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  • Fort Jefferson and Dry Tourtugas National Park of Key West, Florida

Explore Fort Jefferson & Dry Tortugas, Florida

A unique group of islands off the Florida Keys, this National Park is home to a pre-Civil War fort. Fort Jefferson is not only impressive, it's actually the largest brick structure in the Americas, with over 16 million blocks. Built between 1846 and 1875, the massive fort was never finished. But that doesn't make it any less incredible to behold, full of ornate masonry accents and upwards of 2,000 carefully constructed arches.

Details

Hours

Sunrise to Sunset
 

Guided Tours

Hourly, starting at 11am
 

Activities

  • Sightseeing
  • Bird-Watching
  • Fishing
  • Snorkeling
  • Boating
 

U.S. Navy

Shortly after the U.S. bought Florida from Spain in the early 1800s, contradicting Navy reports led to construction of Fort Jefferson in the isolated Dry Tortugas. The strategic location of the islands was meant to secure trade in the Gulf, and naval supremacy in the Americas.
 

The Dry Tortugas

A small group of 7 islands, 67 miles off the coast of Key West, Dry Tortugas consists of Loggerhead, Garden, Bush, Long, Hospital, Middle, and East Key. As the name implies, none of them harbor fresh water, though their isolated location is ideal for birdwatching with nearly 300 species of migratory birds, snorkeling, viewing sea turtles in early summer and fishing.
 

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