I’ve seen it in pictures, I’ve heard about it from a few, but nothing could have prepared me for the beauty we encountered at Dry Tortugas National Park.

Let me backtrack a bit, we bought an RV and have been doing many local weekend trips with it. This time it was to Key West, so we used it as an opportunity to visit Dry Tortugas National Park.

We took a 40 minute seaplane flight over the water. The views from above were amazing with clear blue waters as far as the eye could see, and a sprinkling of some tiny islands. We even spotted sea turtles, sharks and stingrays from above.

Seeing Fort Jefferson, the hexagon shaped fort on the island, from the sky, and landing right next to it- just wow! It is literally in the middle of the ocean that you’ll have to see to believe.

The music on the plane was perfectly curated, and they shared some fun facts about what we were seeing along the way. We learned that 8 people live here full time and even got to meet one of them at the gift shop.

There was so much greenery, lots of bird species (over 300 species migrate through here) and pristine beaches where we swam and snorkeled.

We brought our own food and picnicked at the beach. You have to take all the garbage back with you to help maintain the untouched feeling of the place.

The water is incredibly clear and full of amazing shells. We loved it! The fort and its cannons can be experienced from its open air top floor or covered bottom floor. It’s amazing to know that it was built over 100 years ago, yet it was never fully finished.

The best part about this national park is that because it isn’t easily accessible, it is never very full. We felt like we had the whole place to ourselves, even though we were there on a Sunday, 12pm, prime time.

Landing and taking off on the ocean? That was an incredible experience in and of itself ! My daughter got to sit in the cockpit on the way back. It’s 2 hours and 45 minutes by ferry, but if you can travel by seaplane, I highly recommend it.

I only have 2 regrets: first, is having never been there before, considering that I am a Miami native. Second, we only booked the half day option and we easily could have stayed a full day or even camped there for the night.

What started as a short weekend getaway in Key West became an unforgettable experience for all. Plus, we got to check another national park off our bucket list.

Want more? I’d love to have a chance to plan your next getaway to the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas National Park!



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