largest brick building in the Western Hemisphere…

When planning a trip to Key West, be sure to include a day trip to the Dry Tortugas. We promise you it will be a trip of a lifetime.

Here are just 7 reasons the Dry Tortugas National Park is a must-see:

1.     THE SEAPLANE
Just getting there is an amazing adventure! If you’ve never been on a seaplane, this is the trip to

take one. Spot sharks, dolphins, and the "Flats". This is a body of very shallow water only 3-5 feet deep, extending almost 20 miles. This area is part of the National Marine Sanctuary and has incredible marine and bird life. There are many other sights along the route to the Dry Tortugas, including private islands, WWII wreckage, and Marquesas Islands, which is a large circular group of coral islands. The plane makes a smooth landing at Fort Jefferson, where you begin your magical trip of a lifetime.

2.     SNORKELING
Enter an alternate universe under the sea, and enjoy a magical view. Swim among a rainbow of spectacular sea life, see coral-encrusted ship wrecks, a myriad of spectacular fish, moray eels, jellyfish, and more. And you don’t have to be experienced to try it for the first time! Expert guides will be there every step of the way with you, as you leave the mundane behind in exchange for a deep sea or shallow water adventure of a lifetime.

3.     HISTORY & LORE
From history to lore, there are tales to tell about this fascinating fort. For starters, the fort is the
largest brick building in the western hemisphere. The Park is actually a 100 square miles but 98% of it is under water. The 7 tiny islan that make up the Dry Tortugas account for only 97 acres in total. During the Civil War, the fort was used as a military prison for captured deserters. It also held the four men convicted of complicity in President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865, the most famous being Dr. Samuel Mudd.

4.     SPECTACULAR WILDLIFE 
Fort Jefferson is a bird-watchers paradise. Rare birds frequent the island due to its central location in the migratory process. Key West Seaplane Charters. Some of the common and rare species you will encounter include: Roseate and Bridled Terns, Masked and Brown Boobies, Red-Necked Phalarope, Red-Footed Boobie, the Caribbean Short-Eared Owl, White-Tailed Tropicbird, Shiny Cowbird and the Golden Warbler.

5. WALKING THE MOAT WALL
The Moat Wall offers an easy hike (0.6 miles) around the fort. Walking the moat wall is a great opportunity to view coral, fish, and other marine life. An amazing excursion that you wouldn’t expect on a tropical island vacation.

6. FISHING
Enjoy casting into the crystal blue waters in a secluded paradise where you can catch an abundant array of marine fish. You can also lobster and spear fish here.

7. CAMPING
If camping is your thing, then add the Dry Tortugas to your camping bucket list. It’s an experience of a lifetime. Imagine sleeping under the stars, on an island 70 miles from civilization, with the warm tropical breezes blowing through palm trees and the ocean waves ebbing and flowing in the night. You will never forget this trip. Camping is limited so make your reservations now.

Only a Weekend In Key West? Here Are Your Must-Do's! 
 
http://partyinkeywest.blogspot.com/2013/11/only-weekend-in-key-west-here-are-your.html

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