Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West

4.3
#1 of 6 in Beaches in Key West
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
6,287 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Great beach for snorkeling and/or laying out. Shaded areas, picnic tables, trails, chair and umbrella rentals, snorkel gear rentals and a cafe/lunch spot. You will see lots of fish by the rocks, with ...  more »
  • Key West certainly doesn't boast beautiful beaches or beautiful sea. Without going far, not even to compare to our Sardinia, Island of Elba or the beaches of Salento. It's not that it takes a few palm trees to make a beach "paradise". But of course the sea must go because the heat is scorching and at least this beach has the advantage of not being super crowded, and the trees offer areas of shade. I recommend buying as soon as possible a newly arrived umbrella in Florida, sun and hot put a strain. The water temperature was very pleasant there you could stay for hours. But the sea and sand were full of seaweed. I do not understand why in the morning the municipality does not pass with a tractor to clean the beach; and yes you also charge the entrance!
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  • 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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