Explore 10 of the Best Beaches in the Florida Keys

Key West, FL

Key Highlights

  1. The Florida Keys offer a unique beach experience with their warm, shallow, turquoise-colored waters and protected coral islands.
  2. Some of the best beaches in the Florida Keys include Bahia Honda State Park, Sombrero Beach, Smathers Beach, Higgs Beach, Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, Anne’s Beach, Dry Tortugas National Park, Curry Hammock State Park Beach, Harry Harris Beach, and Coco Plum Beach.
  3. These beaches offer a variety of features such as white sand, palm trees, picnic tables, volleyball nets, historic landmarks, clear waters, shallow swimming areas, and natural beauty.
  4. The Florida Keys also offer unique experiences such as exploring underwater worlds with coral reefs and marine life.
  5. By visiting these stunning beaches, you can enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys and have a memorable beach vacation.


Key West, Florida: A cute beach bicycle rests against a beach house fence, facing the sea and a sandy beach somewhere in the Florida Keys.

The 125 string of islands at the tail end of the state of Florida is known as The Florida Keys. While the beaches in the Florida Keys may be smaller and narrower than their mainland counterparts, they make up for it with their warm, shallow, turquoise-colored waters. What makes the beaches in the Florida Keys unique is that they are coral islands protected by offshore reefs, in turn prevents the wave action needed to create large beaches. However, when you venture a little further out to the offshore reefs you’ll find some of the best snorkeling and diving locations in the USA.

The Florida Keys offer a range of beaches to suit every beachgoer’s preferences. From state parks to hidden gems, there is a beach for everyone. If you’re looking for white sand, palm trees, picnic tables, or historic landmarks, the Florida Keys is the place to be. Get ready as we explore the top 10 stunning beaches you must visit in the Florida Keys.

Discover the 10 Best Beaches in the Florida Keys

Ft. Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida

The Florida Keys are home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. From the tropical paradise of Bahia Honda State Park to the hidden gem of Sombrero Beach, each beach offers its own unique beauty and charm. Let’s take a closer look at these 10 stunning beaches in the Keys, starting from Marathon all the way to Key West.

1. Bahia Honda State Park: A Tropical Paradise

Bahia Honda State Park: A Tropical Paradise
TripAdvisor / Rebecca S.

Bahia Honda State Park located on Bahia Honda Key, is undoubtedly one of the top beaches in the Florida Keys. With its pristine white sand, swaying palm trees, and crystal-clear waters, it is a true tropical paradise. According to the best destination guides, one of the highlights of this beach is the mile-long stretch of natural sand known as Sandspur Beach. Sandspur Beach features shallow water that extends out into the ocean.

During low tide, small sand islands appear, creating a desert island experience. Calusa Beach and Loggerhead Beach in the park are also worth exploring. Calusa Beach offers shallow water and a pleasant cove, while Loggerhead Beach is larger and ideal for wading and lazing around. The park also has a concession stand, picnic tables, restrooms, and ample parking.

2. Sombrero Beach: Marathon’s Hidden Gem

Sombrero Beach: Marathon's Hidden Gem
TripAdvisor / Mompells5

Located in Marathon, Sombrero Beach is a hidden gem in the Florida Keys. With its sandy beach, picnic tables, palm trees, and stunning views of the Atlantic, it is the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. The beach is long and wide, offering plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. The warm, shallow water is ideal for families with small children or for those looking to laze about in the shallows. Sombrero Beach also has a large park with amenities such as showers, restrooms, and picnic areas. It’s definitely a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and it’s easy to see why.

3. Smathers Beach: Key West’s Longest Beach

Smathers Beach: Key West's Longest Beach
TripAdvisor / sanju_222323

Smathers Beach, located in Key West, is known as the longest beach in the Florida Keys. With its two-mile strip of white sand and blue waters, it is a popular destination for beachgoers. The sand here is considered some of the best in the Keys, and the beach offers a fun and vibrant atmosphere. Off the beach, you’ll find volleyball nets, perfect for a friendly game, and plenty of coconut trees providing shade. Restrooms and showers are available for convenience. Ample parking is also available along South Roosevelt Boulevard, making it easy to access this beautiful beach.

4. Higgs Beach: A Historic Key West Beach

Higgs Beach, located in Key West, is not only a beautiful beach but also a historic landmark. The beach is named after Benjamin Higgs, a prominent figure in Key West’s history. This beach is also known for its chest-high water and a lovely pier. You’ll surely see many people jumping into the ocean off the pier perfect for jumping into the ocean.

TripAdvisor / sanju_222323

Higgs Beach is also home to the Key West Garden Club, which is housed in the ruins of a Civil War-era fort known as West Martello. The garden club boasts colorful and fragrant flowering plants, making it a must-visit for nature lovers. Along with all of that the beach is fully equipped with amenities such as picnic tables, restrooms, and a café. Higgs beach is a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of Key West.

5. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach: One of the Best Beaches in Florida Keys for Swimming

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach
TripAdvisor / GreatdaneGeorgeFred

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, located in Key West, is not only a historic site but also one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys for swimming. The beach is situated within Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, which is home to a well-preserved mid-19th-century fort. The beach itself offers soft sand and clear waters, making it perfect for those looking to take a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. The rocky bottom beneath the waves makes it ideal for snorkeling and exploring marine life. Also, the park also offers amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and a concession stand. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is a must-visit for those looking for a beautiful beach with excellent swimming opportunities.

6. Anne’s Beach: Islamorada’s Shallow Waters

Anne’s Beach: Islamorada's Shallow Waters
TripAdvisor / Giovanni P.

Anne’s Beach, located in Islamorada, is a rare commodity in the Keys. This beach is a natural sandy beach and better yet its free! The beach offers a peaceful and serene environment, perfect for those visitors looking to relax. The shallow water makes it ideal for families with small children or for those who prefer calmer waters. Anne’s Beach also features a picnic area where you can enjoy a meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings. If your looking for a little action at this relaxing beach, you should note that Anne’s Beach is also a popular spot for Windsurfers. On breezy days it’s fun to just sit on the beach and watch these swoop and soar in the air. So whether you’re seeking relaxation under the sun, a family-friendly dip, or a front-row seat to windsurfing action, Anne’s Beach offers a unique and unforgettable experience in Islamorada.

7. Dry Tortugas National Park: Remote and Majestic

Dry Tortugas National Park
TripAdvisor / thisgaltravels

Dry Tortugas National Park is a remote and majestic destination located approximately 70 miles west of Key West. This park is only accessible only by boat or seaplane but it’s worth a trip. The beach at this national park is a long arc of sand backed by the impressive stone wall of Fort Jefferson. The shallow water is perfect for floating peacefully under the warm Florida sun. The park also offers the opportunity to explore Loggerhead Key, which features amazing beaches and is completely uninhabited. If the clear waters wasn’t enough to intrigue you to this park than maybe this will. According to travel guides, snorkeling and diving in the area are highly recommended, as the park is known for its unique and diverse marine life. A visit to Dry Tortugas National Park is a truly unforgettable experience.

8. Curry Hammock State Park Beach: A Kayaker’s Dream

Curry Hammock State Park Beach: A Kayaker's Dream
TripAdvisor / imjustbeachy_1

Curry Hammock State Park Beach, located in Marathon, is a hidden gem for kayaking enthusiasts. The beach is situated in Curry Hammock State Park, which offers a peaceful and natural setting. Curry Hammock is the ideal launch pad for kayakers, as the shallow water and private atmosphere make it an ideal spot for kayaking adventures. Along with that, the park also offers picnic tables, restrooms, and showers for convenience. The natural beauty of Curry Hammock State Park Beach makes it a perfect destination for those looking to explore the Florida Keys by kayak and enjoy the tranquility of untouched beaches.

9. Harry Harris Beach: Family-Friendly Shores

Harry Harris Beach: Family-Friendly Shores
TripAdvisor / LaylinaW

Harry Harris Beach, located in Tavernier, is one of the best family-friendly beaches. With its sandy beach and calm waters, the beach is perfect for families with children. The water at Harry Harris is protected from the Atlantic by an extensive rock seawall. The shallow water and rock-free entry make it safe and enjoyable for youngsters of all ages. The beach also offers ample space to lounge around and sunbathe, and there are picnic tables, barbecues, showers, and restrooms available. Fishing from the breakwater and jetty is also a popular activity at Harry Harris Beach. With its family-friendly amenities and beautiful surroundings, Harry Harris Beach is a top choice for families visiting the Florida Keys.

10. Coco Plum Beach: A Natural Oasis

Coco Plum Beach: A Natural Oasis
TripAdvisor / starsn2023

Coco Plum Beach, located in Long Key, is a natural oasis with its long stretches of untouched beaches and a serene atmosphere. The beach offers a peaceful and secluded setting, perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy the beauty of nature. Destination guides note that at low tide, the beach expands, revealing a wide expanse of sandy shoreline. Coco Plum Beach is also known for its turquoise water and stunning views of the ocean. This beach is truly a hidden gem in the Florida Keys and a must-visit for those seeking a tranquil beach experience.

Activities for Beach Lovers in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys offer a variety of activities for beach lovers. From snorkeling and diving to kayaking and paddleboarding, there’s something for everyone. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park boasts top-notch snorkeling and diving conditions. The clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean are perfect for exploring underwater. Kayaking and paddleboarding along the Overseas Highway provide a unique view of the beauty. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy plenty of excursions, including trips to Seven Mile Bridge and Mile Bridge.

Snorkeling and Diving Adventures

HawksBill Turtle In Florida Keys
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The Florida Keys are famous for snorkeling and diving. John Pennekamp’s coral reef state park offers top-notch conditions in the USA. The clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean are ideal for exploring colorful reefs and marine life. Encounter various species like tropical fish, sea turtles, and maybe even manatees or dolphins. All skill levels can enjoy guided tours and rental equipment for underwater adventures in the Florida Keys.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding Spots

Florida Keys kayaks Bahia Honda Park US
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For a leisurely beach activity in the Florida Keys, consider kayaking and paddleboarding. The Overseas Highway provides numerous opportunities to explore the waters. Glide through turquoise waters, admiring the stunning scenery from mangrove tunnels to hidden coves. Wear proper water shoes for rocky areas. Whether you’re a novice or expert, these activities are a must for beach enthusiasts.

Fishing and Boating Excursions

Buoy in the Atlantic Ocean
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The Florida Keys provide a paradise for fishing and boating enthusiasts. From the iconic Seven Mile Bridge to the Mile Bridge, there are ample opportunities for fishing. Whether deep-sea or shore casting is your preference, the Florida Keys have it all. Charter boats and guides ensure a successful fishing experience. For non-fishing adventures, boating excursions offer unique perspectives, from sunset cruises to snorkeling trips. Experience the thrill of fishing and boating in the Florida Keys today!

Planning Your Visit to the Florida Keys Beaches

Turquoise waterfront of Florida Keys in Marathon, Florida
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When planning your visit to the Florida Keys beaches, there are a few key factors to consider. The best time to visit is during the spring break season, when the weather is warm and the beaches are less crowded. It’s also important to check the tides and plan your beach activities accordingly. Low tide is the best time to visit as the water recedes and the beach grows dramatically in size. Additionally, be sure to pack sunscreen, water shoes, and other beach essentials. With proper planning, you can make the most of your visit to the stunning beaches of the Florida Keys.

Best Time to Visit

Aerial view along the seven mile bridge of US1 to the florida keys
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The Florida Keys beaches are best visited during spring break season, from late February to early April. The weather is warm, the beaches less crowded, and perfect for soaking up the sun and enjoying the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. This time sees a surge in activity as visitors from around the globe flock to the Keys for their beach vacation. Whether you seek relaxation on white sandy shores or water sports, spring break offers ideal conditions for a memorable beach experience.

Where are the best beaches in the Florida Keys?

Key Largo, Florida

The Florida Keys are home to some of the best beaches in the United States. From the stunning white sand beaches of Bahia Honda State Park to the vibrant coral reefs of John Pennekamp State Park, there are countless options to choose from. Key West is also a popular destination with its beautiful beaches, such as Smathers Beach and Higgs Beach. Whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or an adventure-filled day of snorkeling and diving, the Florida Keys have something for everyone.

Key West

Big brown pelicans in Islamorada, Florida Keys
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Key West is a must-visit destination in the Florida Keys, known for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning beaches. Duval Street, the main thoroughfare in Key West, offers a lively mix of shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s the perfect place to explore after a day at the beach, with plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Key West is also home to the iconic Southernmost Point marker, which marks the southernmost point in the continental United States. Visitors can take a photo by the buoy and soak in the breathtaking views of the ocean. With its picturesque beaches, lively nightlife, and unique charm, Key West is a beach lover’s paradise.


Bahia Honda State Park - Calusa Beach, Florida Keys - tropical coast with paradise beaches - USA
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Florida Keys beaches offer a blend of natural beauty and unique experiences for all beach enthusiasts. From the tropical paradise of Bahia Honda State Park to the family-friendly shores of Harry Harris Beach, each destination has its charm. Whether you seek underwater adventures, stunning sunset views, or engaging activities like snorkeling and kayaking, the Florida Keys have it all. Plan your visit wisely to make the most of your beach exploration. With crystal-clear waters and a variety of attractions, these beaches promise a memorable getaway for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the unparalleled beauty of the Florida Keys beaches!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Florida Keys beach has the clearest water?

Footbridge to the Smathers beach on sunrise - Key West, Florida
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Bahia Honda State Park has some of the clearest water in the Florida Keys. Sandspur Beach and Calusa Beach, located within the park, offer stunning crystal-clear waters for swimming and snorkeling.

What are the best beaches in the Florida Keys for snorkeling?

Diver in molasses reef, Florida
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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys for snorkeling. With its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, snorkelers can explore the underwater world and witness the beauty of the ocean. Cannon Beach and Big Pine Key are also popular snorkeling spots in the area.

What other beaches around the world are worth visiting?

Sunrise to Sunset / Views from the Florida Keys
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There are numerous beaches around the world that are worth visiting. Some of the best beaches can be found in destinations such as Greece, Oahu, Rhode Island, Southern California, and Thailand.

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