Key West Parks and Attractions
Dry Tortugas National Park
The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands off of the coast of Key West. Their most famous attraction is Fort Jefferson on Garden Key. The fort started being built right after the War of 1812. It is a six-sided fort made entirely of red bricks. A lighthouse accompanies the fort to warn fisherman and sailors of the reefs. It is now a wild bird reserve and a national park. Speaking of birds, if you are an avid bird watcher, or if you just love nature in general, then a visit to the Dry Tortugas would be a great idea. These islands are home to over 300 species of migrating birds that travel along the “Great Florida Birding Trail.” You can find rare wild birds such as the peregrine falcon or the yellow-billed cuckoo living among the seven different islands. These little islands are also surrounded by the most colorful and diverse coral reefs in the United States. These fragile but extremely important ecosystems allow many other important fish and sea creatures to thrive in the South Florida waters. So if you’re an amateur historian, or if you just love nature in general, then take a little trip to the gem of the lower keys.
For more information click on Dry Tortugas National Park.
Audubon House & Tropical Gardens
After a hurricane destroyed most of the homes in Key West in 1846, Captain John Huling Geiger decided to build a large estate for his family. He made his career as a harbor pilot and wrecker. The home he decided to build became the Audubon house we know today. Because of his wealth and stature, he got only the best carpenters, engineers, and architects to build this extravagant mansion. Eventually, the home was slated to be demolished in the 50s after the last descendant of Captain Geiger left the house in ruin. Alas, in 1958 a local couple with a long history in Key West named Mitchell and Frances Wolfson saved the house. They decided to restore it and furnish it with antiques. The Wolfson family still takes care of the house today. On the property, you can find a replica cookhouse that looks exactly like the one the house had in the 1800s. This little blast from the past is also furnished with antiques so the vintage feeling is maintained. You can also find a one-acre garden area on site. This tropical garden houses over 200 orchids and other exotic plants and animals. If you’re looking for a glimpse into old Key West, then stop by the Audubon House with the whole family.
For more information click on Audubon Audubon House.
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
This Butterfly Conservatory is located right on Duval Street, so you don’t have to go very far to experience the tranquility of over 50 butterfly species, 20 exotic bird species, and a massive collection of flowers and other tropical plants. As you enter the gardens, the sound of flowing waterfalls will set the mood. There is also a Learning Center where kids and adults alike can learn about the lifecycle and anatomy of butterflies and caterpillars. Art, not limited to butterfly art, can be found in the Wings of Imagination gallery. Be sure to swing by this wonderful attraction when in the Key West area.
For more information click on Key West Butterfly
KEY WEST COMMUNITY INFORMATION
The John Seidel Team
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