Must Do: Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas have been a natiGroupon: Get the Best Deal in New York Today!onal park since the 1990s but snorkelers, divers, and anglers have been visiting the spot for decades. There are 250 fish species at the Dry Tortugasand the area serves as a resting spot for migratory birds. During spring there are scores and scores of birds here, from warblers to hummingbirds. The most impressive birds that make a stop at Dry Tortugas in Spring time aer terns. There are so many nesting terns that bird-watchers from all over come here to witness the spectacle. Also at Dry Tortugas is Fort Jefferson, a nineteenth-century fort that became a prison.

How to Get to the Dry Tortugas

You can take half day trips or full day trips out to the Dry Tortugas from Key West. There’s plenty to do to fill up a full day, like snorkeling, a picnic Dry Tortugaslunch, exploring Fort Jefferson and strolling around on top of the moat that surrounds it.

Take a Seaplane to the Dry Tortugas

Take a seaplane for a half day or a full day trip. The trip takes just over half an hour each way and the half day trip gives you about two and a half hours at the park. The full day trip gives you about six hours at Dry Tortugas. The flight is amazing. You’ll see all sorts of things in the water below you, lie sharks, rays, wrecks and color changes in the water that signify patch reefs or seagrass beds. The ride out is great and when you see the brick fort rising from the glittering ocean you’ll be even more excited to see the Dry Tortugas.

Take a Ferry to the Dry Tortugas

Dry Tortugas National Park

A more economical choice for getting out to the Dry Tortugas is to take the Yankee Freedom, a giant comfortable boat t

hat leaves early in the morning and returns 9 hours later and costs half the price of a half-day trip on the seaplane. The ride is three hours and there are drinks and food on board. They also serve breakfast and lunch. It’s coffee and a muffin and fruit, a very good start.

A private company runs a large catamaran to the Dry Tortugas also, and it’s faster than the Yankee Freedom. It’s a smaller boat, so on windy days it will be kind of a rough ride.