The best beaches of the Florida Keys are also one of the most unique beach travel destinations in the United States. They are colorful and quirky, tropical and welcoming. The Florida Keys will leave a lasting imprint on you when you visit. Here, life revolves around fishing, boating, scuba diving, eating, and drinking beer. There are few beaches on these dry rocky islands and most beaches are just a few feet wide at low tide and the water is just a foot or two deep for about a thousand yards out. The Florida Keys beaches are on the Atlantic Ocean side of the islands. The shores of the Gulf side are mostly rocky and more suited to fishing and boating. Come to the Keys for a great beach vacation! Enjoy a great vacation at some of the best beaches of Florida!
Here are the best beaches in the Florida Keys
Cannon Beach (Key Largo)
Cannon Beach is located near the John Pennekamp Visitors Center,and gets its name from cannon placed at the Pennekamp Park entrance along with the cannon on it’s beach. This beach is small in size, but is still quite a lovely man made Key Largo beach with its white coral sand. You will be able to see the 17th century shipwreck replica about 100 feet from shore. Snorkeling is also very popular here, and you can snorkel or swim in the lagoon. The waters are very calm here and Cannon Beach is great for small children who will be able to enjoy the day, wading and playing. You will want to spend time at Cannon Beach in Key Largo. Visit our Key Largo Vacation Guide.
Far Beach (Key Largo)
Far Beach is great for swimming and relaxing under palm trees with more shade than Cannon Beach .Far Beach is a place to go and unwind, take a dip in the ocean, and then spend the day lounging in the sun. It is a beautiful setting with its coconut palms and sea grape bushes. This palm-lined, man-made sandy beach attracts sunbathers and beachcombers. The water is calm, warm and shallow, making it a good swimming spot, especially for children. A portable rollout mat called the Mobi-Mat is installed across the sand, providing wheelchair accessibility. Visit our Key Largo Vacation Guide.
John PennenKamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo)
The first undersea park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park’s upland areas offer visitors a unique experience, it is the coral reefs and their associated marine life that bring most visitors to the park. Many enjoy the view of the reef from a glass-bottom boat tour, but visitors can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. Canoeing and kayaking through the park’s waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas. Visitors can enjoy walking on short trails, picnicking, or swimming at the beach. The Visitor Center has a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature videos are shown in its theater. Full-facility and Youth/Group campsites are available. Beach wheelchairs are available without cost. Free 24 hour WI-FI at Concession Building and Dive Shop Building. Visit our Key Largo Vacation Guide.
Anne’s Beach (Islamorada)
Anne’s beach is a great place to stop and relax, or have a picnic on your way up or down the Keys. The beach is narrow and hard-packed and the water too shallow for swimming. It’s a good spot for sailboarding or kitesurfing, launching a kayak, birding, or for just having a stroll along the boardwalk. There are public restrooms and a shower to wash off the sand. Pets are allowed but must be on a leash. There are two entrance ramps to the beach and two small sandy parking areas. Visit our Islamorada Vacation Guide.
Library Beach (Islamorada)
Islamorada Library Beach, is an unusual beach hidden right behind the Islamorada Library (81.5) across from the Monument to the victims of the 1935 Hurricane. Its not a surprise that this is mostly only known to the locals, as the beach is tiny. Made up of a beach (which is no more than 30 feet across), and a park featuring a small playground with swings, this would be a nice place to bring the little kiddies. It does offer restrooms. Visit our Islamorada Vacation Guide.
Kite Beach (Islamorada)
Kite Beach is on the island of Islamorada, which has been a favorite place for kiteboarding for years. Hidden behind Whale Harbor Marina, experienced kite boarders will be able to use this point to launch their kites and then be dragged across the waves. Please note that there is a charge for using Kite Beach, so check in at the marina dock before starting off. Visit our Islamorada Vacation Guide.
Calusa Beach (Big Pine Key)
Calusa Beach is located on the Gulf side of Big Pine Key. The calm shallow blue-green water make it a great swimming beach for children. There are showers with restrooms, a covered picnic area with grills, and parking. If you need to get out of the sun then check out the Sand and Sea Nature Center which is walking distance and offers exhibits on native creatures and habitats. There are lots of bicycle packs and trails which is one of the most popular activities at the park. You can also rent kayaks at the concessions. Visit our Big Pine Tree Vacation Guide
Loggerhead Beach (Marathon Key)
This beach is also found at Bahia Honda State Park. This beach is perfect for non-swimmers, or people who just like a bit of a paddle, as it is without doubt the shallowest of all the beaches, and is right on the islands southerly side. It is quite famous for having a sand bar that sits a little way offshore. The beach is nice and shallow and you can walk safely out in the waters that surround the park. This beach is great for small children. The restroom on the beach gets quite busy and is for combined use with Calusa beach. There are lots of bicycle packs and trails which is one of the most popular activities at the park. You can also rent kayaks at the concessions. Visit our Marathon Key Vacation Guide
Sandspur Beach (Marathon Key)
Sandspur Beach is a mile long beach with great swimming in the heart of Bahia Honda State Park. Some consider it one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The offshore reefs keep the water shallow and calm, perfect for children to splash and play. You can also rent kayaks in the park or enjoy the multitude of bike paths. There are picnic areas, restrooms, and a snack bar that sells pizza and ice cream. This beach is great for families. Visit our Marathon Key Vacation Guide
Sombrero Beach (Marathon Key)
Sombrero Beach is a favorite area beach boasting emerald-colored waters and a wide expanse of deep sand. Sombrero Beach is located on the ocean side and sits about 2 miles off the highway, making it quieter and more far-removed than most of the other beaches. The water here is deeper and can accommodate experienced swimmers looking for a more invigorating experience. The beach is surrounded by water on two sides which provides plenty of space to swim and a great spot to watch the sun set. Visit our Marathon Key Vacation Guide
Dry Tortugas National Park (Key West)
Dry Tortugas is a group islands about 70 miles west of Key West. There is no bridge to the islands, so you will have to take a catamaran ferry out from Key West. Plan ahead as it’s a two-and-a-half hour trip, one way. You will find fewer people here and more beach. The trip is well worth it as the waters around the Dry Tortugas are full of loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles, shipwrecks, and stunning reefs. Make sure to bring an underwater camera so you can get pictures of all the sea life you see while snorkeling or scuba diving. You will enjoy the serenity of this beach that you have practically all to yourself. Visit our Key West Vacation Guide
Higgs Beach (Key West)
Higgs Beach is a really nice beach with shading coconut palms. It boasts a pier, several pavilions, a volleyball net, a children’s playground, great swimming and snorkeling, and a bike path that runs along the beach. It’s a very laid-back feel. Tropical Water Sports will rent kayaks and paddleboards to those that want to get on the water, and chairs and umbrellas for those that want to relax. There is a restaurant right on the beach with a view that can’t be beat. The seafood is excellent, but save room for their famous Key Lime Pie. You can also take your dogs, as the beach has a dog park with separate places for small and large dogs. The best thing about Higgs Beach is that it is very close to the heart of Key West and right next to the Key West Garden club, which has a beautiful garden right on the beach. Visit our Key West Vacation Guide
Rest Beach (Key West)
There is lots of soft sand and natural vegetation on Rest Beach. This is home to the White Street Pier where you can enjoy some great fishing. It is wheelchair accessible and there is a yoga deck with nightly classes. There are public restrooms and picnic tables. Rest Beach is a fun beach to go to even though it is a pretty narrow beach. The White Street Pier give this beach a lot of character to this quant beach. You are also welcome to bring your furry friends, as long as they are on their leash. Visit our Key West Vacation Guide
Key West Dog Beach (Key West)
Key West Dog Beach is a Fido favorite. Your dogs will have some fun in the sun and splashing around. The beach is rocky and slippery, so keep a eye on your furry friends. There are no restrooms or facilities, but after your dogs get a little exercise on the beach, you can head over to Louie’s Backyard, which is next door to the Dog Beach and a pet-friendly place to grab a refreshing beverage. Bring your furry friend to Key West! Visit our Key West Vacation Guide
Smather’s Beach (Key West)
Smathers Beach is the longest stretch of white-sand beach in Key West with over a mile of beach. The beach is fairly wide with lush coconut palms and shallow water that is great for swimming and basic snorkeling. The beach has restrooms, volleyball courts and picnic areas. There are watersports rentals available for parasailing, wind surfing, paddle boards, kayaks and Hobie Cat rentals. Smather’s beach has a reputation as a Spring Break party beach. It is also a popular location for beachfront weddings. Vendors with vans pull up to the curb selling food and drink and there are vendors on the beach renting kayaks and beach equipment. Pets are not allowed on this beach. Enjoy Smather’s beach! You will see a steady procession of people parades up and down the extra-wide sidewalk that parallels the beach on bikes, skates, and on foot which makes it a great beach for people watching! Visit our Key West Vacation Guide
Zachary Taylor State Park Beach (Key West)
This is an 87 acre state park with a pre-Civil War Fort. You can view wonderful sunset views here. It is one of the best beaches in Key West, but a little bit rocky. There are public restrooms, a food/drink kiosk, chair rentals, picnic tables and BBQ’s. You can enter the park through Truman Annex at Southard Street. There are entrance fees to enter the park but well worth it! Visit our Key West Vacation Guide