We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“awesome day adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This is the largest all-masonry fortification in the western hemisphere and served as a Civil War federal prison.
tacoma
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“awesome day adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

The trip to the dry tortugas is highly worth it. The boat ride is2.5 hours long. Once you're there the island is an adventure. Great snorkeling, awesome history. The boat provides a nice lunch and breakfast. We would love to come back to camp (very primitive and you must be self sufficient), or take a private charter to have access to the scuba diving.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank rwinche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

378 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    306
    53
    14
    1
    4
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
172 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Did you know this was one of our nation's national parks?”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

We just experienced something spectacular out in the middle of the Gulf Coast. We visited Key West in April and signed up for a 2-1/2 hour, 70-mile voyage out to the Dry Tortugas in Garden Key. Fort Jefferson, built in 1846, lies In the midst of all of the beautiful water and is on an 100-acre island. The ride out to the fort on the large catamaran (The Dry Tortugas Ferry) was fun. We were fed breakfast and lunch. They offered free snorkeling and kayaking. If you are a camping buff you can do that too. The waters are outstanding and you can see many beautiful fish as well. They offer a free 45-minute tour of the fort too. Try it, you'll like it!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Inlovewithcanyonvill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Must see in the Keys”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2012

I had been to the Keys three times prior to our recent visit 13 years ago. I found out about Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas Island at that time. I didn’t have the money to make the trip then but made it a must do next time I visited. Fortunately it didn’t take a life time for me to get back there. My husband and I stayed in Key West for a week in February. This was his first visit to the keys and was equally intrigued about visiting Fort Jefferson. Given the amount of time it takes to travel their by ferry we opted for the sea plane ride. They offer half day and full day excursion. To keep the price somewhat down we did the half day which worked out perfectly. If you can splurge on the sea plane ride do it! An unforgettable experience! The views are amazing. Plus, we did the early morning trip at 8:30am. Our plane of 9 people had the whole island to our selves. When we were leaving, the ferry had just arrived. After seeing the number of people disembarking the boat it reassured us even more the sea plane was worth the extra money to of had the island to ourselves.

The history of the fort is interesting (we are not huge history buffs and still found it interesting). If offered, make sure to take a guided tour. You will appreciate the fort even more than just reading some of the signs posted. We didn’t go snorkeling given we did the half day tour and wanted to view the fort more than snorkel. We heard it was relatively good snorkeling (maybe next time). We instead walked the entire moat which was somewhat like snorkeling. Given that there was few people on the island we didn’t anyone the whole time. The water was very clear. We saw fan coral, barracuda, various fish and some sea urchins. If you are looking for a unique adventure this is a great thing to do.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank JD-ourtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
42 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Dry Tortugas National Park...a must see”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

Visiting Dry Tortugas National park during our vacation in the Keys was absolutely wonderful. The Fort is very interesting to tour and it is beautiful. You can climb on every floor of the fort, including th roof which has some amazing views. Also, because the only ways to get there are by sea plane or by the Yankee Freedom ferry, it is not crowded. We opted to take the ferry out. It is a long trip out by boat but is absolutely worth it. However, anyone prone to sea sickness should be sure to take motion sickness medicine prior to the boat ride and also sit outside if possible. I am one of those people and struggled with feeling a bit sick on the way out until I sat outside.

We did not realize that the Yankee Freedom ferry fills up quickly and had not arranged tickets before arriving in Florida. When we mentioned this at the Dive shop, they said to get on line and get tickets right away and don't be surprised if it is too late. Sure enough, when I got onto the Yankee Freedom website it showed the entire week was booked. On a whim, I googled Yankee Freedom ferry tickets and found a tour company that had tickets still available for Friday. Apparently local tour companies have a certain number of tickets to sell for the ferry, and they can have tickets left when the main Yankee Freedom website is sold out. We are so glad we were able to see Dry Tortugas!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank cme_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beautiful Jersey shore
Level Contributor
142 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Great birds, fun snorkeling, everyone should go once”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2012

The ferry trip out to Dry Tortugas is great on a calm day. We saw many birds including Northern Gannets and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Near Dry Tortugas we passed an island with nesting Masked Boobies, but too far to see without good binoculars. The fort itself was interesting and the fare on the ferry included a short tour. Lunch is served aboard the boat, then it was off to snorkel. It's fun being eye-to-eye with a barracuda! The staff of the ship is friendly, the captain encourages people to visit him (and his dog) in the cockpit and ask questions. It was a fantastic way to spend a day!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank NJBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Fort Jefferson also viewed

 
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida Keys
 

Been to Fort Jefferson? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing