With a over a million tourists visiting Key West every year one of the most common questions is which is the best beach to visit whilst in Key West. As the majority of visitors to Key west are only in town for a few days it is important to know where to go to maximize your time. Key west can be busy and although small you can easily spend a few hours in a car trying to find the perfect location.
So where are the beaches in Key West FL ?
Well firstly lets start by saying there as not as many as you may think, well in terms of public beaches. There are several hotels with private beaches and we will mention these but first we list Key Wests public beaches.
All of Key Wests main public beaches are along the south coast predominantly located along the A1A. When arriving in Key west via the Overseas Highway US 1 turn left onto the A1A S Roosevelt Blvd and after a few miles and opposite Key West Airport you will find Key Wests first and longest of beaches.
Smathers Beach – Key West: By far the largest of Key Wests beaches, Smathers is often the most practical to visit in terms of ease of access and space. The beach is directly next to the road and on Street parking is available along the see front although this does fill up early in the morning. The Beach itself is mostly soft white sand and lined with palms, the waters are clear and shallow although there are the occasional sea weed issue after a big storm. Smathers beach is also home to Sunset Water sports beach club where you can participate in Paddle boarding, Parasailing, kayaking and various other water sports. Vendors are often available selling drinks and snacks and washroom facilities are available at the western end of the beach.
Continuing along the A1A turning left into Atlantic avenue will lead you onto the second of the popular public beaches in Key West.
Higgs Beach – Key West: A medium sized beach but one that is extremely popular due to its location close to the old town and its beautiful white soft sand beaches and gently slopping clear waters. Higgs beach attracts a young crowd but is equally well suited to family’s looking for a lively beach suitable for children with good facilities. The beach has onsite restaurants, washrooms, vending machines as well as children’s play area and tennis courts. Behind Higgs beach is a large Dog park with ample facilities for both dog and owner.
Again further along the A1A at the Junction with Duval St there is one of Key Wests smallest but very popular beaches.
Southernmost Beach – Key West: By far the smallest of Key Wests beachs southernmost is probably not the best beach if you are looking to relax and sunbath. Although it has a small beach and clear waters it is best suited to a short visit and a drink at the southernmost bar to get away from the hustle and bustle of Duval st.
For the next and probably regarded as the best beach in Key West by most you will need to venture into town and head towards the entrance to Fort Zachary Taylor State park. The Entrance to the park is well sign posted but can be found at the following Southard St westwards until you find the park entrance. If you come across the guard house in the middle of the street and think you may have taken a wrong turn, do not worry, your on the right track, just proceed a little further and you will see the entrance.
The Beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park – Key West: Our top pick of Key Wests beaches and for a small entrance fee you will gain entrance to the stunning and relaxed beaches, some of Key Wests best beach facilities and entrance to the whole of the state park. The Beach itself is accessed a short walk through the beautiful wooded area featuring picnic bench’s and grills available for free use. All this is only a short walk from the parking area where you will always find a space. The beach itself is a relatively steep slopping coral sand which leads into the clear waters which in general are protected by breakwaters and therefore calm when other beaches can have a surf. Fort Zachary beach also offers some excellent snorkeling opportunities around the breakwater rocks which are located about 40 yards from the beach. Around the breakwaters large colorful fish, sea turtles and a large selection of sea creatures await your discovery. If your lucky you may see large rays and small sharks on calm days.
Hotels with private beaches in Key West FL:
- The Reach Resort Waldorf Astoria
- Coconut Beach Resort
- Casa Marina Resort Waldorf Astoria
- 1800 Atlantic
- Key West Marriot Beachside Hotel
- Courtyard by Marriot Key West Waterfront
- Galleon Resort and Marina
- The Pier House Resort and Spa
Popular Tourist Attractions in Key West:
- Southernmost Point Monument.
- Mallory Square.
- Duval St.
- Ernest Hemingway House.
- Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.
- The Little White House.
Nearby Areas of Interest: