Seventy miles west of Key West lie seven small islands collectively know as the Dry Tortugas. Possibly the most unique National Park in the country, it can only be reached by ferry or seaplane. Because of its location near major shipping lanes linking the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, the islands were popular among Spanish explorers and merchants.
In 1845, the U.S. government erected a fort on the island, but never completed construction. Today the abandoned fort is a refuge for hundreds bird and the surrounding shallow water is teeming with tropical fish. Day trips for tours and snorkeling are very popular. Overnight camping is allowed by reservation. Children can earn a Dry Tortugas Junior Ranger badge if they complete a series of fun activities.
Because of the shallow water, sand bars and reefs in the area, many ancient shipwrecks lie beneath the waves. World famous treasure hunter Mel Fisher uncovered the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha in 1985. The Atocha, featured on several History Channel and National Geographic documentaries, has relinquished over $450 million in gold, silver and jewelry. It rests somewhere between Key West and the Dry Tortugas. For a truly unique destination, check out the Dry Tortugas.
Tour information can be found here: http://www.drytortugasinfo.com