Popular for both its military history and current recreational opportunities, Fort Zachary Taylor is also the location of one of Key West’s favorites beaches. Spanning 54 acres, Fort Zachary Taylor is worth a visit both for its colorful past and its attractive present.
Construction on Fort Taylor was begun in 1845 and the Fort hosted active duty squadrons until 1947. During the period of the Civil War, Fort Zachary Taylor remained one of only three fortresses in Florida to remain under Federal control; it’s now recognized as a National Historic Landmark and contains the largest cache of Civil War-era seacoast cannons in the U.S. Fort Taylor was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973. Tours are conducted daily and pamphlets for self-guided tours are available as well.
Today, Fort Zachary Taylor is best known for its outdoor activities and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The beach, which is the southernmost in the U.S., is considered one of the best in Key West, not only for its expanse of sand (a rarity in the Keys), but also for swimming, snorkeling and SCUBA diving off of the shore. Other popular activities include biking, fishing, hiking along the nature trails, bird watching, picnicking, sunset watching and more.