Fort Zachary Taylor,
Florida State Park: A Top Choice
of Key West Beaches!
Fort Zachary Taylor, or Fort Zach as it is called by locals, is the southernmost state park in Florida. The park is situated on the southern tip of Key West where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean. The lower portion of the park that borders the ocean makes up one of the most popular beaches in Key West.
Where is Ft Zachary Taylor?
Fort Zachary Taylor is located at 601 Howard England Way in Key West, Florida.
To visit this park, take US 1 to the city of Key West and turn right on Roosevelt Blvd. Just follow the signs to downtown Key West, and you'll be on Roosevelt. When you come to Eisenhower, Roosevelt is now Truman Ave. Go one block past famous Duval Street to Whitehead and turn right. Go four blocks to Southard Street and turn left.
Turn left again when Southard ends and you can then follow the signs to the park gate.
The History of the Fort
The beautiful and fun-filled Key West beach isn't the only draw to Fort Zachary Taylor. It is also an historic landmark because it played an important role in the military history of the United States. The fort defended the coastline in the Civil War and Spanish American War. The fort still stands and tours are offered daily. Touring the fort is great fun for kids and history buffs of all ages.
Things to Do at Ft Zachary
Fort Zach is one of the most popular Florida state parks because it has so much to offer visitors. There are walking and biking trails, nature exhibits, and many types of great water activities.
The beach itself is absolutely breathtaking! Unlike the packed sandy
beaches on Florida's east coast or the powdery sands of the beaches of the Gulf Coast, the sand here is a little bit rocky, but ideal for wonderful long, hot afternoons of digging and sand castle building!
The beach at Fort Zachary Taylor is ideal for all ages and all activity levels. You can bask under the sun, kick-back and listen to the gulls sing as the waves lap the shore, or you can take part in some of the high-energy water sports.
The Fort Zachary Taylor State Park beach is uniquely situated where the Gulf of Mexico actually meets up with the Atlantic Ocean. This creates excellent water flow and depth that results in nice clear water and supports an amazing assortment of sea critters!
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
This is one of the favored scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the Key West area.
You will marvel at the colorful fish such as schools of yellowtail snapper, giant tarpon, huge grouper, and parrot fish.
There's also lobster, crabs, and a remarkable display of coral mazes to see, with tiny baitfish darting about....truly an underwater world worth seeing, so be sure to take a morning or afternoon for diving or snorkeling. It's something you don't want to miss when visiting the park.
Fishing and Boat Watching
Fishing is also popular in the park. The area near the harbor is over 30 feet deep and is an ideal place to cast a line.
From this area, you can watch boats as they enter and leave the harbor and it is one of the best places in all of Key West to watch the sun dip below the horizon each evening.... a favorite Key West tradition!
This state park in Florida is fun for bird watchers too, since it sits in the migration route for a variety of different bird species. It is a good place to catch sightings of rare birds, as well as birds of prey and shorebirds.
Picnics on the Beach
The park also has convenient picnic areas so you can grill a hearty lunch for the hungry swimmers in your group! You can even cook your fresh catch from the sea and eat it right on the beach. If you would rather have someone else do the cooking, you can dine at the park restaurant or grab a snack from the concession stand.
You can also rent beach chairs, snorkel equipment, and umbrellas at the park. Stay for the day or stay for the night in the park lodge or at a campsite. With all the park has to offer, you may never want to leave!
Florida Beach Weddings - Fort Zachary Taylor
This Florida state park welcomes those wanting to exchange vows while barefoot on the beach! There are several locations on the beach which are ideal for a beach wedding ceremony.
The beach and the sultry tropical surroundings, make the perfect backdrop for a romantic wedding ceremony.
The state park's event director can be contacted for more detail regarding wedding packages and arrangements.
Key West Florida Hotels Near Ft Zachary Taylor
There are several good Key West resorts and hotels to choose from, very close to this state park. Each of the hotels in Key West Florida listed below, are located within an easy walking distance of the park.
Reviews of Key West Resorts
The Lighthouse Court Key West (.5 miles from the park)
The Westin Key West Resort Marina (.5 miles from the park)
The Banyan Resort (.6 miles from the park)
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