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“2nd time was as good as the 1st”
Review of Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This is the largest all-masonry fortification in the western hemisphere and served as a Civil War federal prison.
Auburn, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“2nd time was as good as the 1st”
Reviewed 2 March 2012

We took the "Yankee Freedom" boat cruise. It was approx. $169.00/person. We arrived at the dock in Key West at 7:00am (varies on the time of the year) and returned approx. 5:30pm. Breakfast and lunch are included with a cash bar available on the way back to Key West. The cruise is about two and a half hours across open water, so come prepared is you get motion sick. However, Dry Tortugas National Park is a one of a kind national park. It is the southern most park. It is mostly a water park but Garden Key has Fort Jefferson, a civil war era fort which is one of the largest brick buildings in the the western hemisphere. Bush Key is closed because it is a bird nesting area but the water surrounding it is spectacular. "Yankee Freedom" provides snokeling gear and a Park Ranger give a tour of Fort Jefferson (approx 45 mins) for free. Coral and other sea life can be seen when snorkeling and the beaches are great for sunbathing. We were at Garden Key for about 4 hrs and loved every minute. For an extra $100+/person a seaplane adventure can be had. Flying time is forty minutes one way vs. two and a half hrs by boat. Dry Tortugas is a major route for migrating birds so book early if you are a birder! No restrooms are on the island and all trash is taken back on the boat. Restrooms are available on the boat.

Visited February 2012
3 Thank fredsjamom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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390 reviews from our community

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Toronto, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“So glad I went”
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Ferry: There are seats both inside and out. I choose to sit inside where there were benches and tables. There isn't much to see between leaving Key West and arriving at Dry Tortugas. You may want to move outside for the arrival as you get a good view of the other islands on the way in. The ferry staff lead a introduction to snorkling class on the way out for anyone unfamiliar with the equipment. Otherwise, bring a book, iPod or someone you want to chat with.

Food: Both meals were basic but good. The ferry was full on the day I went and there was lots of food at both meals.

Fort: Don't miss the fort. I choose to take a ranger lead tour but if you want to spend more time snorkling, you should at least take a quick look around the fort. I had no idea how vast it was until we arrived. The tour was great with a lot of information and interesting historical detail.

Moat wall: I'm not much of a snorkler so I took the staffs suggestion and walked around the moat wall. If the water is calm as it was the day I went, you can see a lot of coral and fish without getting wet. It was a great option.

Visited February 2012
2 Thank Heartfruit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
80 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“great park that few experience”
Reviewed 27 February 2012

My friends husband is a teacher and has always wanted to see this park so we made a point to do it on this trip. You have two ways to get there from Key West, by ferry or by seaplane. We went by seaplane and for someone who hates to fly, this was a little intimidating. Our flight held ten people, was very smooth and had wonderful aerial views of Key West. The flight took about 45 minutes and then we took an optional guided tour of the island. We were the last flight of the day and the ferry boats had left so the ten people who were on our flight were the only people on the island along with 3 campers and the eight residents who maintain the grounds. It was an interesting experience and a totally different park than any of the others I've visited.

Visited February 2012
3 Thank WarmweatherHeather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Extraordinary experience”
Reviewed 25 February 2012

Fantastic experience. Well worth the trip and money

1 Thank TravelSarahH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

It's the largest masonry structure in the US, an impressive sight. Also, it has one of the best snorkeling spots in the Florida Keys.

Visited January 2012
3 Thank gjcastro21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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