When most people think of Key West, Florida they picture miles of white sand beaches and endless surf, but there is much more to this destination. The Dry Tortugas National Park offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do, and many wonderful experiences to enjoy.
Vacationers on a budget will be pleased to know that the Dry Tortugas National Park can be a very affordable family adventure. The entrance fee to this park is a mere $5, and the park pass is good for a full seven days. In addition Dry Tortugas honors a number of park passes, including Golden Eagle, Golden Access Passport, National Parks Pass and Golden Age.
Camping in the park is reasonable as well, with a low fee of $3 per person per night. Golden Age and Golden Access Pass holders can enjoy a further 50% discount off their camping fees in the park.
Visitors will need to be aware of the operating hours in the park in order to make the most of their visit. Bush Key, for example, is closed to visitors from February through September in order to protect the nesting habitat of the Noddy and Sooty terns. Loggerhead, East and Middle Keys, on the other hand, are open all year round during daytime hours.
One of the chief wonders of the Dry Tortugas National Park is of course its wildlife. The birds, fish and animals that call this part of Florida home are among the most spectacular on the planet, and visitors travel from all over the country and all over the world to get a glimpse of these fascinating creatures.
The wildlife of Dry Tortugas National Park is so important that the operators of the park take great pride in keeping it protected. Each year the park issues only a limited number of licenses to operators of commercial venues, including fishing trip organizers, dive and snorkeling operators and guided wildlife tours. Visitors should be sure to check out the reputation of the companies operating in and around the park in order to get the greatest value for their money.
After a full day of wildlife viewing, snorkeling and diving, visitors will need a safe and cozy place to sleep, and Dry Tortugas National Park offers plenty of space for tent camping. Those planning to sleep in the great outdoors should be sure to bring the supplies they will need, including plenty of fresh water, ice and food. Owners of trailers and motor homes should be aware that the park is not accessible to those vehicles. The park can be reached either by seaplane or by boat, but vessels are permitted to anchor only between sunset and sunrise, and only in designated areas.
The Dry Tortugas National Park is a spectacular place to spend a day, or even a week or more. The scenery is spectacular, the animals are fascinating, and the undersea life is among the most beautiful found anywhere. Visitors will certainly enjoy the wealth of adventures at their disposal, and those adventures can kick back and relax at their favorite campsite after their time at the park.