Key West is known for sandy beaches, key lime pie, and unique sights. However, this small Florida island is also a treasure trove of interesting historical sites and museums, all just a short distance from The Paradise Inn. From the well-known Hemingway House & Museum to Dry Tortugas National Park, there is no shortage of unique places to visit that might just teach you a thing or two. One site in Key West that brings stunning nature and area history together is Fort Zachary Taylor.

The History of Fort Zachary Taylor

As you walk along the brick corridors and around gun and cannon ports, you are surrounded by history. This fort, which predates the Civil War, is registered as a National Historic Monument and has the world’s largest collection of Civil War weaponry

Work on the fort took 21 years and was completed in 1866. It once served as a deterrent for Confederacy ships and stronghold in the Spanish-American War. Volunteers began excavations in 1968, and they discovered the guns and ammunition on display today. One of the best ways to learn about the history of this fort is on the daily tour offered at 11 a.m. There are also historic demonstrations on the third weekend of every month at the park.

A Guide to Activities Available in the Park

In addition to wandering the historic fort, there is a wide variety of things to do during your visit.

  • Cast your line off the rocky jetty near the main shipping channel to see if you can catch a grouper or snapper. Be sure to bring your fishing license.
  • Learn about native plants on the Tropical Hammock Trail or see the fort from a new point of view on the Fort View nature trail.
  • See what lives below the water’s surface on a snorkeling excursion. You can bring your own gear or rent it at the park’s concession area.
  • Pack a picnic lunch or stop by Cayo Hueso Cafe to refuel and enjoy the ocean views.
  • As part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is an excellent spot for bird watchers. Stop by the ranger station to pick up a list of the fall and spring birds that migrate to this area.

Discover All That Makes Key West Special

After exploring Fort Zachary Taylor relax in comfort at a Key West inn like this one. When you book your getaway to The Paradise Inn, you won’t have any trouble filling your days from sunrise to sunset. Start your morning off with our continental breakfast before setting off on an adventure, like exploring Fort Zachary Taylor, and ending your day at Mallory Square

Our adults-only hotel in Old Town features a range of room styles, including private cottages, which means you can find one that fits your group best. To learn more about our hotel near Duval Street, its amenities, or special offers, call 877-819-4622.