5 Best Beaches In Key West – Where To Relax And Unwind

Sandbars Offer Some Of The Best Beaches In Key West

Bypass the typical onshore beaches and head out to a picture-perfect day in paradise. Key West locals know, that the best spot is not necessarily at Smathers Beach. If you are looking for a day of relaxation at one of the best Instagram spots in Key West, the sandbars are for you.

Here in South Florida, some of the best beaches are found miles offshore.

  • Crystal clear turquoise and shallow waters
  • Instagram worthy pictures
  • Accessible only by boat

Relax And Unwind At Smathers Beach

Let’s jump right in with one of the most popular beaches in Key West. Beach purists may argue that, as a man-made beach, should not top the list of the greatest beaches. However, you can’t deny that it’s popular for a reason. This beach is fantastic!

Take a relaxing walk along the long stretch of beautifully imported sandy shoreline, dotted with palm trees, and enjoy the view. Enjoy the feel of soft sand in your toes. Smathers Beach provides much of what you are looking for in a beautiful tropical beach.

  • Key West’s largest beach
  • Great for families
  • Shallow water and sandy beach
  • Public beach
  • Restrooms and showers
  • Water sports equipment
  • Volleyball courts and beach volleyball nets
  • One mile from Key West International airport
  • Vendor stalls selling food and drinks
  • Parking for a fee

Spend “Me Time” At Rest Beach And Gain Balance

A quiet day will be the highlight of your time spent at Rest Beach. This is your go-to spot for a quiet respite. Get an early start and the beach will reward you with one of the best sunrises you’ll ever see.

Join one of the evening yoga classes, and regain your balance. The beach beckons you to come, relax, and give yourself the break you deserve.

  • Small – approximately 300 yards
  • Also called C.B. Harvey Rest Beach Park
  • Yoga classes in the evening run by the locals
  • Picnic tables
  • Shady areas
  • Ample free parking

Bring The Whole Family To Higgs Memorial Beach Park

Let’s say that your idea of a great day involves relaxing for hours on one of the finest beaches in Key West. But other members of your party can’t sit still for that long. Higgs Beach is the place for you.

Higgs Beach offers something for everyone. There are two playgrounds for the kids and a historical civil war sight for history buffs. For snorkelers, there is a 40-acre marine park accessible from the shore. As a bonus – parking here is free!

  • Civil War Era Fort, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • African refugee cemetery
  • Great for families
  • Children’s playgrounds
  • Off-leash dog park nearby
  • Restrooms and outdoor showers
  • Lounge chairs rental
  • Covered picnic tables
  • Volleyball and tennis courts
  • No fee to park

Key West’s South Beach Provides Relaxation Close To Great Food

If you are lucky enough to be able to stay right in the heart of Key West, then South Beach offers a relaxing beach day for you. This beach gains its rank as one of the top beaches in Key West for its location. Sitting at the southern end of Duval Street, it’s a short distance to the food, drink, and fun of the Florida Keys.

A sign posted at South Beach boasts that playwright Tennessee Williams came here for a swim almost every day he lived in Key West. Arrive early, before the crowds, to spend some quality time relaxing.

  • Soft white sand beach
  • Beach chairs rental
  • Many shops and restaurants close by
  • Walking distance to most of the attractions

For The Clearest Beaches Visit Fort Zachary Taylor Beach

For you beach purists out there, Fort Zachary Taylor Beach is one of the only natural beaches in the Keys. At Fort Zach, you won’t find the same soft white sand that other beaches brought in from the Caribbean. Instead, you’ll find a natural beach of crushed coral, located in a historic state park.

The stone fort stands 50 feet above shoreline at the area where the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It was originally built by the United States to protect the Key West harbor.

Bring shoes or flip-flops to reach the beach area, which is at the park’s southern end. The walk can be a bit rocky.

  • Shallow and clear waters
  • Great snorkeling right off the beach
  • State park and National Historic Monument
  • Historic reenactments performed monthly
  • Entrance fees for admission however, parking is free
  • Handicap accessible, free beach wheelchairs available
  • Restrooms and shower station

Book our Key West Sandbar Trip, and let’s explore the best beaches in Key West to relax and recharge.

3 hours
Group Size
1 to 6

Key West Sandbar Trip

Key West sandbars are our local well kept secret. This is where we take our families to hang out and relax on our days off. This is the perk of our island lifestyle. Now we want to share this experience with you.

Turquoise shallow waters, epic picture worthy sights all around you that look like a postcard - that is what you're signing up for!