10 Best Beaches In Key West Florida (And Close By!)

05 Apr 2023    Catgeory1

10 Best Beaches In Key West Florida (And Close By!)


Are you looking for the best beaches in Key West, Florida? Look no further! Stretching out into the Gulf of Mexico, Key West is the most western of Florida’s Keys. With their shallow and turquoise waters, Key West beaches are different from other Florida beaches. Looking for Florida Keys Rentals book direct on Florida Keys Villas.


You won't find long stretches of sandy beaches here, but you will find Caribbean-style coral reef beaches. To make the shoreline more comfortable, white sand has been brought in and replaced the natural coral sands.


The lack of waves on Key West beaches brings a plus - a snorkeler’s paradise! You can get up close and personal with tropical fish of vibrant colors near the shore of America's only living coral reef - the third-largest in the world. Key West sunsets offer one of the most beautiful sights with gentle blue waters and views for miles.


Planning a trip to The Keys? Our guide offers everything you need to know about when best to visit and how the weather might affect your plans. Get all the details here: The Best Times To Visit The Keys. 


Ready to make some wonderful memories? Look no further than these 10 Best Beaches In Key West (And Close By)! Whether you're looking for a secluded spot to sunbathe, an area with swimming and snorkeling, or a day at the beach filled with excitement and fun! Key West has it all. 


With its postcard-perfect views and crystal-clear waters, it's easy to see why these beaches are so popular. So, get out your sunscreen and flip flops, because here are the 10 best beaches in Key West!


Where are The Beaches in Key West?

There's nothing quite like the beauty of Key West. From its colorful homes to its vibrant culture, there are a lot of reasons why this island is well-loved by tourists. But did you know that Key West is also home to some amazing beaches? Even though it's on an island, many people don't know much about the beaches in Key West. 


These stunning seaside getaways offer something for everyone; families can make use of the more family-friendly beaches while adventurous travelers can try out various water sports and activities. 


The best part about all these gorgeous, groomed beaches is that they’re easy to access from anywhere in Key West! No matter where you're staying, you won't have to drive too far to find one of the beautiful Florida Keys beaches. 


Key West offers a variety of beach experiences, from rocky shores with small creeks for swimming, perfect for sunbathers, or private resort beaches restricted only to their guests. If you want to find a Florida Keys vacation rental check-out FloridaKeysVillas.com or IslandTimeRentals.com


But what makes them so special is how diverse they all are; each beach has its own unique vibe that adds even more charm and vibrancy to the already gorgeous tropical surroundings. So don’t miss out on your chance to experience some of the best beaches in Key West!


10 Best Beaches In Key West (And Close By!)


Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach!

Nestled in the tropical paradise of Key West, Florida, lies Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach. This stunning shoreline is more than just a beach - it's a valuable piece of history!

For over two miles from downtown, visitors to this 87-acre state park on Southard Street can explore a breathtaking natural coastline that offers an abundance of diverse wildlife and amazing snorkeling opportunities. Offering up one of the most unique beaches in the Keys, you won't find any imported sand here - instead, you can experience coral-filled sandy shores.

Speaking of unique experiences, within Fort Zach there lies the largest collection of Civil War era cannons within the U.S., making this site a must-see for anyone interested in military history. If exploring these historical artifacts isn't enough to satisfy your curiosity then take one of their two trails - the Sand Hog Trail or Fort View Trail - for an interactive journey through time.

The beach also comes with all the usual amenities, including grills and picnic tables as well as a cafe offering refreshments and snacks. With a minimal fee entrance fee of only $6 and free parking available, there's no excuse not to visit this beach during your road trip down to the Florida Keys!

Relax by day while experiencing one of Key West's most beautiful locations and have your breath taken away by its allure at night; either way you're sure to treasure memories made at Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park Beach!

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is a half-mile stretch of soft sand located on the south side of Key West, Florida. A popular spot for both young and old alike, the beach offers something for everyone from swimming and snorkeling to sunbathing and beach volleyball.

The tranquil waters are perfect for families looking to enjoy a care-free afternoon, with plenty of food vendors on hand for when hunger strikes. For those wishing to take part in more adventurous activities, there is also equipment available to rent like jet skis, kayaks and parasailing gear.

Aside from the usual amenities such as ample parking, restrooms and showers, Smathers Beach also doubles up as a perfect tropical wedding venue. With palm trees lining the beachfront and its gradual shoreline slope it’s no wonder why this is one of the best places to stay in Key West.

For those looking to explore other beaches while visiting Florida Keys, make sure to check out our list of the best beaches in this region - you won't be disappointed! Open 7am to 11pm daily, head on down to Smathers Beach for a fun-filled day out that everyone can enjoy!

Higgs Beach

Nestled between the Waldorf Astoria Casa Marina Resort and Smathers Beach lies the tranquil Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Park - a picturesque beach with white sands, shallow waters, and plenty of tropical vegetation. 

Although much smaller and less populated than nearby Smathers Beach, what it lacks in size it makes up for in amenities - including restrooms, showers, a full-service restaurant, playgrounds, volleyball nets, tennis courts, dog parks and even a wooden pier recently renovated.

At the far end of Higgs Beach you'll find a unique attraction: the only shore-accessible underwater marine park in the United States! From this point on you can also marvel at monuments dedicated to a 19th-century slave cemetery located on site. 

Not to mention that Higgs Beach is also the last stop on the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail - 106 miles of paved rail-trail through paradise!

Admission to Higgs Beach is free as is parking. However, there can be more ocean debris here so caution should be taken when planning your visit - particularly if you have young children who may not understand how to navigate around floating hazards. 

All said and done though Higgs Beach still remains one of Key West's most popular beaches for people from all walks of life offering something for everyone! 

South Beach, Key West Florida

If you're looking for a perfect beach paradise, visit Key West in Florida. Located in the Florida Keys, Key West is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Whether you're looking for a secluded spot with crystal clear water or miles of white sand, there's something for everyone in Key West.

For starters, try South Beach. This stunning stretch of coastline is located on the southernmost point of Key West and boasts one of the most beautiful shorelines on the island. 

It has an array of activities available such as swimming, sunbathing and fishing. South Beach also offers some incredible views, including stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

The beach is also home to Caloosa Park, which features a large playground and plenty of green space for picnics and relaxing under shady trees. 

Along with its many amenities, South Beach also offers some great attractions like The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum and Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park; both are conveniently located close by.

Whether you're visiting just for a day or an entire week, South Beach in Key West should be at the top your getaway list! With its mile-long stretch of sandy beachfront and scenic views, it's no wonder why this destination attracts tourists from all around the world!

Rest Beach

Rest Beach in Key West is a 300-yard beach that is popular among photographers for its amazing sunrise and sunset views. It's located close to Mallory Square and has a yoga deck that truly captures the relaxed vibe of the beach. 

The sand here is sugary white and there are picnic tables available to visitors. The Edward B. Knight Pier provides a unique view over the Atlantic Ocean. Higgs Beach, located just east of Rest Beach, is also part of this park and open daily from dawn to 11 pm with no admission fee and plenty of parking spots.

Dog Beach

Key West, Florida, is renowned for its stunning beaches - but if you have a furry friend in tow, there’s just one beach where they are allowed too: Dog Beach! This small beach of just 20 feet across may be rocky - but that doesn't stop the dogs.

To find this secluded little paradise, look out for Louie's Backyard restaurant as it is adjacent to the beach and easier to spot. Plus, bonus tip - Louie’s Backyard also allows your dog to dine with you!

So, if you and your canine pal are looking for some fun in the sun, then Dog Beach is the Key West beach for you. Enjoy some quality time together under the sun!

Simonton Street Beach

Key West is a beautiful destination in the Florida Keys known for its sun-kissed beaches. One of the most popular spots to visit on your trip is Simonton Street Beach, located just off of Key West's bustling Duval Street.

This beach boasts stunning views of the crystal-clear blue waters, which are perfect for swimming and soaking up some rays. You can also explore the sandy shoreline and take part in activities like kayaking and fishing, or simply unwind onshore with a good book or picnic lunch.

The beach itself is fairly small but it still offers plenty to do: there are rinse off showers and changing areas nearby, and a boardwalk that leads you right to the water's edge – making it the perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation. Visitors can find free parking along the street or nearby lots if driving.


If you're looking for some fun in the sun during your time in Key West, look no further than Simonton Street Beach! From calm wave pools to thrilling watersports, this underrated gem has everything you need for a relaxing day by the azure waters of Florida Keys.


Dry Tortugas National Park

Visitors to Key West can experience a true adventure if they take the time to explore Dry Tortugas National Park. This remote area, just 70 miles west of Key West, is accessible only by boat or seaplane, but it’s worth the journey. 

Once there, you’ll find four amazing beaches to relax in: South Swim Beach, Seaplane Beach, Dinghy Beach and North Swim Beach. 

Relax on the stunningly white sand or take a dip in the beautiful blue water. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are also specific areas for snorkeling where you can see tropical fish and coral. 

If you want to stay longer than a day trip, camping is allowed on Garden Key – so keep an eye out for some tales of pirates and hidden treasure! Be sure to check out our tips before exploring Dry Tortugas National Park for more information on this unique destination in the Florida Keys.

Bahia Honda National Park

Bahia Honda State Park is a must-see for tourists looking for some of the best beaches in the Florida Keys and even in Florida. Located just off the Seven Mile Bridge and only an hour's drive from Key West, it was once a popular stop on the railroad line running through the Keys.

At Bahia Honda, beachgoers have different beaches to choose from, with Calusa being the smallest one perfect for couples, while Loggerhead Beach offers shallow waters ideal for families.

Those looking to explore more can take a walk along the Old Bahia Honda Bridge or bike down its 3.5-mile road and try their luck at birdwatching as part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, with chances of spotting hawks, herons and kingfishers!

Don't forget to check out some other amazing things to do in the Lower Keys after your day at Bahia Honda – you won't regret it!

Sunset Key

Key West, Florida is known for its stunning beaches. From the lively and crowded beach of Smathers Beach to the more private and exclusive Sunset Key, there's something for everyone in Key West.

Smathers Beach is located just two miles from downtown Key West and is one of the most popular beaches in the area. It's well-known for its beauty and crystal blue waters. Visitors can take advantage of the sun loungers, umbrellas and snacks available from nearby stands.

For those looking for a taste of luxury, Sunset Key is 500 yards off the coast of Key West. This residential island privately owned by its residents runs second-to-none, guest cottages through Opal Key West Resort & Marina. 

When you check into the main resort on Key West you can arrange to be taken to this secluded paradise via ferry where you'll find a beautiful private beach, complete with free beach towels, chairs and umbrellas.

No matter your preference - a busy beach or something a little more exclusive - you won't be disappointed with your trip to Key West! So why not plan your next getaway today?