Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson
4.5
About
This is the largest all-masonry fortification in the western hemisphere and served as a Civil War federal prison.
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
2 within 6 miles

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles474 reviews
Excellent
383
Very good
67
Average
17
Poor
2
Terrible
5

The Gleghorns
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
We took the ferry out to the fort. We booked late so they only had one night of camping available and we jumped at the chance. We absolutely loved camping overnight and most certainly recommend it!!!! The rats are definitely large and are a little creepy at night. When you hear their sounds at night, the clicking claws of the abundant hermit crab population, mixed with the waves crashing all around, and knowing you are miles from the mainland, it combines for an experience that just cannot be described accurately. It is one of our favorite things so far, and an experience we will never forget :) We definitely are glad we stayed and would have loved one more night. Great snorkeling, very safe, and a ton of fun!!! Follow the abundant recommendations by the park rangers, ferry website, and others reviews and you will be set up for a great experience.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PamC54
Nashville, TN945 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021 • Friends
This fort is a unique structure that has an interesting but seldom shared history.

From the early 1800s when building began the fort has stood as a fortress and refuge for marine traffic into the Gulf harbors of the US.
We had an amazing tour offered by the Yankee Freedom ferry which was valuable to enjoying our experience. There is also a self guided tour but the anecdotal stories added value to our experience.
Unfortunately the weather was not favorable the day we were there for snorkeling.
We did see lots of frigate birds circling above the beach and coral that was washed ashore.
Written January 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raegan L
Lakeland, FL1,735 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Friends
Every single brick of Fort Jefferson is a summation of an incredible piece of history. The backstory of building the most secure fort in the world 70 miles away from the nearest shoreline is just fascinating.

Further, the fact that this fort eventually turned into a prison would give anyone goosebumps after seeing how much effort it takes even in modern times just to reach this small spot of barrier island. To be completely locked up/ stranded there as an inmate? It seems like that is too harsh of punishment even for the worst of the worst criminals. But again, just super duper interesting to learn more of how Dry Tortugas came to be.

You definitely want to make the hike up to the top of the fort, because the views up there are basically unrivaled. And walk around until you find Dr. Samuel Mudd’s cell- you will know when you find it by the extra creeps you feel going down your spine, no joke.

Such an unparalleled place, and though a heck of a trek to get there, so worth it to see and know more.
Written March 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bassmanblues
Cape Coral, FL30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
We have been wanting to get here for years so when we got the chance we took it. We were not disappointed. It is a full day trip as it takes the ferry 2 1/2 hours to get there one way, so there is 5 hours of your day. The time at the fort is interesting. You can do the history tour, which I recommend, We planned on snorkeling, but the winds in the previous days had been strong and made the visibility cloudy. We took the rest of our time bird watching as the east side of the island is a bird sanctuary/rookery. The trip back the ferry opens the bar and we enjoyed adult beverages during the trip back. Overall this was a great trip.
Written March 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Terry F
Madison, AL79 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
Fort Jefferson was beyond a shadow of a doubt the high point of our trip to the Florida keys. The guide who explained the place to us was fantastic, so we learned things we would not have known had we gone on our own. The place is absolutely gorgeous, although we had terrific whether that is oftentimes not the case. We highly recommend the ferry trip to see Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas
Written October 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OrlandoDivingDuo
Orlando29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Yankee Freedom was great. We were on one of the first full capacity trips after COVID restrictions but still had plenty of room. Staff was great - food much better than expected. Long but enjoyable day. Parking tip - we parked in the public garage at $32/day as suggested on the website but walked past a sign for Conch Harbor Plaza parking lot for $15/day to get to the ship. Worth checking before hitting the public garage
Written December 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vicki M
51 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
We enjoyed walking through the 3 level fort located at the Dry Tortugas park and learning about its history. Beautiful views and access to beaches on several sides. We took a seaplane (instead of ferry) and would recommend it to anyone interested in taking a seaplane ride (see sunken ships, turtles).
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FlashVirginiaUSA
Leesburg, VA130 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Visiting the Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson was a highlight of our trip to Key West.
We took a sea plane from Key West, it was about a 35 min flight in a very sturdy, but small plane. We flew about 500 feet above the water and this enabled us to see dolphins and turtles. Our pilot kept pointing out sights for us. Once on the National Park, we were able to walk thru the 3 levels of the Fort and around the Island.
Some in our group snorkeled and said it was fantastic.
A trip well worth taking.
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TrailTrekker15
Tallahassee, FL3,959 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021 • Solo
I visited and toured Fort Jefferson as part of my time at Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas. The first part of my time in the fort was on the tour provided by the Yankee Freedom Ferry tour guide. He was fantastic and brought that old ruin to life! The purpose of the fort was primarily to act as a deterrent against European aggression in the region and to protect New Orleans. The fort served a number of other purposes as well including a military prison. The size of the fort is truly astonishing as it’s hard to see the other side in some locations on the parade grounds. There are some cannon along the top of the fort. I was able to wander around most of the fort on my own which a really cool experience. Definitely take at least an hour of your visit to tour the fort before snorkeling and other activities.
Written September 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BelleKreyol
Washington DC, DC452 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
Unfortunately, our trip was cold and cloudy. The water was rough and choppy and it seemed half the ship was throwing up. We were disappointed and shocked to see that the Yankee Freedom ship was 100% packed during Covid. Absolutely no way to social distance. Though everyone had masks, most people seemed to keep them off. Food was not good. At this price point, expected better quality food. The mixed drinks were good on our way back. The crew was good, did their best to take care of folks throwing up all over the place. At the Fort, rich history. Stunning views. Too bad it was so cold and windy to get in the water. That was a big disappointment. Other than that, highly recommend to do at least once. If you can get away with adjusting your travel for another day to avoid cold, cloudy, rainy, do it!
Written December 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 451
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Fort Jefferson - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Fort Jefferson Information

Excellent Reviews

383

Very Good Reviews

67

Fort Jefferson Photos

1,013