15 Best Beaches in the Florida Keys

Beachgoers from all around the world visit Florida beaches when they’re looking for the perfect beach destination. A handful of these seaside spots are found in the Florida Keys, a string of tropical islands that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. From pristine white sand and beaming sunshine to various watersports and beautiful shipwrecks, Florida Keys beaches are nothing short of extraordinary.

15 Best Beaches in the Florida Keys

Not only are the Florida Keys filled with incredible beaches, but the delicious food and friendly locals make it hard to ever want to leave! Grab your favorite swimsuit, and let’s check out the most amazing beaches in the Florida Keys.

1. Smathers Beach, Key West

For an all-around great beach spot, check out Smathers Beach. 
For an all-around great beach spot, check out Smathers Beach. (Credit: Zhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock)

As one of the largest beaches in Key West, Smathers Beach is one of the most popular. It’s almost always bustling with tourists but remains clean and a great place to relax. With its picturesque stretch of sand and chair rentals, it’s easy to kick back and enjoy a beach day.

If you want to do activities, Smathers Beach has plenty for you. Enjoy beach volleyball and water sports. You can rent kayaks, sailboats, jet skis, and windsurfing equipment.

Like most beaches in the Florida Keys, Smather Beach features calm and shallow waters that are perfect for swimming.

Amenities at Smathers Beach include restrooms, showers, watersports rentals, and picnic areas. There are also lots of food trucks to enjoy a bite to eat.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for the beach sunrise spot in the area, Smathers Beach is the place to go!

2. Sombrero Beach, Marathon

Sombrero Beach is known for its beauty and incredible snorkeling opportunities.
Sombrero Beach is known for its beauty and incredible snorkeling opportunities. (Credit: Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock)

Surrounding a beautiful park, Sombrero Beach is a sandy seaside destination perfect for a trip to the beach. You can find picnic areas, volleyball courts, restrooms, and showers.

If you’re excited about sea creatures, you’ll especially love Sombrero Beach. It’s a turtle nesting spot, and you’re sure to spot Loggerheads if you visit between April and October. There are also lots of tropical fish swimming around. It’s a great place to go snorkeling!

Sombrero Beach is also a great place to swim, picnic, and sunbathe. If you’re interested in getting active, you can play some beach volleyball.

3. Anne’s Beach, Islamorada

Anne’s Beach is a natural sandy beach, ideal for a peaceful day by the ocean.
Anne’s Beach is a natural sandy beach, ideal for a peaceful day by the ocean. (Credit: Steve Heap/Shutterstock)

Anne’s Beach is named after Anne Eaton, a local environmentalist outspoken about nuclear disarmament. She also campaigned against the Keys’ over-development and helped raise funds for its preservation. 

After being hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017, Anne’s Beach opened back up and is more beautiful than ever before.

Through the stunning sandy beach and magnificent mangroves runs a 1,300-foot boardwalk. Along the path are six pavilions that feature covered picnic tables and the perfect place to sit, rest, and take in the views.

Anne’s Beach is an excellent place to take a swim, sunbathe, and go for a walk. The water is relatively shallow, so it isn’t ideal for anyone looking for a vigorous swim. However, it’s perfect for cooling off and for children to play.

 4. Cannon Beach, Key Largo

Cannon Beach is beautiful, pet-friendly, and offers camping opportunities.
Cannon Beach is beautiful, pet-friendly, and offers camping opportunities. (Credit: Julio Yeste/Shutterstock)

Cannon Beach is a history buff’s beach paradise! It’s loved by tourists and is famous for its Spanish shipwreck. It’s also named after 17th-century cannons that sit along its sands.

While the small waves aren’t best for water adventures, they make for safe and fun swimming.

Cannon Beach is also home to tropical fish and marine life – perfect for snorkeling. Experienced divers can also see the Spanish shipwreck nearby.

If you’re interested in a camping experience, you can tent and RV camp at several spots around the beach. There are also nature trails around the area.

Amenities include restrooms, showers, picnic shelters, and kayak rentals. You can also book boat tours at the beach.

If your pet is joining you, they’re welcome at Cannon Beach!

5. Calusa Beach, Monroe

Calusa Beach is found in Bahia Honda State Park and offers endless activities.
Calusa Beach is found in Bahia Honda State Park and offers endless activities. (Credit: Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock)

Calusa Beach is one the most beautiful beaches in the Florida Keys, and it’s great for all kinds of beachgoers, including families. You can find the beach in Bahia Honda State Park, along with various activities, history, and nature. This is what attracts many travelers to the area each year!

Although Calusa is a small beach, it’s one of the best beaches in the Keys for kayaking and snorkeling because of its pristine waters. The beach has a very laid-back vibe, so it’s also great if you simply want to relax.

The beach and Bahia Honda State Park offer many amenities, including public restrooms, showers, beach wheelchairs, and a boat ramp. If you’re looking to enjoy water adventures, you can rent snorkel and kayak equipment.

Around the park, you can also go biking, birding, picnicking, and camping.

6. Harry Harris Park Beach, Tavernier

Harry Harris Park Beach is a great family hang-out spot.
Harry Harris Park Beach is a great family hang-out spot. (Credit: Vibeckemarkhus.visit/Shutterstock)

Harry Harris Beach and Park features a man-made beach with tropical sand that’s replaced each year. A coral rock barrier protects the beach from large fish and extensive wave action, making it one of the safest and most relaxing beaches in the Keys.

Aside from swimming in the beach and small tidal pools, Harry Harris Beach and Park offers hiking and biking opportunities. You can also hang out at picnic pavilions with grills and tables, hit the basketball court, and play on the playground. Other amenities include restrooms and a shower.

Pets are welcome at the park but not on the beach itself.

7. South Beach, Key West

South Beach boasts beautiful clear, warm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
South Beach boasts beautiful clear, warm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling. (Credit: Ramunas Bruzas/Shutterstock)

South Beach is located on the southernmost point of Key West. While it’s the smallest beach in the area, its clear, warm, and shallow waters offer perfect swimming conditions. With that said, swimmers do need to be mindful of the rocky water edge.

The pristine water at the beach also offers the best opportunities for kayaking and snorkeling.

The long beach pier offers the perfect place to watch boats and ships, along with picture-perfect sunrise and sunset views. Around the beach area, you can also enjoy shopping.

The beach has many amenities that make for an enjoyable day by the ocean. These conveniences include parking, restaurants, beach chair rentals, lifeguards, and water fountains.

8. Far Beach, Key Largo

If you love underwater exploration, you’ll want to visit this beach found within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park over and over again for snorkeling or diving.
If you love underwater exploration, you’ll want to visit this beach found within John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park over and over again for snorkeling or diving. (Credit: Rachael Martin/Shutterstock)

This amazing seaside destination is dubbed as one of the prettiest beaches in Florida. The beach is located in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. You can find pristine water, lush greenery, and large palm trees at the beach.

If you love underwater exploration, you’ll want to visit this beach over and over again for snorkeling or diving. If you’re interested in enjoying this piece of paradise for a few days, visitors can book a campsite.

Swimming is the most popular activity on the beach because it has a wide shallow area and warm water. However, we do recommend bringing water shoes for the rocky seafloor.

If you want to snorkel or scuba dive, there’s an on-site shop with rental equipment. Other water activities include paddling, boating, and fishing.

The beach and park offer many conveniences and activities, including wildlife viewing, trails, a nature center, and beach wheelchairs. You can also find restrooms, gear rentals, ample parking, and showers. And, if you have a pet, feel free to bring them along, too!

9. Zachary Taylor State Park Beach, Key West

Located on the southern edge of Key West, Zachary Taylor State Park Beach will awe you with its natural beauty and history.
Located on the southern edge of Key West, Zachary Taylor State Park Beach will awe you with its natural beauty and history. (Credit: Susanne Pommer/Shutterstock)

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach sits where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean, a bit out of Key West’s way compared to other local beaches. But just like other beaches in Florida, this beach will awe you with its natural beauty and history. It is even considered a National Historic Monument.

The beach is known as one of Key West’s cleanest beaches with incredibly clear water. It’s perfect for swimming and spotting tropical life. Just be sure to wear swim shoes if you plan to spend a lot of time in the water since the bottom is a bit rocky.

Many snorkelers love Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, as you can imagine. You can expect to spot sea life like fish, dolphins, and sea turtles.

For adventure away from the beach, there are several nature trails around the park. Other amenities and activities at Zachary Taylor State Park Beach include restrooms, beach chairs rentals, restaurants, parking, picnic tables, and showers.

As if Fort Zachary Taylor Beach wasn’t perfect enough, your pets are also welcome to join!

10. Higgs Memorial Beach, Key West

With its beautiful water and landscape, Higgs Beach deserves a spot on every Florida Keys itinerary.
With its beautiful water and landscape, Higgs Beach deserves a spot on every Florida Keys itinerary. (Credit: Benny Marty/Shutterstock)

Beachgoers appreciate the wide and flat stretch of sand and beautiful aquamarine water at Higgs Beach. In fact, many call it the most beautiful beaches in Florida!

Higgs Beach offers a unique experience for its visitors across its 16.5 acres of beautiful oceanfront. It features soft sand, calm water, and a long wooden pier. It’s also home to the only underwater marine park that is accessible by the shore in all of the United States.

Whether you enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or snorkeling, you’ll love a day at Higgs Beach. The water is gentle and features vibrant corals.

Higgs Beach offers several conveniences from a playground and picnic area to restrooms and free parking. You can also rent beach gear and bring your pet to the dog beach area.

11. Dry Tortugas National Park Beach, Gulf of Mexico

Dry Tortugas National Park is off the beaten path and features two beaches, remote camping, and incredible snorkeling opportunities.
Dry Tortugas National Park is off the beaten path and features two beaches, remote camping, and incredible snorkeling opportunities. (Credit: majicphotos/Shutterstock)

If you’re in search of an adventure off the beaten path, check out Dry Tortugas National Park Beach, which is only accessible by boat or plane. You can use a private boat or find many trips available in Key West.

This national park features two beaches, Seaplane beach and Dry Tortugas beach. Both are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. However, the water can get quite cold compared to other Florida beaches so you may prefer to wear a wetsuit. You can rent gear at the beach if you don’t have your own.

Dry Tortugas National Park is also the perfect place to simply relax and take in the views. If you’re into wildlife, you’ll love the bird and turtle watching opportunities at Dry Tortugas.

Since it does take a couple of hours to get to Dry Tortugas National Park, and it’s well worth staying for a day or two (or longer!), you may want to camp. Learn more about this incredible remote camping experience here.

12. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach, Key Biscayne

Located just a few minutes from Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach offers a peaceful escape from city life.
Located just a few minutes from Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach offers a peaceful escape from city life. (Credit: Jose Marquina/Shutterstock)

Located just a few minutes from Miami, Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park boasts soothing sandy shores without the crowd. This is easily one of the best beaches in the Keys you can explore.

Swimming and snorkeling are two of the most common activities on the island, thanks to its gentle waves and nearby reef. You can also rent a hydro bike or kayak to get on the water.  If you’re lucky, you may spot iguanas or raccoons during your visit.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Beach offers many amenities, including restrooms, restaurants, parking, showers, chair and gear rentals, and picnic tables.

While dogs are welcome on the beach, there are some areas of the park where pets aren’t permitted. 

13. Crandon Park Beach, Key Biscayne

Crandon Park Beach is unlike any other, with unique dunes, seagrass beds, coastal hammocks, and mangroves.
Crandon Park Beach is unlike any other, with unique dunes, seagrass beds, coastal hammocks, and mangroves. (Credit: Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock)

Crandon Park Beach is unlike any other, with unique ecosystems, such as dunes, seagrass beds, coastal hammocks, and mangroves. It’s also home to exotic plants for naturalists to explore. Talk about the perfect natural paradise!

Crandon Park is lined with palm trees and features powdery white sand and pristine blue waters. The waters are shallow, making it one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys for swimming or relaxing in the water. There are times where the currents may not be best for little ones, but lifeguards are always on duty.

Crandon Park Beach is also great for watersports if you’re interested in getting adventurous. You can even rent paddleboards, jet skis, and kayaks.

Like most beaches in the area, Crandon Park Beach has many amenities. You can find restrooms, showers, ample parking, a playground, and grills. And, don’t forget gear rental is also available.

14. Rest Beach, Key West

If you want to unwind and enjoy nature, Rest Beach is a great place for it, and it's conveniently located close to the downtown area.
If you want to unwind and enjoy nature, Rest Beach is a great place for it, and it’s conveniently located close to the downtown area. (Credit: Benny Marty/Shutterstock)

If you want to unwind and enjoy nature, Rest Beach is one of the top beaches in the Florida Keys for this. It’s located within Harvey Rest Beach Park, where you can easily enjoy a day oceanside. It’s also conveniently located just 10 minutes away from downtown Key West.

Just like other Key West beaches, Rest Beach is great for shelling, swimming, and snorkeling. The many palm trees also provide the perfect shade for kicking back with a book.

The Edward B. Knight Pier is the perfect spot to take in the views, go for a stroll, and catch some fish. It’s also pet-friendly, unlike the beach itself. The pier also hosts a monthly Full Moon Party.

You can also find restrooms, showers, picnic tables, parking, and a playground at the beach.

15. Sunset Key Cottages, Key West

If you're looking for a luxurious, exclusive vacation, Sunset Key Cottages is the perfect place to go.
If you’re looking for a luxurious, exclusive vacation, Sunset Key Cottages is the perfect place to go. (Credit: Ruth Peterkin/Shutterstock)

If you’re looking for a more luxurious beach vacation, we highly recommend Sunset Key Cottages. It’s one of the top private resorts in the area, offering an exclusive seaside experience.

Sunset Keys Cottages offers tons of activities such as snorkeling, swimming, yoga, tennis, clubbing, and shopping, among many others. It offers a beach experience similar to the other beaches in the Keys, except taken up a notch and more tranquil.

You can find other activities and conveniences at Sunset Key Cottages, including charming cottages, all-around ocean views, and beach and poolside concierge. You also have access to 24-hour boat transportation, a spa, restaurants, sports courts, and private docks. And, all of this is without even leaving the resort!

Enjoy Your Visit to Florida Keys Beaches

We hope our list of the best beaches in the Florida Keys has you excited for your next trip to the sea. Whether you’re looking to relax, go snorkeling, or swim all day – these beaches offer an unforgettable experience!

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