Are you looking for beautiful Florida Keys beaches? If so, you’re in luck! Key West beaches are amazing, and we’re going to share the best ones with you.
Key West is a sunny island paradise and Florida’s southernmost city. It’s known for coral reefs, exciting beach activities, and pastel architecture. Beaches in Key West offer various experiences, whether you’re looking to relax, enjoy water sports, or a mix of both.
Grab your swimsuit and sunscreen, and let’s take a look at the best beaches in Key West!
1. South Beach
While Key West’s South Beach is small, it’s one of the best beaches in Key West. You can find 200 feet of white sands and beautiful blue water.
The shallow water at South Beach is warm and inviting, and it’s perfect for swimming. The nearby Emma Carrero Cates Pier is also an ideal spot to watch the sun come up or go down.
The Southernmost Beach Resort is a popular place to stay for those visiting South Beach. They also offer complimentary beach chairs on the shore, perfect for settling in for the day. There are also several other accommodation options in the area.
2. Smathers Beach
Smathers Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Key West and in Florida and for great reason. It’s also Key West’s largest beach at around half a mile long.
If you’re looking for scenic views and a lively beach experience, Smathers Beach is the place to go. There are volleyball nets and water sports rentals for those looking to take out a kayak, jet ski, or sailboat.
Although Smathers Beach can get crowded, it remains clean and there’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a relaxing or fun-filled beach day.
3. Higgs Beach
Also known as Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Park, Higgs Beach is one of the most welcoming attractions in Key West. There are also many other nearby attractions that make it a great vacation spot.
You can find several beautiful vistas at Higgs Beach and the White Street Pier offers amazing views across the Atlantic Ocean and opportunities for fishing. You can also rent various watersports equipment if you’re looking to get out on the water.
If you’re visiting Key West with pets, be sure to check out Higg’s Beach’s dog park!
4. Dog Beach
Dog Beach is a palm-fringed shoreline that welcomes furry beachgoers. Unleashed pets can enjoy 24-feet of sun and sand just for them next to South Beach.
Note: We don’t recommend visiting Dog Beach for kids to play as the area is more geared towards letting pets run and swim freely.
5. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach
Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is easily one of our favorites! It’s located within a state park and boasts a white sandy shoreline and beautiful clear waters.
Visitors enjoy swimming and observing tropical life at Zachary Taylor Beach. However, be careful of the natural coral and seafloor that’s a bit rocky.
In the park, you can also enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. There are also tons of amentities, and pets are welcome, too!
6. Simonton Street Beach
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle but stay close to activities, Simonton Street Beach is the perfect place to go! It’s a few steps from Mallory Square, a popular Key West tourist attraction, and it’s the only public beach in the downtown area.
This quaint sandy beach is pet-friendly and offers something for everyone. You can find watersport equipment rentals, a boat ramp, and a pier. It’s a great place to enjoy dolphin watching, snorkeling, and fishing.
You can also rent umbrellas and chairs. And, picnic tables are available, too. With so many conveniences and activities, Simonton is a wonderful place to spend the day!
7. Casa Marina Resort
The largest private beach in Key West can be all yours at the Casa Marina Resort. Overlooking more than 1,100 feet of beach and boasting tons of amenities, the resort offers a luxurious vacation experience.
Casa Marina Resort offers an on-site fitness center, watersport rentals, and an opportunity to try your hand at sand sculptures with a resident sculptor. Enjoy the scenery with a bike or scooter rental as you explore the landscape and amenities within the area.
Enjoy a massage and outdoor spa treatments right along the shore for a relaxing and unique experience you can’t find anywhere else on the island.
As it sits on the southwestern coastline, you will only be a short outing away from the Edward B. Knight Pier. So take a stroll down to enjoy the scenery and watch the locals fish right from the dock.
8. County Beach
If you’re a history buff, we definitely recommend checking out County Beach. County Beach is nestled between Higgs Memorial Beach and Rest Beach, making for a great spot if you’re interested in beach-hopping.
This man-made beach offers a rocky shoreline and keeps the sandy shore dry. It’s an excellent place to visit if you’re looking for a low-key beach and some history to explore. Along County Beach, you can find the African Refugee Cemetary and the West Martello Tower and Key West Garden Club.
Bring your camera along and snap some photos at County Beach!
9. Dry Tortugas National Park
If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, Dry Tortugas National Park is the place to go! Although it isn’t close to these other Key West beaches, it’s accessible by ferry from several places in Key West.
This national park boasts beauty like no other and when you arrive, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a postcard. Palm trees and sunshine create a flawless paradise as you spend the day exploring the many attractions, including Fort Jefferson, a 19-Century Civil War fortress still available for visitor tours.
Once you have your fill of history and heritage, take to the water with snorkeling gear for one of the most impressive coral reef systems around. Splash around in the shallow waters or join a guided tour to experience everything Dry Tortugas National Park offers.
Prepare to spend an entire day here at this park to take in everything before you have to leave. Be sure to pack a lunch because there aren’t concession amenities at the park. You can also camp at Dry Tortugas National Park.
10. The Reach Resort
The Reach Resort is a popular choice for many Florida Keys visitors seeking a first-class beach experience. This sizeable private beach boasts natural sand for guests who want to take a stroll, sunbathe, or enjoy breathtaking sunrise or sunset views.
Take some time to relax on the beach with a beach chair and a refreshing drink in hand. There’s also a pier that extends out into the Atlantic Ocean and a pavilion for easy sightseeing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent water sports equipment at the resort. Guests can go kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, and more.
You can also watch for dolphins, go scuba diving, participate in sunrise yoga, or sail the Atlantic for a day of deep-sea fishing. The Reach Resort makes your trip to the Keys unforgettable, and there’s a good chance you’ll be planning your next trip before you even leave!
11. Bahia Honda State Park
If a beach camping trip is what you’re looking for, we highly recommend checking out Bahia Honda State Park. The beautiful park and beach offer everything you need for an amazing beach vacation.
Calusa Beach and Sandspur Beach are both found within the park. The beaches boast miles of soft white sands, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking sunsets. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling, and wildlife watching.
You can find calm shallow waters, various marine life, and an endangered butterfly species (the Miami Blue Butterfly) at the park. There are also nature trails, boat tours, and fishing opportunities.
At the park, campers can appreciate the many amenities, including water, electricity, and on-site concessions.
12. C.B. Harvey Memorial Rest Beach
Also known as Rest Beach, C.B. Harvey Memorial Rest Beach sits within the same park as and is adjacent to Higgs Beach. This slice of white sand, palm-lined paradise gives visitors a unique feel to their beach experience. Although it isn’t a large beach, its natural vegetation and sand dunes provide a picturesque ocean backdrop.
The name says it all with this sunny beach spot. Rest Beach’s serene atmosphere attracts beachgoers who are looking to kick back and relax. Yoga enthusiasts can also attend a class with local instructors at the yoga deck right on the tranquil beach.
The water is safe for swimming, and the shore is perfect for picking seashells and spotting coral or small fish. Parking at C.B. Harvey Memorial Rest Beach is free and easy to get to. It provides shaded areas, picnic tables, restrooms, and even a wheelchair and bike path.
13. Sunset Key
Sunset Key provides an exclusive resort experience on a stunning stretch of Key West coastline. You’ll find tiki huts, hammocks swinging in the breeze, and crystal white sand that offer a tranquil vibe like no other.
This 27-acre property is only 500 yards away from Key West Harbor and provides couples with the perfect romantic tropical getaway. Private cottages dot the shoreline, and visitors can enjoy professional spa treatments and fine dining without leaving the resort.
Sunset Key has pools, fitness facilities, tennis courts, basketball, and watersport activities for visitors who enjoy being active even on holidays. If you want to spend a day relaxing on the water, sign up for a deep-sea fishing excursion.
This private resort also offers 24-hour boat transportation to the Opal Key Resort & Marina. Guests can also use the private dock at the resort for personal boats interested in getting out on the water.
14. Straw Hat Beach
Straw Hat Beach lies near the Actual Southernmost Point of Mainland USA. It’s home to a picture-perfect buoy monument that shows it’s only 90 miles north of Cuba which makes for an amazing photo-op during your Key West visit.
Being so close to another tropical destination, Straw Hat Beach provides much of the same climate. So you’re sure to enjoy a Caribbean-style holiday vibe when visiting this part of Key West, Florida.
Straw Hat Beach offers a secluded getaway, perfect for those looking to get away from the crowds. It’s also located just east of the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, giving visitors ample time to enjoy attractions while in the area.
Although Straw Hat is a public beach, you won’t find a ton of amenities. However, there is a playground nearby, a gazebo sitting area, a beach volleyball court, and the SSG David J. Whitcher Memorial.
15. Southernmost Beach Resort
Last up on our list is perfect for beachgoers looking for seclusion and luxury. Southernmost Beach Resort offers just that!
This recently renovated resort is tucked in the Historic Old Town surrounded by picture-perfect views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s just a short walk from shops, restaurants, nightlife, and architecture.
You can appreciate upscale rooms, green garden pathways, sandy beaches, and beautiful scenery at the resort. There are also 3 heated pools, an oceanside pool, top-notch guest services, a waterfront bar, and a tanning pier.
The resort also offers private beach access, ideal for a quiet seaside vacation. This man-made, peaceful beach offers hammocks, refreshments, games, and beach yoga.
Enjoy the Best Key West Beaches
Florida is filled with incredible beaches, and Key West is no exception! Key West is a gorgeous piece of Florida, and each beach provides a unique atmosphere and scenic views. We hope we’ve inspired you to check out the best beaches in Key West!
From palm-lined shorelines and pristine waters to lovely weather and various water sports, there’s something for everyone on Key West’s coastline. Whether you’re looking to relax, get adventurous, enjoy family time, or enjoy a romantic getaway, you’re sure to find it in this slice of Florida paradise. Enjoy!