By Lauren Tjaden

Located 70 miles west of Key West across open water, this most-remote national park is a true escape, accessible only by ferry or seaplane.

But you won’t miss civilization. The Dry Tortugas are like something you’d conjure up in a dream.

The park is dominated by Fort Jefferson, the largest brick building in the western hemisphere. Surrounded by impossibly crystalline, turquoise-hued waters, its beaches are lush with sugary sand that begs you to ditch your sandals.

You can kick back on the beach, snorkel the living reef or explore. You can even camp there, with the music of the surf to lull you to sleep.

When you go…

By ferry:
Yankee Freedom II
100 Grinnell St., Key West, Fla., 33040

By sea plane:
Key West Seaplane Adventures
3471 South Roosevelt Blvd., Key West, Fla., 33040

Snorkeling at Dry Tortugas National Park
- Greg Johnston