The Many Faces of Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

The island of Key West is not very large, but did you know it's home to an 87-acre park that includes beaches, pine trees, and a Civil War-era fort? That’s right, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park (or Ft. Zach for short) is one of my absolute favorite locations for photos!

Whether you’re interested in Ft. Zach for an engagement session, part of an “Around Key West” session, or as the backdrop for your wedding, America’s southernmost state park offers a wealth of picturesque settings for photos!

Fort Zachary Taylor

Construction on this brick structure began in 1845. Held by the Union during the Civil War, the fort was also used during the 1898 Spanish-American War. Decades later, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. 

The fort offers unique settings for photos, from its contemplative arches and spiral staircases to its impressive cannons. From the top, the backdrop is a dramatic vista of where the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico meet.

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The Beach

Did you know Fort Zachary Taylor originally was surrounded by water? Land was added around it in the 1960s, and it’s thanks to this that Key West now has one of its most beautiful beaches! The sand, sea, and sky make for a gorgeous setting for photos. It’s especially fun to shoot some photos of you walking hand in hand along the shore.


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The beach is especially beautiful during sunset! The lighting is at its most romantic and gives opportunities for fun silhouette photos. It’s also peak timing for passing sailboats to add some nautical charm.


Rocky Outcropping

For the sure-footed, clambering onto Ft. Zach’s seaside rocks can give your photos a rugged and adventurous flair.


Palms and Pines

Nothing says “tropical” like palm trees, and the park has plenty at the water’s edge to feature your island destination. We can incorporate them into some fun shots, like a clandestine kiss among the fronds.

Due to the warm climate, you might be surprised to see all the pine trees at Ft. Zach! Their presence around the park’s paths give a serene and natural ambiance to photos.


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How to meet me there

With its historical, natural, and nautical settings, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is the perfect place for timeless Key West photos! Do its possibilities sound like a match for you? Unless we determine otherwise, here’s how to meet up with me there!

From Old Town Key West, head southeast on Southard Street through the Truman Annex neighborhood. Signage will guide you to the park’s gatehouse. After entering the park (small admission fee not included), follow the long, winding road ALL the way until you reach a gravel parking area. You will see the ocean, a tiki hut, and a large piece of driftwood. I will be there or meet you there shortly! You can’t miss me - I’ll have a big camera!