Best Beaches in Key West

Patricia Schultz portrait.
Patricia Schultz
Review author
23.08.2022 11:21
last update

The island city of Key West was originally formed from coral reefs. It is influenced by its Bahamian and Cuban heritage. Wondering where are the best beaches in Key West? This tiny island offers plenty of fun in the sun, sand, and the most beautiful beaches in Key West. There are also shops, historical sites, and homes of famous authors Hemmingway, playwrights such as Tennesee Williams and president Harry S. Truman, and musicians like Jimmy Buffett who discovered inspiration and charm in the island city. There is also a Butterfly and nature conservatory in Key West to visit when taking a break from the beach. A description of each of the Key West beaches is provided for potential visitors who are planning a trip to enjoy all these beaches have to offer. Key West has a great beach climate with an overall average high temperature of 82 F degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 73 F, making it an ideal destination year-round and the rainy season is May through October. The Atlantic Hurricane Season can affect Florida and the rest of the southeastern United States from June 1 through November 30 each year so it is best to be aware of the weather when visiting.

Best Hotels & Resorts

Best hotel
Key West
The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
4
Free WiFi
Pool
Pet-friendly
$204.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Key West
Crowne Plaza Key West-La Concha
4
$249.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Key West
Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
4
Internet access
Air conditioning
Gym
$195.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Key West
The Gates Hotel Key West
4
Parking available
Free WiFi
Gym
$161.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Key West
24 North Hotel Key West
4
$118.00
Price per night from
View Deal

Palms in Key West.

Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

Fort Zachary Taylor is an eighty-seven-acre state park that is a pre-Civil War Fort built in the mid-1800s to defend the southeastern coastline. Fort Taylor was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. The entrance is through the Truman Annex at Southard Street. As the best beach in Key West, it is at the south end of the park and has a beautiful sandy beach but is a bit rocky. There are public restrooms, a Cafe', kiosks for food and drink, chair rentals, picnic tables, and grills. There is an admission charge. The park and beach are complete with cannons and guided tours, nature trails, and ideal spots for fishing and snorkeling. It is an adventure to see colorful marine life here when snorkeling with parrotfish, snapper, and lobster. Visitors can enjoy nature trails and bicycles within the park.

Some beaches in the Florida Keys are shallow and somewhat stagnate. Fort Zachary Taylor has one of the top beaches in Key West and has excellent water flow, depth, and clarity. The waters off Fort Taylor beach offer the best beach for scuba diving in the Keys. Since the park is located where the Gulf meets the Atlantic there is excellent water quality, you can view a variety of tropical fish and there are both hard and soft corals. You may see grouper, tarpon, or schools of fish.

Top view of Key West.

South Beach

South Beach is one of the best beaches in Key West. It is a small soft white-sand beach with clear, shallow, warm waters situated close to cafes, restaurants, and shops. It's one of the famous beaches in Key West for being a relaxing, calm beach that is family-friendly, where you can spend a carefree day off with your family and friends. Water shoes are recommended here because there are plenty of rocks and much slick seaweed. There are lifeguards on duty, and arriving early will help you find a parking place, and there are no public restrooms, but people can use a bathroom at a nearby bar. There are water fountains at the beach, and food can be purchased at a nearby cafe with outdoor dining. The beach is located at the southernmost end of Key West at Duval Street on the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is open from 7 am to 11 pm and has a free entrance, but there is a fee to park. Reasonably priced Sunbeds and umbrellas can be rented, with a complimentary refreshment. The Emma Carrero Cates Pier is a long concrete pier to stroll on or sit and enjoy a sunrise or a sunset view.

Higgs Beach

Higgs Beach is a county-owned beach on the Atlantic Ocean next to the Casa Marina Resort. There are sixteen and one-half acres of oceanfront vista with clear turquoise water, sandy beach, and tropical landscape. Higgs Beach is a public beach park with diverse activities. Higgs Beach has sand imported from the Caribbean to create volumes of soft white sand which makes it one of the most beautiful beaches in Key West. With the way the tides flow in this area of Key West, you often see driftwood, seaweed, and other sea debris floating on the water's surface or washed up on the beach. You can often see tractors raking the beach to make it pleasant for visitors. Higgs Beach has an outside shower to rinse off the sand, and there are also restrooms, which are clean and looked after making it one of the best beaches in Key West. There are palm trees and covered picnic tables providing a lovely and somewhat shady place to sit and rest. Swimming or snorkeling is better by the pier, where the water is more transparent and cleaner, and stingrays and plenty of fish are seen there. Parking is free at Higgs beach, so you don't have to keep walking back from the beach to feed the meter. It's best to arrive early to find a parking spot, as it can be crowded. The White Street Pier makes this one of the popular beaches in Key West. It is an extremely long pier that stretches out from Higgs Beach and is a breathtaking sight and is nicknamed "Road To Cuba". There is an Aids memorial with black plaques embedded into and standing alongside the sidewalk of the pier. It was created for victims who died during the Aids epidemic.

A concierge service is at the beach called Tropical Watersports Key West, which charges $30 for two lounge chairs, an umbrella, all beach gear and water sports equipment, Wi-Fi, and even have notary services. They can also arrange tours for Jet Skis, Parasailing, Snorkeling, Fishing Charters, and Dolphin Tours. If the beach becomes tiresome, there is a children's playground across the road. There is also the Key West Wildlife Rescue Center, on White Street, just down the road from Higgs Beach, where ill and injured animals and seabirds are treated before returning to the wild.

Higgs Beach Park is one of the famous beaches in Key West in that it has the only marine park underwater that is shore accessible in the Florida Keys. A bike and walking trail called the Overseas Heritage Trail is a 106-mile paved rail trail, under construction between Key Largo and Key West in the Florida Keys. Martello Tower has served as the home of the Key West Garden Club, and visitors can tour the gardens for free. The park also contains a large dog park for animal lovers.

Water in Key West.

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is one of the four beaches that are owned and managed by the City of Key West. It is one of the best beaches in Key West. Smathers Beach runs along the southern shore of the island for almost two miles and faces the Atlantic Ocean along the A1A highway. Smathers Beach is a stretch of finely grained sand, the water is shallow on shore and it is the most beautiful beach in Key West. It's a relatively large beach by Key West standards. Sand is replaced every other year by the city of Key West due to tropical storms.

The small swells in the area aren't conducive to surfing, but paddleboarding is done there. There is a swim zone to enjoy and areas with a rocky bottom. Snorkelers can observe the tiny sea life that lives in these waters. It has public restrooms, and parking is along the street. The beach is not always crowded, and there are concession stands, chair rentals, bike paths, picnic tables, and volleyball nets. Vending trucks also offer snacks, beverages, chairs, and rafts. There are motorized and non-motorized-water sports rentals at the beach, including:

  • jet skiing
  • parasailing
  • windsurfing

The beach is accessed from South Roosevelt Blvd. From Smathers Beach, continue your island exploration aboard the trolley with a tour of the Hemingway Home and Museum if desired or an informative tour on the Conch Train where you will learn about the island's history, visit Mallory square learn about Cuban cigars, and the haunts of local celebrities.

Conclusion

Consider enjoying some of the best beaches in Key West using the information given to plan your next trip. There are many diverse activities and beaches in Key West to pick from to make a memorable and fun vacation. Experience parasailing, windsurfing, and the paddleboard as well as snorkel or dive to see colorful tropical fish native to the area. You can find many useful posts on our website so you are welcome to visit and comment.

Top Hotels & Resorts

Best hotel
Key West
The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
Gym
Air conditioning
Pool
Pet-friendly
Parking available
Free WiFi
The Reach Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton on the map.
$204.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Rooms number fund
King Room
2 maximum amount
View Deal
These bright, airy guest rooms are steps from the resort's pool and natural sand beach. The non-smoking, up to 275-sq.-ft. rooms feature nine-foot ceilings, one king-sized bed, and modern glass-panel showers. These Key West retreats are great for couples.
Digital Key
Concierge
EV charging
Room service
Meeting rooms
Balcony
Workstation
Keurig® coffee maker
Mini fridge
Safe
Robes
Double Room
4 maximum amount
View Deal
These spacious and airy accommodations are close to the resort's pool and sandy beach. The 9-foot ceilings, two double beds, and modern bathrooms with glass panel showers are some of the amenities offered. No rollaways allowed.
Digital Key
Concierge
EV charging
Room service
Meeting rooms
Balcony
Workstation
Keurig® coffee maker
Mini fridge
Safe
Robes
King Suite
4 maximum amount
View Deal
The suite offers a large living space with a sectional sofa bed and tranquil views of the lush courtyard and swimming pool. Accommodates up to four guests and consists of 575 sq. ft. of space, 9-foot-high ceilings, and European-style glass panel showers in a spa-like bathroom. No rollaways.
Digital Key
Concierge
EV charging
Room service
Meeting rooms
Balcony
Workstation
Keurig® coffee maker
Mini fridge
Safe
Robes
Ocean View King Suite
4 maximum amount
View Deal
The most magnificent oceanfront suite at The Reach, offering 575 sq. ft. of well-appointed space including a private bedroom with one king-sized bed, a separate living room with sofa bed and flat-screen TV, and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and white sand natural beach. Non-smoking, this suite can accommodate up to four guests. No rollaways are permitted.
Digital Key
Concierge
EV charging
Room service
Meeting rooms
Balcony
Workstation
Keurig® coffee maker
Mini fridge
Safe
Robes
Key West
Crowne Plaza Key West-La Concha
Free parking
Refrigerator
Pool
Free WiFi
Gym
Air conditioning
Crowne Plaza Key West-La Concha on the map.
$249.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Rooms number fund
King Room
2 maximum amount
View Deal
This boutique guestroom provides a king bed, free Wi-Fi, a 42" flat-screen television, a mini-refrigerator, and a CD player to help you settle in and enjoy your stay. All of our standard modern amenities are included.
Balcony Rooms & Suites
42' Flat-screen TV w/ Premium Cable
Sleep Advantage program with Aromatherapy Kit, and Luxury Bedding
Mini-refrigerator
Sofa Sleepers in Select Rooms
Clock Radio with Alarm
Hairdryer
View accessible room features
Complimentary Wi-Fi
CD player
Iron/Ironing Board
In-room Safe (accommodates laptop)
2 Double Beds Room
4 maximum amount
View Deal
These large rooms have two double beds, free Wi-Fi, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a mini-refrigerator, bath amenities, and a CD player, as well as all of our standard lodging amenities.
Balcony Rooms & Suites
42' Flat-screen TV w/ Premium Cable
Sleep Advantage program with Aromatherapy Kit, and Luxury Bedding
Mini-refrigerator
Sofa Sleepers in Select Rooms
Clock Radio with Alarm
Hairdryer
View accessible room features
Complimentary Wi-Fi
CD player
Iron/Ironing Board
In-room Safe (accommodates laptop)
King Leisure
2 maximum amount
View Deal
Our King Leisure rooms provide the perfect island getaway experience, with complimentary Wi-Fi, a 42" flat-screen TV, a mini- refrigerator, and a CD player, in addition to all of our standard guestroom amenities.
Balcony Rooms & Suites
42' Flat-screen TV w/ Premium Cable
Sleep Advantage program with Aromatherapy Kit, and Luxury Bedding
Mini-refrigerator
Sofa Sleepers in Select Rooms
Clock Radio with Alarm
Hairdryer
View accessible room features
Complimentary Wi-Fi
CD player
Iron/Ironing Board
In-room Safe (accommodates laptop)
King Bed With Balcony
2 maximum amount
View Deal
Take in the Key West sun and fresh breeze as you relax on your private balcony, and enjoy amenities including a king bed, free Wi-Fi, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, and a CD player.
Balcony Rooms & Suites
42' Flat-screen TV w/ Premium Cable
Sleep Advantage program with Aromatherapy Kit, and Luxury Bedding
Mini-refrigerator
Sofa Sleepers in Select Rooms
Clock Radio with Alarm
Hairdryer
View accessible room features
Complimentary Wi-Fi
CD player
Iron/Ironing Board
In-room Safe (accommodates laptop)
King Junior Suites
4 maximum amount
View Deal
Our charming suite includes a king bed, a queen sofa bed, a sitting area, plush bedding, bath amenities, Wi-Fi, a mini-refrigerator, a laptop safe, and a 42" flat-screen television.
Balcony Rooms & Suites
42' Flat-screen TV w/ Premium Cable
Sleep Advantage program with Aromatherapy Kit, and Luxury Bedding
Mini-refrigerator
Sofa Sleepers in Select Rooms
Clock Radio with Alarm
Hairdryer
View accessible room features
Complimentary Wi-Fi
CD player
Iron/Ironing Board
In-room Safe (accommodates laptop)
Key West
Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton
Gym
Pool
Internet access
Air conditioning
Pet-friendly
Parking available
Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton on the map.
$195.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Rooms number fund
Double Beds Room
4 maximum amount
View Deal
The Double Beds Room is a spacious and well-appointed room that features two double beds, a private balcony, and a large bathroom with a soaking tub. Guests will appreciate the hotel's convenient location, just steps from Duval Street and the Key West Aquarium.
Luxurious signature robes
Wireless high-speed Internet access
LCD flat screen television
Mini-refrigerator and Nespresso coffee/tea machine
Clock radio with iPod connection
In-room safe
Grand Room, 1 King Bed
2 maximum amount
View Deal
The Grand Room, 1 King Bed at the Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton features a comfortable king bed with 300-thread count sheets and a down comforter, as well as a seating area with a sofa and an armchair. The room also has a work desk, a flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station, and Wi-Fi access. The private bathroom has a walk-in shower and a hairdryer.
Luxurious signature robes
Wireless high-speed Internet access
LCD flat screen television
Mini-refrigerator and Nespresso coffee/tea machine
Clock radio with iPod connection
In-room safe
King Bed Room
2 maximum amount
View Deal
The room is elegantly appointed with a king-sized bed, desk, sofa, and coffee table. The private balcony is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the ocean breeze. The hotel is just steps from Duval Street, where you can find shops, restaurants, and bars.
Luxurious signature robes
Wireless high-speed Internet access
LCD flat screen television
Mini-refrigerator and Nespresso coffee/tea machine
Clock radio with iPod connection
In-room safe
King Bedroom Suite
4 maximum amount
View Deal
The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the King Bedroom Suite is the perfect choice for couples or families. The suite includes a king-sized bed, a living area with a sofa bed, and a kitchenette. The bathroom has a whirlpool tub and a separate shower. Guests can also enjoy access to the hotel's 24-hour business center and concierge services.
Luxurious signature robes
Wireless high-speed Internet access
LCD flat screen television
Mini-refrigerator and Nespresso coffee/tea machine
Clock radio with iPod connection
In-room safe
Oceanfront 2 Bedroom Loft Suite
6 maximum amount
View Deal
Benefiting from a generous 1,800 square feet of indoor/outdoor living space, the suite effortlessly blends sophisticated luxury with laid-back island charm. The airy open-plan layout features a stylish living area with plush furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen, and a private balcony complete with an outdoor dining table and chairs - perfect for al fresco entertaining. Upstairs, the loft bedroom enjoys breathtaking ocean views, while the luxurious bathroom comes complete with double vanity sinks and a spa-like rain shower.
Luxurious signature robes
Wireless high-speed Internet access
LCD flat screen television
Mini-refrigerator and Nespresso coffee/tea machine
Clock radio with iPod connection
In-room safe
Key West
The Gates Hotel Key West
Air conditioning
Pet-friendly
Pool
Gym
Parking available
Free WiFi
The Gates Hotel Key West on the map.
$161.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Rooms number fund
Standard King
3 maximum amount
View Deal
This 300-square-foot space is outfitted with modern amenities; a comfortable retreat for heading poolside or exploring the island. A plush king bed and pullout sofa sleeper offer an uncomplicated stay with original photography, a cozy leather chair, and hardwood floors. Our Standard King room provides a stylish, uncomplicated stay.
WIFI available
48-inch HD TV
Hairdryer
Iron
Coffee Maker
Mini Fridge
Large Work Desk
Laptop Safes
Full Sleeper Sofa
Standard Double Queen
4 maximum amount
View Deal
Families or groups looking for an upscale experience while on Maui can choose the Standard room, which offers 313 square feet of space and comfortable furnishings. Before heading to the pool or heading out for the evening, admire the original photographs, a comfortable leather chair, and wood floors.
WIFI available
48-inch HD TV
Hairdryer
Iron
Coffee Maker
Mini Fridge
Large Work Desk
Laptop Safes
Full Sleeper Sofa
Key West
24 North Hotel Key West
Free WiFi
Non-smoking
Parking available
Pool
Pet-friendly
Gym
24 North Hotel Key West on the map.
$118.00
Price per night from
View Deal
Rooms number fund
Standard Room
2 maximum amount
View Deal
This room, which is approximately 300 square feet, has one king bed, a pullout sofa, and thoughtful amenities.
WIFI available
48-inch HD TV
Hairdryer
Iron
Coffee Maker
Mini Fridge
Microwave
Large Work Desk
Laptop
Safes
Standard Room, 2 Queen Beds
4 maximum amount
View Deal
Every inch of space in this Key West inn is designed to provide you with comfort and tranquility. Situated on just over 300 square feet, this contemporary room features double queen beds and stylish décor.
WIFI available
48-inch HD TV
Hairdryer
Iron
Coffee Maker
Mini Fridge
Microwave
Large Work Desk
Laptop
Safes
Premier Junior Suite
4 maximum amount
View Deal
Stay in a 480-square-foot Key West suite to experience a rejuvenating experience. The king bed, queen-size sofa bed, wet bar with granite counters and sink, fridge, microwave, oversized lounge chair and ottoman ensure a deeply relaxing trip on the island.
WIFI available
48-inch HD TV
Hairdryer
Iron
Coffee Maker
Mini Fridge
Microwave
Large Work Desk
Laptop
Safes
Premier Suite
4 maximum amount
View Deal
You'll have ample room to relax and unwind in approximately 575 square feet of space. You'll find a spacious bedroom with a king bed, a living area with a queen-size sofa bed, a dining area with a table, a wet bar with a sink, and granite countertops. A desk, mini-refrigerator, and a coffee table complete the comfortable ambiance.
WIFI available
48-inch HD TV
Hairdryer
Iron
Coffee Maker
Mini Fridge
Microwave
Large Work Desk
Laptop
Safes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Patricia Schultz
Review author
your name
your mail
please rate
evaluation of the article on a five-point scale
message text
messages are sent after being
checked by a moderator