Key West Beaches: Vacation Your Way in the Florida Keys

Travelers come to Key West for sunshine, seafood and nightlife. The destination also offers a tropical paradise with Key West beaches that cater to different styles of vacation. Daring and adventurous or calm and chill – vacationers will find a spot just for them. Read more.

Key West Beaches Provide Opportunities for Outdoor Activities

dry tortugas key west beach

Dry Tortugas Beaches

Located 70 miles from Key West, Fort Jefferson Dry Tortugas National Park offers a pristine escape from the city and the perfect place to play in the water. Visitors enjoy swimming, snorkeling, soaking up the sun and watching marine life.

South Swim Beach has a large snorkeling area for all ages. North Swim Beach and Dinghy Beach also have areas for snorkeling, but guests can explore dock ruins and relax on the sand. To enjoy a stroll, head to Seaplne Beach near the harbor light.

In addition, Dry Tortugas ranks among the best places for scuba diving in Key West. While diving, expect to see historic wrecks, reefs and marine life.

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

One of the most known Key West beaches, Fort Zachary Taylor Beach provides a place for water recreation and relaxation. This spot has ample space for guests to snorkel and fish, which is permitted on the west side of the park. For fun on land, the park houses nature trails, bike paths, and picnic areas with grills.

Those who enjoy history should tour Fort Zachary Taylor and see Civil War cannons. For something extraordinary, wait for the sunset. This beach is best known as a top place for sunsets in Key West, as its location sits where the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico meet.

florida vacation spots tropical

Higgs Beach

Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Park sits along the Atlantic Ocean. It measures 16.5 acres and features lush vegetation, sand and shallow waters. Plus, guests enjoy exploring an underwater marina park, historic fort, small pier and Key West Garden Club.

At Higgs Beach, guests swim, snorkel, play volleyball and tennis, and sunbathe. Those with children have access to a beachside children’s playground and equipment rentals. In addition, the park has options for pet-owners with separate runs for small and large dogs.

Bahia Honda State Park

Palm lined beaches, clear water and balmy breezes make Bahia Honda State Park a must-see. This area ranks among the best Key West beaches for kayaking, snorkeling and birding. Other water recreation includes fishing, paddling, boating and scuba diving.

Most come to Bahia Honda to escape busy areas. In addition to water fun, visitors bike trails, share picnics, schedule boat tours and star gaze. Those overnight camping or staying at the marina will notice the night sky, as Bahia Honda is the darkest location in the Florida Keys for star gazing.

key west beaches family

South Beach

Key West’s South Beach is named after its location at the southernmost end of the island. Due to calm and shallow waters, this spot is perfect for families and sunbathers who want to relax. Due to popularity, locals recommend coming early and having lunch at nearby restaurants.

Smather’s Beach

Smather’s Beach runs about 2 miles along the Atlantic and ranks among the largest Key West beaches. Popular activities include swimming and snorkeling, but guests also have access to food vendors, rentals and watersports. Smather’s Beach is noted as the most popular beach in the area for its clean sand, restrooms and showers.

Key West’s Dog Beach

Visitors with dog love Dog Beach located next to Louie’s Backyard, a waterfront restaurant. This small beach provides the perfect place for dogs to enjoy the water and get some exercise. Remember to bring snacks and drinking water – and pick up after pets.

Want the ultimate personal paradise? Book a Key West vacation rental on the beach.