Where to Stay When Visiting Dry Tortugas ✔️ 3 Stunning Areas

An aerial view of an island with sailboats in the water.

Hello, fellow nature lovers, and welcome to this article on where to stay when visiting Dry Tortugas. I’ve done all the research for you and compared all the best neighborhoods and hotels to make planning your trip easy!

The best area to stay in is Key West as it is the closest one to the park, and a very exciting one, I dare say!

Other great areas I’ll talk about are Big Pine Key and Marco Island! In each area in this post, you’ll find the most relevant info, a variety of lodging options, and unmissable things to do. At the end of the article, you can find a bonus with the best VRBOs near Dry Tortugas!

All the cities in this article are very popular on their own since they feature amazing nature and offer a wide range of attractions and activities for travelers. So, better be safe than sorry and book your stay as soon as possible!

Let’s go!

If you are in a hurry

Here are the best accommodations in Key West, the best place to stay when visiting Dry Tortugas:

luxury hotel
A woman in a bikini swims in a pool next to palm trees.
mid-range hotel
A living room with brick walls and a ceiling fan.
budget hotel
A blue bicycle is parked in front of a white picket fence.

The Garden House

The best affordable accommodation in the center

A bed in a bedroom with orange walls.

Bella Vita

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

Here you have a map with each town I recommend staying in when visiting Dry Tortugas, so you can have an idea of how close it is to the national park.

Where to Stay in Dry Tortugas MAP
  1. Key West: for first timers
  2. Big Pine Key: for a relaxing stay:
  3. Marco Island: for luxury and natural beauty:

1. Key West – where to stay in Dry Tortugas for the first time

Boats docked in the water in key west

Key West is the closest town to the national park and the Southernmost point of the United States of America. If you are visiting Dry Tortugas National Park for the first time, Key West in the Florida Keys is the ideal location for you! It is located 70 miles (112 km) away from Dry Tortugas and the ferry ride takes around 2 hours from Yankee Freedom Ferry Terminal (map), while the seaplane (this company) from Key West International Airport takes 40 minutes.

Yankee Freedom Dry Tortugas Ferry, the ferry that will take you to the beautiful Dry Tortugas National Park, is located in the old town of Key West. The essential trip to Dry Tortugas, and Fort Jefferson will cost you around US$200. You can also add camping (my fave) and kayaking to make the trip that more spectacular. Totally worth it, if you ask me! See this page for all options and prices. 

The historic Fort Jefferson is surrounded by an impressive moat wall and once served as a prison. Namely, Samuel Mudd was imprisoned in the fort after the Civil War!

Besides being the closest town to Dry Tortugas, Key West has so much to offer. If you are interested in culture, visit Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, a dream come true for literature and art lovers! In addition, the marine life in this area is stunning, and so is the deep blue ocean, where you can go snorkeling to see sea life in the beautiful coral reefs!

The nightlife in the area is vibrant, with Duval Street and its many bars and restaurants where you can have the time of your life! I am not even kidding – read our local’s guide on the most exciting things to do in Key West. You won’t be disappointed!

Let’s see where to stay in Key West, Florida, for a variety of lodging options.

Luxury hotel
collage of 3 images with: resort with a swimming pool, bedroom and hotel's building

This hotel is located down north, near Fort East Martello Museum and a 10-minute drive away from the ferry terminal. The hotel offers 2-bedroom apartments that can host up to 6 guests and come with a private balcony with options for waterfront views of Key West.

Other accommodation options in Key West

A pool surrounded by palm trees and a brick wall.

This hotel is located downtown, perfect for exploring the area and having a drink at a bar

A blue bicycle is parked in front of a white picket fence.

Stay close to ferry departure points, sleep in cozy rooms, and enjoy a complimentary breakfast

A bedroom with orange walls and a bed.

This stunning accommodation has a fun and colorful style, and it is located steps away from Duval Street

For more accommodation options, check out our article on best areas and hotels in Key West.

Things to do in Key West

2. Big Pine Key – for a relaxing stay near Dry Tortugas

An aerial view of key west, florida.

Big Pine Key is the perfect area for all of those who are looking to unwind during their trip. This quiet and laid-back area will make your vacation an easy breezy with scenic views, beautiful wildlife, and gastronomic choices.

Big Pine Key is located 92 miles (150 km) away from Dry Tortugas. However, since there is no direct connection between Big Pine Key and the national park, you’ll have to reach Key West first. From there take the ferry or seaplane.

If you like water sports, you can choose places with quick access to snorkeling spots and snorkeling tours, since the area is known for being perfect to practice it, alongside other sports such as canoeing, scuba diving, boat sailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking!

If you want to add another splendid park to your trip itinerary, I highly suggest you visit Bahia Honda National Park, lie down on white sandy beaches, and let go of all your worries! You should also visit the National Key Deer Refuge to learn about this cute species and learn how to help the refuge protect the deer!

Big Pine Key is an amazing town with great accommodation options to stay near Dry Tortugas National Park while being close to the vibrant Key West and Miami. Let’s see some below. 

Luxury hotel
collage of 3 images with: hotel's building, bedroom and plunge pool

I love this hotel! It looks so wholesome, the decoration is luxurious but has a rustic charm, and comes with a private beach. This beachfront place is ideal for those looking for eco-friendly stay options. Staying here, you can enjoy accommodations with water sports rentals and facilities!

Other accommodation options in Big Pine Key

A bedroom with a bed and a ceiling fan.

This place is perfect to experience local B&Bs with island charm and unwind in spots with secluded beaches

The interior of a tiny house with wooden ceilings.

Simple and old-school accommodation, outdoor pool and barbecue facilities! Free parking is available for guests

A swimming pool in the backyard of a home.

Cute house with everything you need that can host up to 4 guests! A shared outdoor pool is available!

Things to do in Big Pine Key

  • Spend the day at Bahia Honda National Park
  • Go on a snorkeling tour
  • Relax on a birdwatching trip to Loon Lake (map)
  • See cute deer at National Key Deer Refuge

3. Marco Island – for luxury and natural beauty

An aerial view of condos and the ocean in marco island.

Did you know Marco Island is the only developed land in the Ten Thousand Islands? 

The beautiful Marco Island is ideal for those who want to spend some time relaxing like royalty in the time between their visit to Dry Tortugas National Park and their hotel room! This area has the most stunning and luxurious accommodations, and the restaurant options are perfect for indulging in delicious dishes and relishing sunset views over the Gulf of Mexico!

Marco Island is approximately 113 miles (180 km) away from Dry Tortugas. Unfortunately, to visit Dry Tortugas, you’ll first have to reach Key West and take the ferry or seaplane from there.

If you decide to stay on Marco Island on your visit to Dry Tortugas, don’t miss out on visiting Collier-Seminole State Park. It offers visitors the opportunity to see beautiful wildlife in their natural habitat, and it also hosts a wide range of events and programs focused on learning about all the wildlife of the area. In the national park, guests can play different water sports, from canoeing to swimming, or enjoy a picnic in the wilderness!

The area is also well known for shelling, so get ready to find a unique souvenir to remember your visit to Marco Island and the astonishing Dry Tortugas National Park!

Luxury hotel
collage of 3 images with: resort with a swimming pool, bedroom and a living room.

Located by the beachfront, this hotel features out-of-this-world views of the ocean! The hotel has 3 swimming pools, a fitness center, and free parking, which is handy! Their biggest villa can host a total of 10 guests!

Other accommodation options in Marco Island

An aerial view of a pool and beach at sunset.

Enjoy beachfront lodgings for a morning stroll and fantastic views of the ocean with a continental breakfast

The lobby area with wicker chairs

This hotel looks super luxurious! It comes with a pool and a complimentary breakfast which is served every morning

A bedroom with a bed, desk and tv.

Cozy studio with garden and patio! The location is unbeatable and can host 2 guests

Things to do in Marco Island

📍 Best area:Key West
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Hyatt Vacation Club
💵 Best mid-range hotel:Simonton Court Historic Inn
👛 Best budget hotel:The Garden House

BONUS: Best VRBOs near Dry Tortugas

If you are wondering where to stay when visiting Dry Tortugas National Park but looking for something more private than a hotel, here you have the best VRBOs near Dry Tortugas! But if these 4 are not enough, you can always check our complete list of vacation rentals in Key West.

The prices per night for these accommodations go from US$100 to US$200.

collage of 3 images with: resort with a swimming pool, bedroom and a living room.

1. Casa Amor
Oh my god! This Key West 2-story house has everything you and your fellow travelers need for a comfy and deluxe vacation to Dry Tortugas! On the second floor, you can find the master bedroom with its en-suite bathroom, and on the first floor, there are 2 bedrooms, making it perfect for 10 guests. The best thing about the property is the outdoor pool!

2. Conch Heaven
This property is only a 10-minute walk from Duval Street in Key West, so you will have a vibrant nightlife and amazing restaurants just steps away from your VRBO! The house looks super cozy and modern. It can host 6 guests and features a nice wooden patio with a heated plunge pool and a nice front porch to admire the neighborhood!

3. Newly Renovated House with Ocean Views
This Key West apartment has the most incredible views from the ocean, which can be admired from the furnished private balcony! Imagine admiring an amazing sunset while sipping fruity drinks! The property features a classic style that gives it a special charm that will make you fall in love with the place! The apartment can host 6 guests, and a shared pool and jacuzzi are on the property grounds.

4. Architect’s Personal Residence
This property is so cute it looks like a doll house, and the color theme gives it a special touch! The house comes with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and can host 6 guests. There is an outdoor pool and terrace where you can enjoy breakfast or dinner! The location is unbeatable, just outside Duval Street in Key West!

FAQs about where to stay when visiting Dry Tortugas

A small seaplane on the beach with a fort in the background

🌄 Which is the closest city to Dry Tortugas?

The closest city to Dry Tortugas is Key West, and some hotels to stay in the area are Hyatt Vacation Club and Simonton Court Historic Inn.

📆 How much time do you need at Dry Tortugas National Park? 

I suggest staying the whole day! The ferry ride from Key West to Dry Tortugas takes 1 – 2 hours, so spend the whole day to get the most out of the park. Some hotels to stay overnight are The Garden House in Key West and Deer Run on the Atlantic in Big Pine Key, but you can stay overnight camping at Dry Tortugas (more info here).

🏞️ How do you get to Dry Tortugas? 

You can get to Dry Tortugas National Park by ferry, which takes around 2 hours, or by seaplane, which takes around 1 hour, departure by sea plane from Key West International Airport.

🏕️ Can you stay overnight in Dry Tortugas?

It is possible to stay overnight and embrace campgrounds within the national park, you can book a camping site on Garden Key for an immersive experience or book the ferry ride + camping.


A lighthouse on an island.

That is all for today, my fellow travelers! That was all for where to stay when visiting Dry Tortugas. You have 3 amazing areas, plus the campgrounds and the best hotels! Also, if you want more options, you have the best VRBOs near Dry Tortugas!

The towns mentioned in this article are super popular on their own. People from all over the world travel to the Florida Keys to enjoy the scenic landscapes and amazing food, and all other exciting things to do. So don’t sleep on it; book your hotel room in advance if you want to visit Dry Tortugas National Park!

All the hotels in this post are stunning, and I would be more than happy to stay in any of them, but these 2 are my top favorite:

  • Barnacle Bed and Breakfast  – if I could, I’d always choose a charming bed and breakfast with stunning decor and amazing amenities in the Lower Keys for my stay!
  • Deer Run on the Atlantic  – I love the eco concept, the vegan breakfast, and the private beach area!

Which of the towns mentioned in this article was your favorite? Have you ever stayed in any of them? Let me know in the comments!

Until the next adventure,


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