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Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West

#1 of 6 in Beaches in Key West
Beach · State Park
Offering a mix of history and recreation, Fort Zachary Taylor centers on a military fort from the Civil War era. Construction began in 1845 and lasted nearly 20 years. The fort played an important role in a network of military garrisons located along the southeastern coast. Deactivated in the 1940s, the fort contains the largest collection of Civil War cannons in the country. Take a short tour of the military establishment, and then spend time swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving on the sandy beach. To escape tourist crowds near the fort, hike or cycle the natural trails crisscrossing the park. Add Fort Zachary Taylor and other attractions to your Key West trip itinerary using our Key West trip planner.
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Fort Zachary Taylor reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6,820 reviews
  • No lifeguards. Not much actual sand. Just rocks/coral and large amounts of smelly seaweed washed up on the beach. You would not be able to comfortably lay out on a towel or go here without water...  more »
  • First time visit for us. We have been to Smathers, Higgs, and Bahia Honda many times so we generally knew what to expect at a Key’s beach - ie, not the clean, powdery white sand with vast expanses of....  more »
  • Fort Zachary Taylor was a great place to enjoy the sun and beach on Key West. I was told by some locals that is one of the cleanest beaches due to it's status as a State Park and that proved true. While other beaches on the island had significant amounts of smelly seaweed this beach was completely clear. Just a few notes on what to expect. First, you will need to pay a fee to get in, I rode my bike in and paid just $2.50. Second, if you want a chair or umbrella on the beach be prepared to pay. You can always bring in your own chairs/umbrellas/shade so I'd recommend that if possible. There is a small stand that sells food and drinks and the prices aren't too bad for what you'll get. The beach also has snorkel equipment for rent if needed, I did not check out these options. Lastly, the beach is more rocky than sandy so depending on what your looking for this may or may not fit your vision of a beach. Personally I managed fine without shoes or sandals, just had to be very cautious about where I stepped, especially on entrance/exit from the water.
  • Such a beautiful beach and area! We were coming off a cruise and while everyone went off to shop we found this gem only a few steps off the naval base. The right side of the beach is very rocky, but head left towards the Navy beach and it is absolutely beautiful. Lots of lush vegetation, huge iguanas, and beautiful fish right off the beach. Would definitely recommend stopping here! Hopefully will be back again soon. I recommend going in the morning early because it's most peaceful then.

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