Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson

Since we do not have a road trip planned this month, I thought we would show you the one we took in February, 2016 to Key West and the Dry Tortugas National Park.

Visiting the Dry Tortugas National Park has long been on my bucket list.  Malcolm was not as enthralled as I about taking the 70 mile ferry ride from Key West to the park, but he finally acquiesced and we booked the trip.

p1300566
One of several easy access beaches

There are a few ways to get to the Dry Tortugas, but we opted for the two hour ride on the Yankee Freedom III, a high speed catamaran that departs from the pier in Key West at 8:00 am. Boarding is at 7:15 a.m. for day trippers and 6:00 for overnight campers.  The full tour takes about ten hours from start to finish and is well worth the $175 pp price, which includes breakfast and lunch.  A word of caution here – the ride can get a bit rough for the last thirty or forty minutes.  You might want to consider something for motion sickness. We took Dramamine about a half hour before boarding and were fine.  Other passengers were not so fortunate, but the crew handled things efficiently.  In fact, the crew was wonderful and passed the time by offering lots of facts and history about Fort Jefferson and the surrounding islands. We remembered to take another pill about an hour before leaving the Fort and were once again, not among the unfortunate ones.

Enough about the ride.  The destination is the reason for taking it in the first place.  This is why you go there.

We spent the day exploring the fort from top to bottom, taking photographs and swimming in the crystal blue waters.   The four hours passed quickly and before we knew it, we were called to board for the return trip.

Tip:  Carry a beach bag with everything you will need for the day, including flip flops, sunscreen, snorkel equipment and towel for the beach.  You will need sturdy walking shoes for the trail at the upper level of the fort and possibly a wind breaker if you go in a cooler month, as we did.  The wind can be wicked up there, but the view is worth it.

You can learn more about Fort Jefferson and it’s amazing history here.

yankee-freedom-ferry
Our Ride to Dry Tortugas

Because we live in Florida, we decided to drive rather than fly into Key West, which is an option from almost anywhere in the US.   It is only five hours South, but we managed to turn it into a seven hour sight-seeing trip.  It is much too hard to resist the siren call of shell shops and other ‘tourist traps’ along the way. (smile)

We stayed at the Casa Marina hotel,  but there are many options for both luxury and budget hotels.  We typically use Trip Advisor to help us with those decisions.

We discovered Duffy’s Steak and Lobster restaurant during this trip and highly recommend dinner there.  The price is reasonable, the food hot and hearty, and the service was exceptional. Everyone recommends Blue Heaven for breakfast and we couldn’t agree more.  You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu, but my personal favorite is the Lobster Benedict.  Malcolm loves the homemade Granola and any of their specialty baked goods.  You’ll appreciate the eclectic atmosphere here, especially on a crisp February day.

This post is about our Dry Tortugas experience, but there is much to say about Key West. We will make a more comprehensive Key West post in the future.  For now, I will say that if it is not on your bucket list, it should be.  Even if you don’t fall in love with it, (some people actually don’t)  you will be glad you had the experience.

p1300412
Chillin’ in Paradise

2 Comments on “Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson

  1. Pingback: Thursday Doors – Far Away | Picture Retirement

Leave a Reply to Charles M Bessey Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Marsha Ingrao - Always Write

Promoting Hobby Blogging

Everyday Gyaan

Keeping Life Simple, Authentic And Holistic

Becky in Portugal

The Joy of Slow Travel

TRAVEL WORDS

Adventures and Postcards from the road

Our Eyes Open

Come along on an adventure with us!

The life of B

Mainly through the lens of a Nikon

msomervillesite

The Beach Girl Chronicles

retirementtransition

envisioning & implementing life's next stage

Book Club Mom

Read this, not that!

Something to Ponder About

Lifestyle, Photography and Traditional Art

The Showers of Blessings

Giving and Receiving Blessings

wuthering bites

Writing practice

Change Is Hard

...but change is certain.

BoomingOn

Midlife without the crisis

nowathome

Love life! Sharing and caring!

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Retired Introvert

Navigating retirement as an introvert

Trent's World (the Blog)

Random Ramblings and Reviews from Trent P. McDonald

A Day In The Life

People, Places, Nature, LIFE!

The Chicago Files

A Canadian Perspective on Living in the Windy City!

Back Road Journal

Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life

Meditations in Motion

Running and life: thoughts from a runner who has been around the block

And Anyways...

Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser

P.A. Moed

Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures

Fab in Your Fifties

Encouraging women in their fifties to live in a meaningful way

Life at No. 22

Suzanne's Life and Travel Musings from New Zealand and Beyond

Hugh's Views & News  

A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

SWOONING GRACE

Serenity is an Inside Job

A Hundred Years Ago

Food and More

INFJ PHD

Valuing quiet and solitude in academe.

THE WIDOW BADASS BLOG

"This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - F.G.

Natalie the Explorer

Taking steps to live a healthy and enriched life

Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Behind the Scenery

Grateful for the present moment

Women Living Well After 50

Building a community of Women Living Well and embracing life after 50

Savoring Sixty and Beyond

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." 2 Corinthians 4:16

3 Sisters Abroad

Travel - home and away and Chronic Illness's

Defining Third Age

Living in Retirement

Easin' Along

Retired and Enjoying Life From the Slow Lane

Deb's World

A blog about midlife, travel, adventure - and all things in between

ARTISTIC PENSION

Creative, non-monetary forms of payment

sethsnap

Photographs from my world.

No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Wandering Dawgs

Every Day is a Gift!

NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener, amateur photographer, intermediate quilter and lover of day trips around New England

Retirement Reflections

What I Wish I Knew Before I Retired

Saying Nothing in Particular

But happily ... JT Twissel aka Jan

%d bloggers like this: