Looking for something a little off the beaten path? The Dry Tortugas National Park, a mere 70 miles west of Key West in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico is an excellent place to visit. One of the least visited National Parks due to its difficult to reach location, this is a great place to spend some time. There are 3 options for reaching the park. The first is by private plane, which can be a bit pricey, but is the fastest choice. The second is by private boat, which is cheaper, but can be pricey if you don't actually own the boat.
The last option which we opted for, was to take a private ferry, the Yankee Freedom III, which makes daily trips and allows you to spend 4 hours on the island. The trip itself takes about 2 hours, 15 minutes each way, but is well worth it. You even get breakfast and lunch included, and the boat comes with multiple bathrooms for the passengers. The seats are comfortable and the crew is pleasant and knowledgeable.
During your time on the island, you can explore the old Fort Jefferson, spend time lounging on two beautiful beaches and go snorkeling (snorkeling gear included in the price of the ferry). This is definitely worth the trip (and the requirement that you wake up super early in the morning to be there for the 7:30 AM boarding time).
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