At Dry Tortugas Park, enjoy snorkeling, history, and birdwatching as you explore this amazing bird and marine sactuary. Dry Tortugas Park stretches across seven islands 70 miles out to sea from Key West. It also includes the surrounding waters, and protects the marine life that lives within it boundaries.
Garden Key, one of the seven islands of Dry Tortugas, contains Fort Jefferson. This historic fort from the mid-1800s is the largest coastal fort in the United States. Once used as a military prison, it’s now home to birds who are protected by the sanctuary status of Dry Tortugas Park.
The origin of the name of Dry Tortugas Park comes from none other than Ponce de Leon. Tortugas is Spanish for turtles. There are still lots of sea turtles at Dry Tortugas Park, but centuries ago, before they were hunted by humans, there were even more.
You’ll have the chance to see Sea Turtles if you visit Dry Tortugas Park, and that’s just the beginning. Go snorkeling and see a whole new world of marine life including colorful tropical fish. Also look for porpoise, flying fish, and depending on what time of year, sooty terns who come to the park to nest during the Summer months. During the rest of the year you can spot frigate birds and pelicans.
Whether you plan on doing some birdwatching, snorkeling, touring historic Fort Jefferson, or just relaxing on the beach, a trip out to Dry Tortugas Park is an unforgettable experience!