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“A complete surprise”

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
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$38.69*
and up
Key West Sunset Champagne Cruise
Ranked #13 of 168 things to do in Key West
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Historic site of a Civil War-era fort, currently being excavated; also has a beautiful beach for swimming and snorkeling.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“A complete surprise”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

I was told there was no beach in Key West that was worth its salt. Well, the beach at Fort Zachary was a definite surprise, very nice and quite wide, not over populated, and reached through a small but very pretty grove of pine and palm trees. The fort itself is interesting to visit, with the Coast Guard base next door being another complete surprise, sitting right next to the old fort, so much so that taking photos is not allowed. Two friends visiting with me were from Florida and had never been to Ft Zachary. We all enjoyed the place, finding it all at once pretty, interesting and peaceful.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Chris-From-MD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Take a day to visit”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We stumbled across this beach-park. People were in the water, some on the beach. We loved seeing the protected Turtle nest. We went on a great day- it was breezy and cool in the shade but warm out on the beach. Lot's of options to just chill or play. Highly recommend visiting and bring a cook out.

Visited June 2013
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Thank Dmeta4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abingdon, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Pack Your Water Shoes- Very Rocky!”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

The best of the Key West beach options. Chair and umbrella rentals available. A nice little snack bar and clean bathrooms. This beach is extremely rocky on the sand and in the water. We regretted not wearing water shoes immediately!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank jessicastatzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Dorado, Arkansas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Rocky, but great for snorkeling.”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We really loved how beautiful the beach was. My only complaint was that it was very rocky. There is supposedly a sandier beach if you take a trail past the parking lots, but we were walking. I really wish that I had a snorkel with me. There were some amazing sea shells.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank ryanandkristynriley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parrish, Florida
Level Contributor
449 reviews
129 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 385 helpful votes
“Best Beach In Key West”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

This is a Must Do when you visit Key West! We visited Ft. Zachary State Park 4 out of the 7 days we were in Key West on vacation. It does not disappoint!

The water is pure blue and it is extremely clear for snorkeling.

We were first in line for the park’s 8:00 a.m. opening. We paid $7 for a car with 2 adults inside, but we were allowed to leave and re-enter the park that day until closing time at 8:00 p.m.

Walkers and Bike Riders will pay less, but be aware it is .6 miles to the swimming beach. It can be terribly hot with the strong Key West Sun when you decide to leave in the afternoon.

We secured the perfect setting with shade (there is plenty of it) under innumerable pine trees, our own picnic table, plus modern restrooms and a concession stand were nearby.

The beach is now quite broad with a particularly rocky beach. The beach is much more sandy to the sides off of the main entrance. To get there, drive the whole road (6/10th of 1 mile from the gate) and wind around the end of the parking lot and go to the end of the left building of the lot. Make sure you head to the swimming beach rather than fishing beach at the far area of the parking lot with the boulders.

To enter the water, make a point to locate a sandy path or bring water shoes because the shore line can be sharp. Snorkeling is World Class off the walk-in, albeit rocky beach. It is best around the jetties and on the far sides of 5 jetties with particularly good spots near the bigger posts at the side of the 2 jetties. Every type of

Caribbean fish is there including rays and barracudas. The best sights are off the three biggest jetties – center to right. Manatees also appear sometimes. Visibility is normally 20 to 30 feet, but it can be quite limited on days with high surf.

Umbrellas and chairs are available for rent, but we had our own plus they were priced like it was a hotel resort. Food, beverages and restrooms are also available.

We visited Higgs and Smathers Beach during our one week in Key West, but nothing compared to Ft. Zachary State Park’s pristine water and white sand beaches.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank JeffnEdie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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