Where to stay near Dry Tortugas National Park, FL

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Dry Tortugas stands out as one of the most unique national parks in the US. This small group of tropical paradise islands, far away from mainland Florida, is a wonderland for snorkelers, history buffs and sun lovers alike. But where to stay near Dry Tortugas National Park for the best experience?

Bed down in Key West, where boats and seaplanes depart for Dry Tortugas National Park. On top of the convenience, it’s the perfect place for celebration after a long day of exploring Dry Tortugas.

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Key West, Dry Tortugas’ gateway island

There is no Dry Tortugas lodging inside the national park. Instead, you find the lodging closest to Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West.

Key West is on its own a beautiful Florida destination to visit. The island is home to a fun entertainment scene and many popular attractions, including the Hemingway Home and Key West Lighthouse.

But where to stay in Key West then?

Old Town, sliced by the bar-lined Duval Street, is filled with quirky sights. In the compact area, 1.25 miles (2 km) from north to south, one neighborhood stands out a bit extra for Dry Tortugas lodging.

The Key West Historic Seaport offers the ultimate access to the Yankee Freedom Ferry (the Dry Tortugas ferry). At the cozy Seaport Inn, you bed down just 5 minutes’ walk from the ferry terminal.

Pick Key West for: Prime Dry Tortugas access.

Waves lapping the shore at Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park
Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park, FL.
  • Seaport Inn – Built in the 1800s, the Seaport Inn boasts the historic charm that you love about Key West. Only a 5-minute walk from the Yankee Freedom terminal, this lovely inn makes visiting Dry Tortugas National Park effortless.
  • Hyatt Centric – How about luxury lodging for Dry Tortugas National Park? Sleep like a king at this oceanfront hotel, located adjacent to Key West Historic Seaport; then walk to the Yankee Freedom terminal in 10 minutes.
  • Almond Tree Inn – Almond Tree, nestled at the heart of Old Town, blends the luxury of a resort with the charm of a bed and breakfast. Sure, it’s 20 minutes by foot to the Yankee Freedom terminal, but when returning back after a long day out, you have all the entertainment you crave for right on your doorstep.
  • Blue Marlin Motel – In the southern part of Old Town, relaxed Blue Marlin Motel sits slightly away from the ferry terminal. This is an excellent motel for those who travel on a budget.
Houses nestled among green palm trees in Key West with the blue ocean on the horizon
You find Dry Tortugas places to stay in Key West.

How to get to Dry Tortugas National Park

It’s almost 70 miles (113 km) from Key West to the isolated islands of Dry Tortugas. So far from civilization, the paradisiacal Dry Tortugas really is a national park off the beaten path.

To get there, you have two options: boat or seaplane. These tours depart from Key West, the nearest populated island functioning as Dry Tortugas’ gateway.

Most visitors opt for a boat tour to Dry Tortugas. The high-speed Yankee Freedom leaves from Key West Historic Seaport with a travel time of roughly 2.5 hours each way.

For quicker transportation, consider a Dry Tortugas seaplane tour. Traveling by plane from Key West Airport to Dry Tortugas National Park takes just about 40 minutes, which means more time for the park.

Because the Dry Tortugas tours (both boat and plane) often sell out, advance reservations are essential.

Where to stay near Dry Tortugas National Park FAQ

Can you stay in Dry Tortugas National Park?

There’s no lodging inside Dry Tortugas National Park. Instead, you find the closest accommodations in Key West, offering a wide selection of resorts, hotels and inns. If you want to spend the night in Dry Tortugas, your only option is the primitive campsites on Garden Key.

Where should I stay when visiting Dry Tortugas?

Key West is best alternative for lodging near Dry Tortugas National Park. This is where boats and seaplanes depart for the distant islands. At the lovely Seaport Inn, you bed down just 5 minutes by foot from the home base of the Dry Tortugas ferry, the Yankee Freedom terminal.

Do you need a reservation for Dry Tortugas National Park?

The only ways to go to Dry Tortugas National Park are by boat or seaplane. As these tours often sell out, advance reservations are essential.

What is the closest city to Dry Tortugas National Park?

Key West is the city closest to Dry Tortugas National Park. However, from Key West to Dry Tortugas, it’s still almost 70 miles (113 km). As there’s no road connection, you need to travel by boat or seaplane between the two.

Is Dry Tortugas worth the trip?

Dry Tortugas is a remote place, but it’s also one of the most unique American national parks. Blue waters, coral reefs and the historic Fort Jefferson are just a few of the many reasons making Dry Tortugas worth it.

Florida bound? Don’t miss our palm-dotted guide to Florida.

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