Best Beaches of the Florida Keys

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.

Cannon Beach, Key Largo, Florida, Best beaches of the Florida Keys, Florida Keys Travel guide, Florida Keys beaches

Cannon Beach

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.

Far Beach, Key Largo Florida, Best beaches of the Florida Keys, Florida Keys Travel guide, Florida Keys beaches

Far Beach

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.

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John Pennenkamp State Park

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.

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Anne’s Beach

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.

Library Beach, Islamorada Florida, Best beaches of the Florida Keys, Florida Keys Travel guide, Florida Keys beaches

Library Beach

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.

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Kite Beach

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

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Calusa Beach

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

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Loggerhead Beach

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

Sandspur Beach, Marathon Key Florida, Best beaches of the Florida Keys, Florida Keys Travel guide, Florida Keys beaches

Sandspur Beach

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

Sombrero Beach, Marathon Key Florida, Best beaches of the Florida Keys, Florida Keys Travel guide, Florida Keys beaches

Sombrero Beach

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

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Dry Tortugas National Park Beach

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

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Higgs Beach

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

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Rest Beach

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

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Key West Dog Beach

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

Smathers Beach, Key West Florida, Best beaches of the Florida Keys, Florida Keys Travel guide, Florida Keys beaches

Smathers Beach

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

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Zachary Taylor State Park Beach

 

34 Comments

  1. cary

    Beautiful photos and so many great beach destinations. This would indeed be a great vacation hitting them all up. Gonna have to start planning. Thanks so much for doing all the hard work for us. 😉 Wonderful Site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are welcome Cary, and I am glad you enjoyed visiting the best beaches of the Florida Keys. Wonderful place 🙂

      Reply
  2. Advent Voice

    I always love going to your site.
    it is so warm and inviting. I know I always say that. it is just well you are a cool mom.
    So how is business going anyway. It has been a while since I have said hello. You have a lot of new sights to see. which is your favorite?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hands down my favorite is St Pete Beach in Florida. I love the atmosphere, the people, the places to eat and drink, everything about it actually. So much that I will be moving there this winter 🙂 Business is great actually. I am glad you came back for a visit. How is it going for you?

      Reply
  3. Danny

    I think I originally commented directly onto your site without going through here first, oops. But, as I mentioned on your site before, you have some really great info here! My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Florida in February this is definitely gonna help. We pretty much had the basics down but I love how you added complementary information to your articles. Good stuff! Thanks! Keep it coming!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I will keep it coming Danny! Where are you going in Florida? They probably have the most coast line, so I will be spending a lot of time on Florida beaches for a while…. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply
  4. Michael Soto

    I do need a vacation… Key Largo Vacations looks sweet! When are the best times to visit? Spring break would probably be to crazy… Is there and IHOP close by? Lol jk. Should I know Spanish or can I get by with my high school knowledge? Looks like Im going to Mexico.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      No, this is part of the Florida Keys and you do not need to know Spanish! LOL May thru October is going to have ideal weather. Anytime will not be cold, but the water will be a little chilly outside these months. Thanks for visiting the best beaches of Florida Mike!

      Reply
  5. Joeka

    This is a very extensive list, and very informative! It’s obvious a lot of research was behind this.

    I love how the description for each beach was short and to the point. Even though there were so many beaches to read, I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all. I just wanted to keep on reading.

    I’ll be sure to bookmark this page as I will want to read it again the next time I visit Florida for an excellent recommendation.

    Thanks for taking the time out to make this list! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Joeka! Yes, the post would have been too long if I had done a longer description for each beach. I do plan on updating it with a little more tho 🙂 Thank you for visiting Key Largo!

      Reply
  6. Mark

    I am a beach bum at heart and I really love your site! Have always had a desire to visit the Florida Keys:) Thanks for the great information…

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re very welcome Mark!

      Reply
  7. ZEGU

    After reading your article, I am now interested in visiting one of these beaches in the Florida Keys. I have always thought that tropical areas make ideal vacation spots and they are good for relaxing. You described the shores of the Gulf side to be mostly rocky and more suited to fishing and boating. I have heard that tropical areas are usually warm and humid. Looking at the best beaches of the Florida Keys – what is the general weather like?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The average temperature is 77.8°F, with the average low temperature being 73.2°F. Perfect!

      Reply
  8. Brandy

    Great list!

    I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan, and being a parrot head, I have always had such a desire to go to the keys. Oddly, I lived in Southern Florida for 5 years, but never made it down to the keys. One of my biggest regrets from my time down there.

    I absolutely love the concept of Key West Dog beach. I take my dog everywhere with me, so he would love the having his own “spot” on the beach. Plus having pet-friendly Louie’s Backyard next door sounds like a wonderful combination.

    We were trying to think of where we wanted to vacation this summer. I think I may have to start campaigning for the Keys!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh you should, I know you will love it. It is an experience everyone should do!

      Reply
  9. Alex

    I’m engaged and we’re thinking of having the honey moon at Disney World. I’m thinking that maybe traveling to coast and visiting some of the beaches wouldn’t be a bad idea, though.

    Higgs Beach definitely catches my attention. I love idea of going to a beach that has a laid back feel as you’ve described.

    Thanks for the information! I’ll definitely consider making a trip to Florida

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome and you will both love it there!

      Reply
  10. NemiraB

    Hello here, thanks for reminding me how great can be these beaches of the Florida.
    Last year, I visited my friends who live in Mississippi, pretty close to Biloxi. With them, I visited few more states such as Alabama, Louisiana and Florida.
    I never have been in Florida, but when I saw the Pensacola Beach , I was astonished how everything is beautiful and gorgeous. I was at the end of October.
    The water was green as emerald and so clear as crystal. The sand soft and white. I felt as I am in heaven, really.
    I think that your mentioned beaches in the Florida Keys are better and more appealing.
    Anyway, I promised myself that I will be back to Florida as soon as possible.
    I was few times in California and on the East coast. It is different and plain sight compare with your described places.
    Thanks for the information, all the best, happy writing, Nemira.

    Reply
  11. Renee Townsend

    Never had a keen interest in visiting Florida before. However lately I’ve really have a desire to explore the whole United States (from end to end), including Florida. Month visiting the Florida Keys and explain the different islands. You do have an excellent review of what to look for. Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Elektra

    Wow, great post and website! I love your list of beaches. I hope to visit some of them during my holidays 🙂

    Reply
  13. Hari S Nair

    A very well written and informative post. Makes one wanna visit these beaches, so beautiful and lovely they are, thanks 🙂

    Reply
  14. Deadshot

    I have been to florida once and i cant believe i missed so many beautiful beaches ! Thanks for the lovely list and i bookmarked it for my future references
    🙂

    Reply
  15. Derek

    Great read!

    I have never been to the east coast and this makes me want to go more then ever now. I think it would be fun to go to the Dry Tortugas National Park. I don’t mind long boat rides and I would love the way less crowded.

    Thanks for the information!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You’re welcome Derek!

      Reply
  16. Marcelo

    So many options! That’s great! How many time do you think it would take me to see all these beaches? I’m planning a holiday and would like to know if I’d be able to do it.
    Thanks

    Reply
  17. Stephanie

    This is such a useful list! These beaches sound so amazing. If i ever go to Florida keys, I now have a list of places to go :). Smather’s beach sounds particular interest. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  18. Dennis

    Really nice list of beaches to visit. Really nice to see so much details you have included for each location, I’ll bookmark this and use this as my beach guide for my next visit to that area for sure!

    Reply
  19. Kevin

    Absolutely great looking site!Packed full of just the options and information I need to escape a dreary Canadian winter. Cheers!

    Reply
  20. Connie

    This is awesome, now I NEED a holiday ASAP to Florida Keys. This tells me everything I need to know which is what I love when travelling and booking a holiday. Highlights important tips that you wouldnt otherwise know unless you’ve been there which is a winner for me… Loved the read, thanks for the info

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome!

      Reply
  21. William

    As a Ohioan I sure would love to go to Florida right now and enjoy the sunny beaches. My sister
    -in-law lives in Palm Beach and when we go there I never want to come back home. I never heard of Sandspur Beach, it looks like a nice place. I may have to look it up next time we go down.

    Reply
  22. Stephen

    Wow! what a great list of beaches I feel like I am already there with the descriptions and pictures, thanks for sharing. I am in Texas and have not been to the keys. What would you suggest for a romantic trip to keys for me and my darling?

    Reply
    1. admin

      Wow, your girl is a lucky lady 🙂 I think that the two of you would have a really nice time staying in a cottage on St. Pete Beach. Thank you for your comments Stephen.

      Reply

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