- Dry Tortugas National Park is approximately 70 miles west of Key West, accessible by private boat, ferry or seaplane. The Park is made up of a cluster of seven small coral and sand islands as well as their surrounding waters. It also includes the massive Civil War-era Fort Jefferson.
A variety of experiences await visitors who venture out to the Park, including camping, snorkeling, birdwatching, fishing or simply enjoying a panoramic view from the top of Fort Jefferson, commonly referred to as the "Gibraltar" of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Garden Key Harbor Light was even depicted on a 44-cent first-class postage stamp as part of the U.S. Postal Service's commemorative stamp series. Also known as Fort Jefferson Lighthouse, the Garden Key Harbor Light was constructed in 1876 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It replaced the original Tortugas Harbor Light that was constructed in 1825 within the parade ground of historic Fort Jefferson. The existing light, a hexagonal wrought-iron tower, is no longer an active navigational aid but still contributes to the historic significance of Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas National Park.
Traveler's tip: during National Park Week (April) the Park waives its entrance fees.
- © NileGuide2013
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