Dry Tortugas National Park offers one of the most — if not the most — unique experiences in Key West. Visitors can explore Fort Jefferson (free of admission), the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, but the park’s best-loved attraction is the warm (as in, 85 degrees), teal-blue water, in which you can swim and snorkel. Plus, the water’s depth is shallow near the beach, designating it a prime spot for families with toddlers or new swimmers. Additionally, the park offers a Junior Ranger Program, in which children complete activities that involve the island’s habitat and history.
Families can also camp on the island — imagine sleeping beneath the stars on an uninhabited island, 70 miles from Key West! There are 13 campsites, and flushing toilets are available.
Dry Tortugas National Park is accessible by boat or plane. The only commercial boat that takes families there, however, is Yankee Freedom III. The catamaran has an air-conditioned cabin, outdoor deck with seats, showers, restrooms and a snack bar. Full-day trip rates include a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch, as well as snorkel gear to use on the island.