Looking for the best accommodations on Big Pine Key? Big Pine Key & the Florida Keys has wildlife refuges to protect rare and endangered animals. You’ll leave behind the commercialism of the Upper Keys for an authentic back country atmosphere. This small group of islands is connected from the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge at Sunshine Key. You’ll find family-owned resorts, RV parks, campgrounds, quaint B&B’s and licensed vacation homes, as well as eclectic restaurants, native wildernesses and rich history. Make sure to visit Bahia Honda State Park , where you’ll find white sandy beaches and abundant wildlife. Frequently referred to as “one of the most beautiful beaches in America”. Shop, dine or explore the National Key Deer Refuge, where Key Deer live. Visit the freshwater habitat of the Blue Hole or No Name Key for a back country kayak adventure. View the beautiful beaches of Key Largo and the Florida Keys here.
Big Pine Key Weather – When to Visit
From mid-December through mid-April, it will get a little busy in Big Pine Key. From November to mid-December crowds are thinner, the weather is great, and hotels and shops drastically reduce their prices. Summer is the second busiest time, especially among families, Europeans, bargain-seekers, and lobster divers. From June through September, 90% humidity levels are not uncommon. But weather in the Keys is more moderate than in mainland Florida. The Keys also get much less rain than mainland Florida, mostly in quick downpours on summer afternoons. In hurricane season, June through November, the Keys get their fair share of warnings; pay attention to these, and evacuate earlier rather than later, when flights and automobile traffic get backed up.
Best Big Pine Area Beaches
Dry Tortugas National Park
The Dry Tortugas beach on Garden Key is a great place to spend the day after visiting Fort Jefferson. The water around the Garden Key and the Dry Tortugas is absolutely amazing, so snorkeling is great here. You can only access the Dry Tortugas by seaplane or ferry, so this is not a place you can plan on going for just a few hours.
Calusa Beach is on the Gulf side. It’s sometimes called the Bayside Beach, and is at the southern end of the Bahia Honda Park. Calusa Beach is a popular family beach as it’s protected from the wind. You can also take a stroll on the restored section of the old Flagler bridge.
Loggerhead Beach is great for snorkeling, and there’s a tiny rocky island with a few trees on it, not far from shore. You can kayak or boat out to the island, then snorkel around the water looking at a variety of marine life. The sand bar not far from shore is a great place to go when the tide is out. You can search for shells and other interesting finds such as sea glass plus you’ll have an excellent view of the old bridge.
Sandspur Beach is without a doubt the most spectacular of the beaches at Bahia Honda State Park. It’s a mile-long beach with the coral reef offshore protecting the shoreline, so there is little to no wave action. Sandspur beach also has a gentle sloping drop off, making this another great beach for children. The water is warm all year round.
Bahia Honda State Park
Famous for its 3 beaches, Bahia Honda State Park is one of the best places to go Florida Keys snorkeling and beach combing. Just don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear with you. Bahia Honda also operates as a State Park, so there’s a day use fee, and a camping fee.
Best Big Pine Restaurants
Little Palm’s Dining Room Above $61
Experience the restaurant’s candlelit ambiance indoors, or opt for a table on their breezy terrace overlooking the beach. The Dining Room at Little Palm Island is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner for resort guests and off-island visitors. They also offer an incredible Sunday Brunch each week, monthly Full Moon Dinners, and Wine Maker Events. Reservations and proper attire are required. They welcome young adults age 16 and older. Telephone: 305-872-2524 Web: Little Palm’s Dining Room.
Good Food Conspiracy $11 – 30
This tiny spot on Big Pine Key has been an oasis for vegetarians for over 30 years, and they have the hippie vibe to prove it. Blink and you might miss it on the Overseas Highway, so watch for the “Juice Bar and Deli” sign. Inside the low-key natural food market, you’ll find a deli serving a variety of gluten-free soups, wraps, salads, juices, smoothies and desserts. Pull up a stool at the juice bar, or take your goodies out back to the picnic tables in the colorful herb garden. Try the Freeze–frozen organic fruit transformed into ice cream. Their Avocado Cheese Melt gets rave reviews, and meat-eaters will be happy to find tuna and range-fed turkey. Telephone: 305-872-3945 Web: Good Food Conspiracy.
No Name Pub $11 – 30
No Name Pub has been awarded top scores for food and service in the ZAGAT Survey’s Casual Dining category for many years running. The ZAGAT surveyed over 700 South Florida restaurants and rated the No Name Pub as the “Best casual dining experience in the Florida Keys ”. They went on to say, if you can find it you’ll be rewarded with the “best pizza anywhere”, chili, smoked fish dip and sandwiches served on paper plates in a real old rustic bar plastered with autographed dollar bills; those in the know say this Big Pine Key haunt is “worth the drive.” Telephone: 305-872-9115 Web: No Name Pub.
Square Grouper $11 – 30
The restaurant earns rave reviews with dishes that not only taste close-your-eyes-and-grin good, their presentation is lovely. For starters, try the flash-fried conch with wasabi drizzle or home-smoked fish dip. Then perhaps order the seafood pasta with key lime butter sauce. It’s okay to drool. Upstairs, chef Lynn has opened a beatnik-style tapas bar. Telephone: 305-745-8880 Web: Square Grouper
Lazy Days South (Marathon Key) $11 – 30
This restaurant offers views just as spectacular as its highly regarded food. Here you’ll find a wide range of daily offerings from fried or sautéed conch and a coconut-fried fish du jour sandwich to seafood pastas and beef tips over rice. Choose a table on the outdoor deck, or inside underneath paddle fans and surrounded by local art. Telephone: 305-289-0839 Web: Lazy Days South
Best Big Pine Bars
Springer’s Bar & Grill
Springer’s Bar and Grill offers the best food, drinks and live music in the Florida Keys! They offer mouth watering menu items that are sure to please your palate and fill you up. From our Duval Pot Pie, to thin crust Pizza, to the BEST Blackened Fish Sandwiches to the Keys, there is something for everyone on their menu. Join them for some fun and drinks on their outside patio while listening to local musicians sing live music. Springer’s is a great place to relax and have fun with the entire family here in the Keys. Telephone: 305-872-3022 Web: Springer’s Bar & Grill.
Boondocks Grille & Draft House
The “Largest Tiki Bar in the Keys” delivers great food and entertainment for every member of your family right down to your pet. Boondocks’ modern facilities, spotless kitchen, cold prep room and pet friendly patio can cater to party’s of any size. With a large selection of lunch sandwiches and dinner entrees, their restaurant features fresh catch seafood, artisan-crafted pizzas, crisp quality salads, huge burgers and more. Boondocks’ “Southern Cooking Keys Style” is why some people spend 5 days a week dining in their open air restaurant. Telephone: 305-872-4094 Web: Boondocks Grille & Draft House.
Looe Key Tiki Bar
Nice open atmosphere. A tiki bar where the locals hang out. A great hang out to sit and watch one of the 20 TV’s. Happy Hour drink prices are great! Enjoy $2 tacos on Taco Tuesday. Telephone: 305-204-4109 Web: Looe Key Tiki Bar
Kiki’s Sand Bar & Grille
Head here by boat, car, motorcycle or kayak! Great atmosphere and views of Newfound and Marsh harbors. Pier with dock and great nature sightings….you must see the resident bull sharks! Inside or outside seating, live music, and a great selection of beers and wine. Telephone: 305-872-4500 Web: Kiki’s Sand Bar & Grille
No Name Pub
The No Name’s one of those off-the-track places that everyone seems to know about. Despite the isolated location, folks come from all over to this divey spot to add their dollar bills to the walls, drink locally brewed beer, enjoy a little classic rock playing overhead, and feast on excellent pizzas, burgers and pub grub. Take in the kooky ambiance from a bar stool or head out back to a shaded yard full of picnic tables. Telephone: 305-872-9115 Web: No Name Pub.