Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote national park located in the Gulf of Mexico, about 68 miles west of Key West, Florida. The park is known for its pristine waters, coral reefs, and historic Fort Jefferson.
As a result of its remote location, there is no airport within the park boundaries. The only way to access the park is by ferry or seaplane. In this article, we will discuss the options for getting to Dry Tortugas National Park, including information on ferry and even seaplane services.
Closest Airports To Dry Tortugas
As mentioned – to get to this park, you’ll need a boat. Therefore, it doesn’t have an airport on-site. However, there are a few airports near Dry Tortugas National Park that you can fly into to reach the park. The closest airports to Dry Tortugas National Park are:
- Key West International Airport (EYW): 4 miles to the ferry terminal in Key West.
- Miami International Airport (MIA): Distance From Dry Tortugas National Park: 162 miles to the ferry terminal in Key West.
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL): 189 miles to the ferry terminal in Key West
- Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW): 231 miles to the ferry terminal in Key West.
You can rent a car or take a shuttle from these airports to the ferry terminal in Key West, where they can take a ferry or seaplane to Dry Tortugas National Park. It’s important to note that there are no roads or bridges to the park, and private boats are not allowed to dock there, so taking a ferry or seaplane is the only way to reach the park.
How Long Is The Ferry Ride To Dry Tortugas National Park
To get to Dry Tortugas National Park, you’ll need to take a boat (or ferry) ride from Key West. There are a few companies that offer boat tours to the park, and the ride is typically around 2.5 hours each way.
The boat ride from Key West to Dry Tortugas takes visitors through the stunning turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, passing by mangrove islands and shallow sandbars. Along the way, you might even spot some of the area’s abundant wildlife, such as dolphins, sea turtles, and various species of birds.
As you approach the park, the imposing Fort Jefferson, located on Garden Key, comes into view. This massive brick fortress was built in the mid-1800s and is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and pristine coral reefs. It’s an impressive sight and a fitting introduction to the park.
Once the ferry arrives at the park, you can disembark and explore the island’s various attractions, including the fort itself, which is a popular spot for photography and historical tours. You’ll also be able to enjoy snorkeling, birdwatching, and exploring the island’s natural beauty, including its sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and colorful reefs teeming with marine life.
The ferry ride back to Key West offers more stunning views of the surrounding waters and islands, and some tours even offer a sunset cruise on the way back, making for a memorable end to the day. Overall, the ride to and from Dry Tortugas National Park is a breathtaking experience and a must-do for anyone visiting the Florida Keys.
What Is the Closest City to Dry Tortugas National Park?
The closest city to Dry Tortugas National Park is Key West, Florida. Key West is an immensely popular tourist destination located at the southernmost point of the continental United States. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and lively nightlife.
If you’re planning a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park, we recommend spending at least a day in Key West to explore the city’s many attractions. Some of the top things to do in Key West include visiting the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, taking a sunset sail, and enjoying fresh seafood at one of the many local restaurants.
Overall, Key West is the perfect starting point for your journey to Dry Tortugas National Park, and a great place to soak up the vibrant culture and warm sunshine of the Florida Keys.