June 18, 2019 2 min read

Key West offers tourists the luxury of choosing from several great beaches, each of which has its own unique characteristics. From lively and diverse beaches to those that offer more shallow waters and are well-suited for families, there are options for all travelers.

The majority of the best Key West beaches are located on the southern shore of Key West and are close together along a mile long stretch of water, with the exception being Smathers Beach, which is located along South Roosevelt Boulevard.

Plan your vacation to the land of sun and sand with our list of Top Key West Beaches!

Smathers Beach

Smathers beach at sunriseThe largest beach in Key West and also the most popular, Smathers Beach features fantastic swimming conditions with plenty of things to do along its two miles of sandy shores. The shoreline’s gradual slope is ideal for wading in the water and it stretches out a good distance. The currents are mild, making it a top beach for family-friendly beach fun. Amenities are plentiful at Smathers Beach, with volleyball courts and vendors as well as restrooms and showers. You can also rent snorkeling equipment, chairs, jet skis, kayaks and shade umbrellas.

Higgs Beach

Higgs beach is located in the C.B. Harvey Rest Beach Park. This beach has a bit of historical significance with monuments dedicated to the 19th-century slave cemetery located here. See stingrays from the pier and enjoy equipment rentals for water sports as well as volleyball nets and beach chairs at Higgs. Parking is free and families can enjoy the nearby playground. Do you have a furry, four-legged friend? Higgs also has a dog park!

South Beach

Sunset at South BeachSouth beach is great for swimming and families, due to its shallow, calm waters. It is located at the south end of Key West and has a relaxed atmosphere. Equipment rental is not widespread here but you can grab towels and lounge chairs as well as refreshments from local stands. There is also a small café and public water fountains. The beach is, however, lacking in public restrooms but many local establishments allow visitors to use their facilities.

Rest Beach

If you hope to catch a good beachside sunrise and sunset, Rest Beach is a fantastic place to settle yourself. You can enjoy sunset festivities at Mallory Park while enjoying the tranquil views. Rest Beach also has a dedicated yoga deck where you can take part in morning and evening yoga classes.

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Fort Zachary Taylor BeachFort Zachary Taylor beach is known as the most authentic beach in the Key West area due to its natural shoreline, which is composed of ground coral rather than imported sand. Plant and animal life is plentiful at this breathtaking beach filled with natural beauty. It is also one of the top snorkeling spots in Key West, where visitors can expect to see anything from tiny schools of fish to gigantic grouper as well as turtles and dolphins. Visitors may also enjoy exploring scenic nature trails and explore Civil War era history at Fort Zachary.

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