Friday, July 18, 2014

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

What if you have a big group.  No one is really into the bar scene and everybody wants something different? Beach time, hiking, biking, snorkeling, snacking, and exploring could take everyone in opposite directions. Unless you head over to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, tucked away in the southwest corner of the island. The entrance to the park is located to the left of The Eco Discovery center and you pay according to how you'll be getting in.  If it's a really hot day, you might want to drive. It's a 10-20 minute walk from the gate to the park, depending on how motivated you are.

A cruise ship docked in the distance.
Stop by the Fort first for a mini history lesson. It took 21 years to build, starting in 1845, and included sanitary facilities flushed by the tide and a desalination plant which produced drinking water from the sea. I didn't ask but I hope they were on opposite sides of the fort. In Union hands, Fort Zachary was headquarters for the U.S. Navy's East Gulf Coast blockade squadron during the Civil War. Coolest takeaway for me? How long it took from the invention of canned goods to the invention of the can opener. Guided tours are offered at noon daily.
Cannons are always cool.
After your history lesson, head down to the beach. Make sure you've got water shoes in your bag. Zachary Taylor isn't a sandy beach like the ones on the Atlantic side of the island. Happily, that is one of the few things you'll need to bring. (bathing suit, sunscreen, towel, ect.)  Umbrellas, chairs, and snorkeling equipment are available for rent at the Chickee Hut. 

Feel the need to relax your body, mind and spirit? You can drop in on the 8:15am  yoga class. All the supplies are included in the $18 drop in fee. If you've bought a pass for yoga classes during your stay, tell the people at the gate. Park admission is included.

When your stomach starts growling, head over to The Cayo Hueso CafĂ©. There's plenty of seating on the deck and they offer a variety of beach food that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. They only accept cash but supposedly there's an ATM. (I don't remember seeing one.)

All in all, a good option for your hard to please crowd.

1 comment:

  1. Love your Island-Hope to make it my home someday! Would I be correct in assuming you are THE Melissa-Pink Hair JtG writes about in his blog?! He's a RIOT-Luv him. Had coffee with him last April when I was in KW. He urged me to start a blog, but I'm hesitant. Would love YOUR feedback! There are so many thoughts and dreams in this Crazy Head right now, maybe this would be a good time to put pen to paper. Planning my trip to KW in March, would love attend the Writer's Guild Mtg. We shall see!