Florida Scenics Blog- The art of Sharon Osterholt

The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location

Park #140 – Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Florida’s most southerly State Park is the 140th and last painting of my Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is located on the western side of the island tucked in between the naval air station and the cruise port. Rick was fishing the rocks and the huge Disney Cruise ship looked as if it was going to run him over! While he fished the rocks I was painting on the beach. A nice coconut palm draped over the sandy path to the water. As I painted, fishermen fished on the rocks and children played on the beach. When my painting was done, we enjoyed a nice picnic under the australian pines. The wind was still howling at 30mph (all 7 days of our trip!) and the pines were whistling and creeking!

After lunch we walked over to tour the Fort. We walked all around the moat that protects the fort and never noticed the iguanas clinging to the rocks until we walked around the 2nd time. Once we saw the first iguana, all of a sudden we saw dozens! The inside of the fort features various rooms, some still with canons and canon balls! In 1968, when this land still belonged to the Navy, Key West resident Howard England discovered that dozens of historic cannons were buried in the fort’s walls. His efforts to excavate the historical artifacts are mainly responsible for this fort being preserved and turned into a State Park.

The best kept secret on Key West is that the best sunset view is from Fort Zach’s beach, but we didn’t time our dinner right and didn’t make it back to the park in time to catch the sunset! So save your entry receipt and give yourself time to make it back to see an incredible sunset.

For more information about this park, visit their website

I hope you enjoyed following along on my Florida State Park Plein Air Tour! It took 14 months to complete visiting and painting at 140 of Florida’s State Parks. (I did leave out parks that were not accessible by car, or were closed to the public.)

Stay tuned for more posts on Key West and other Florida adventures throughout 2016.

Fort Zach Palm - 8x10" oil on linen panel

Fort Zach Palm – 8×10″ oil on linen panel



2 comments on “Park #140 – Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

  1. marge drew
    January 1, 2016

    Wow…fantastic photos and lovely painting.. Most impressive;lace.. and that cruise line was elegant..did not recognize itsinsignia.  The arched curved brick doorways were quite astoundingand reminded me of a painting that my young son did in wc before he was killed in auto accident.. but I believe that building wasin another country. I would love to see this park in person.  So sorry that you havehad such windy conditions for so darn long. Thanks again for sharing your blog and your beautiful paintings & your lovely photography!!  Loved those iguanas a lot Margé

  2. FlaScenics
    January 5, 2016

    Hi Margé, I posted a reply to your comment earlier, but I guess it didn’t take!
    I am glad the archd brick photo brought back good memories of you son.

    The shop is a Disney Cruise Ship, that’s Mickey painted on the bow. The iguanas were everywhere! O ce the sun got warm, they just appeared from nowhere. The one on the beach rocks didn’t like me and kept making those head bumps move that regular lizards do. He needn’t worry, I didn’t get that close!

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it😊

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