Why Key West Was Originally Named "Bone Island

The fierce Calusa Indians were said to leave the remains of their enemies on the beaches of Key West, thus creating Key West's first name, Cayo Hueso... Island of Bones.

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Key West's Dry Tortugas And Fort Jefferson


The area is known for its famous bird and marine life, and its legends of pirates and sunken gold. Fort Jefferson, one of the largest coastal forts ever built, is a central feature.


Dry Tortugas National Park FAQ's:

Question: Where is Dry Tortugas National Park?

Answer: Almost 70 miles (112.9 km) west of Key West, Florida.

Question: What are the Dry Tortugas?

Answer: A cluster of seven islands, composed of coral reefs and sand. All of the islands together make up the National Park.

Question: When were the Keys discovered by westerners?

Answer: No one knows exactly when the first European set foot on one of the Keys, but as exploration and shipping increased, the islands became prominent on nautical maps.

Question: How did the Dry Tortugas get there name?

Answer: When Ponce De Leon originally discovered these islands (in 1513) he named them "Las Tortugas" (meaning "the turtles" in Spanish) because of the abundance of sea turtles that provisioned his ships with fresh meat, but there was no fresh water - the Tortugas were dry.

Question: How do I get to the Dry Tortugas?

Answer: Take A high speed catamaran ferry! Check out the "Fast Cat" to the Dry Tortugas at sunnydayskeywest.com. Or board a seaplane! at seaplaneskeywest.com.

Question: What is Fort Jefferson?

Answer: The Dry Tortugas National Park's central feature is, the majestic Fort Jefferson - the largest 19th century coastal fort.

Question: What key is Fort Jefferson located on?

Answer: Fort Jefferson is located on Garden Key.

Question: What activities does the Dry Tortugas provide?


Editors Choice:
Dry Tortugas National Park
A U.S national parks site with about 40 links to park Information.

Best Photos:
Click Here For Park Photos
Terragallery.com provides a brief history of the islands and some photos of Fort Jefferson at this site.

In The News:
Park and Snorkeling Review
Washingtonpost.com Provides a little info into where to enjoy the tropical waters of the U.S, Dry Tortugas being one of them.

Further Park Info:
Dry Tortugas National Park
A National Park Service page providing some history and a few photos of the park.

Fort Jefferson.com
A guide to Fort Jefferson - history, snorkeling, camping, bird watching and more.

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