What Is It?
Dry Tortugas National Park is known worldwide as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, blue waters, coral reefs, marine life and a vast assortment of bird life.
Designated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt under the Antiquities Act of 1935, Fort Jefferson National Monument was expanded in 1983 and redesignated as Dry Tortugas National Park in 1992. Dry Tortugas was established to protect the island and marine ecosystems, to preserve Fort Jefferson and submerged cultural resources such as shipwrecks, and to allow access in a regulated manner.
Dry Tortugas National Park is a 100-square-mile park of mostly open water and includes seven islands. This park is only accessible by boat or seaplane. The islands include sights such as Fort Jefferson and its Harbor Light, beaches, Loggerhead Key and Bush Key.
The second-largest island in Dry Tortugas National Park, Garden Key is about 14 acres. It is home to Fort Jefferson, one of the nation’s largest 19th century forts and a central cultural feature of Dry Tortugas. Snorkeling, camping and fishing are among the top attractions offered in Garden Key.
Dry Tortugas is nearly 70 miles west of Key West. The grounds are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The entrance fee is $15 per person and is good for seven consecutive days. Those 16 and younger are free. The fee is deducted if a National Parks Pass is shown. A ferry ticket includes entrance to the park and Fort Jefferson. Seaplanes charge the park entrance fee upon check-in. Entrance is free onsix holidays. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/drto or call 305-242-7700.