(Last updated on: 05/11/2022)
Where are the best beaches in the Florida Keys? The Florida Keys is home to some of the best beaches in the whole of the USA. If you’re looking to visit some beautiful beaches with crystal clear water and with plenty of activities to do, then read on to find out about the 16 best beaches in the Florida Keys!
- Tourism in the Florida Keys
- Why visit the Florida Keys?
- What to pack when visiting the best beaches in the Florida Keys
- What is the prettiest Key in Florida?
- Where is the clearest water in the Florida Keys?
- What are the best beaches in the Florida Keys?
- 1. Long Key State Park
- 2. Curry Hammock State Park
- 3. Harry Harris Park
- 4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
- 5. Sombrero Beach
- 6. Anne’s Beach
- 7. Coco Plum Beach
- 8. Veterans Memorial Park
- 9. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach
- 10. Bahia Honda State Park
- 11. Smathers Beach
- 12. Simonton Beach
- 13. Higgs Beach
- 14. South Beach
- 15. Dry Tortugas
- 16. Cannon Beach
- 16 best beaches in the Florida Keys – Conclusion
Tourism in the Florida Keys
Before I tell you about the best beaches in the Florida Keys, let me first give you some background to the tourism industry in the region. Tourism in the Florida Keys is very popular almost all year round, especially during the summer months. In 2018, tourism supported 26,500 jobs in Monroe County alone (a section of the Florida Keys). In 2018, the Florida Keys also generated $2.4 billion in visitor spending, which shows how popular tourism is in the Florida Keys. Domestic tourism is also more popular than inbound tourism in the Keys, which may be because Florida is the 2nd most visited state in the USA by domestic tourists.
One of the main challenges that the Florida Keys face when it comes to tourism being affected is that Florida is often attacked by hurricanes. Often, when there is a hurricane, many tourist attractions such as Disney World and Universal Orlando have to close for safety reasons – and the beaches in the Keys are also unsafe to visit during hurricanes too. It has been estimated that Hurricane Ian will affect 70,000 jobs in the tourism sector in 2022, which is a huge amount. Fortunately, Florida and the Florida Keys always seem to bounce back if hurricanes affect the state, so the damage and drop in numbers won’t be for long.
Why visit the Florida Keys?
Why visit the Florida Keys? The Florida Keys have so much to offer for all types of tourists. For instance, it’s great for people who like fishing as there are plenty of great places to fish where you can rent a boat and all the other equipment you might need, and you can also go on fishing excursions too. The Florida Keys are also a good place to visit if you’re a lover of wildlife as there are plenty of animals to be spotted all over – most notably Iguanas!
Additionally, the Florida Keys are also very popular for watersports such as snorkelling, jet skiing or jet boarding – so if you’re someone who likes things such as adventure tourism – then the Florida Keys should be a destination for you to visit! Finally, you should also visit the Florida Keys as it’s home to some of the best beaches in the USA, so keep reading to find out which of the best beaches in the Florida Keys you should visit…
What to pack when visiting the best beaches in the Florida Keys
What should you pack when visiting the best beaches in the Florida Keys? Don’t forget to pack these essential items:
- Moon Florida Keys Travel Guide – This Florida Keys Travel Guide by Moon has all you need to make your trip to the Keys the best it can be! There is lots of fantastic advice to suit almost everyone, as well as great itineraries to help you plan your trip to the best beaches in the Florida Keys.
- Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen SPF 50 – This SPF 50 sunscreen will be sure to protect you against the harsh Florida sun and gives you one less thing to worry about. It’s fragrance and paraben-free, water-resistant and is great for daily use on the face or on the body.
- Laptony Dragon Kite – Kids will have hours of fun playing with this dragon kite on the beach. It’s got a 50m flying string, so it will stand out against the other kites, and it also has an easy grip handle and bag to store it in, so it won’t get damaged.
- KMS Hair Stay Anti-Humidity Hair Spray – Florida can get very humid at times, which can be a bit annoying if you want your hair to look good, whether you’re exploring or relaxing at the beach. Fortunately, this KMS Anti-Humidity Hair Spray will save the day! It’s travel size, so it will fit in your carry-on, and it has a 24-hour anti-humidity formula to make sure your hair is great all day.
- AVAWAY Fashion Sunglasses for Women – These very fashionable sunglasses are a must when visiting Florida. They block UVA, UVB AND UVC rays and look stylish, meaning you’ll want to wear them all the time. These sunglasses also come with their own case to make sure they don’t break or get damaged whilst you’re travelling.
What is the prettiest Key in Florida?
When researching the best beaches in the Florida Keys you may be wondering, what is the prettiest Key in Florida? Many people believe that Key Largo is the prettiest Key in Florida for quite a few reasons. First of all, Key Largo is in close proximity to the Bahamas – only 251 km, so the weather is often great, and the water is warm! Key Largo is also dotted with palm trees that add to the overall relaxing atmosphere, and the beaches are filled with golden sand glistening against the sun. There are also lots of activities going on all over Key Largo, such as snorkelling tours or boat cruise trips.
Where is the clearest water in the Florida Keys?
Where is the clearest water in the Florida Keys? Fortunately, most of the best beaches in the Florida Keys have crystal clear water, specifically the middle Keys, such as Sombrero Beach and Coco Plum Beach. The clear water at the Florida Keys beaches looks like something from paradise, and they also make good Instagram content to pair with some great Instagram beach captions.
What are the best beaches in the Florida Keys?
The Florida Keys have so many great beaches to explore it can often be hard to find the best beaches in the Florida Keys to visit; luckily, I’ve done some research for you! Here are the best beaches in The Florida Keys:
1. Long Key State Park
The first of my list of best beaches in the Florida Keys is Long Key State Park. Long Key State Park has plenty to offer for everyone, specifically if you’re a fan of watersports such as kayaking or parasailling! The water in Long Key State Park is relatively calm and very clear, making it a great beach to swim in also. The water is also very shallow, so it’s a good choice to visit if you’re visiting with children and want to make extra sure that they will be safe. There are plenty of picnic tables dotted around the beach, as well as outdoor showers to use too.
Where to stay: Lovers Key Resort – This modern aparthotel has lots of great features for guests to make use of, such as a pool ad on-site restaurant. There is also free Wi-Fi, a fully equipped kitchen and a private bathroom in each room. Additionally, there are sea views, and it is only a 32-minute drive away from Southwest Florida International Airport.
2. Curry Hammock State Park
There are over 1200 ft of beach at Curry Hammock State Park, making it the perfect choice if you want to visit a beach with plenty of space to explore and stroll along. Curry Hammock State Park is great for people who want to go to a beach with deeper water, as the beach slopes more than other beaches on the Keys. It’s a popular destination for kiteboarding as it’s quite breezy at certain points and is also another popular destination for kayaking. Just watch out for the jellyfish!
Where to stay: Rainbow Bend Resort – Featuring stunning views of the sea, a stay at Rainbow Bend Resort will be one you won’t forget! There is a cable TV, en-suite and a coffee machine provided in each room, and some rooms also come with a fully equipped kitchen too. In the area, there are lots of activities for guests to take part in or simply spend time relaxing on the beach.
3. Harry Harris Park
Harry Harris Park is home to a small man-made beach, so it’s a great choice if you want to visit a less popular beach in the Florida Keys. In the park, you will find plenty of tables to have picnics on overlooking the sea, a playground for children to enjoy and showers to wash off the sea and sand after a swim. It’s a hidden gem in the Florida Keys that shouldn’t be missed if you want a quiet day out and this is definitely one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys!
Where to stay: Ocean Pointe Suites – At these suites, there are lots of features that will help make your stay the best it can be. All rooms have private balconies, private bathrooms, an on-site swimming pool, tennis facilities and a waterfront cafe to eat delicious food in. Furthermore, it is situated close to lots of major tourist attractions.
4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the perfect beach in the Florida Keys to visit if you love snorkelling or want to try it out. At this beach, you will come across plenty of different marine life and beautiful coral reefs that will take your breath away. Not only that, but you will also discover lots of history, such as a shipwreck from 1715! It’s a must-visit if you want to do something more active on your vacation.
Where to stay: Bayside Inn – Each room in this Inn comes with garden views, kitchen equipment such as a microwave, fridge and coffee maker, as well as a seating area and free WiFi. There is also a fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool to cool down in after a long day. It is also just a 5-minute drive away from the state park, making it a great choice!
5. Sombrero Beach
Sombrero Beach is one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys because of how many things it offers! On Sombrero Beach, you’ll be able to find activities such as snorkelling, body boarding, wind-surfing and more. Along with these activities, there are also other features on the beach, such as a playground, showers, tables, grills and changing rooms.
Where to stay: Sombrero Beach Retreat – There’s no better place to stay when visiting Sombrero Beach than at Sombrero Beach Retreat! Here, you will have access to an outdoor pool, beautiful garden, sea views and a balcony. Each home comes with a private bathroom with free amenities, a fully equipped kitchen, a dining area and a patio – and it’s only 550 yards away from Sombrero Beach!
6. Anne’s Beach
Anne’s Beach was unfortunately devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2017, but has since been restored and is even better than before. Here, the sea is shallow, so it’s a great place to visit if you just want to wade in the water. There is free parking nearby, and there are also plenty of picnic tables along the beach, meaning it’s the perfect location if you want to sit somewhere peaceful and have a picnic. If you are looking to relax on one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys, then this is definitely the place for you!
Where to stay: Cheeca Lodge & Spa – This lodge and spa is the perfect place to stay if you want to be pampered. It is a very luxurious resort and has plenty of things to offer, such as a golf course, fishing pier, and on-site spa. Every room comes with a balcony, en-suite, a flat-screen TV and free WiFi. There is also a fitness centre, tennis court and restaurant on-site too.
7. Coco Plum Beach
This is another one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys. Coco Plum Beach is a beach that is often only known by the locals, so if you want to visit somewhere more peaceful – then Coco Plum Beach should be on your list! This beach is very popular for kite surfers as well as paddle boarders due to the conditions of the water. There is free parking, but it is known to be a little difficult to find – luckily, this means that once you do find it, your beach experience will be quiet!
Where to stay: Coco Plum Beach & Tennis Club & Marina – Each room comes with plenty of things to help you feel as relaxed as possible. For instance, there are flat-screen TVs, a fully equipped kitchen, en-suites and a terrace with a hot tub. Additionally, there is an outdoor swimming pool, a tennis court and BBQ facilities provided for guests to make use of.
8. Veterans Memorial Park
This little beach is perfect if you want to visit a smaller beach. It is a great place to visit if you’d like to have a quick stop off to eat if you’ve been driving around or simply to just have a picnic and relax. There are a few picnic tables dotted around the beach, as well as toilets and showers to use.
Where to stay: Surf & Sand Hotel – This hotel features an outdoor pool, free breakfast, its own private beach and free activities such as kayaking and cycling for guests to use as they wish. There is a microwave and refrigerator in each room, a flat-screen cable TV, free WiFi and a desk in each room. It’s a great place to stay and great value for money.
9. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach
Fort Zachary Taylor Beach has crystal clear water paired with rocks under the surface, making it a great place to snorkel if you’re looking for a good beach for that. There is parking, but it can sometimes get very crowded, so it’s recommended to arrive early if you definitely want to secure a parking spot. Along the beach, you’ll be able to find cafes and other places to eat and drink.
Where to stay: Margaritaville Beach House – There are lots of great things on offers at Margaritaville Beach House, such as an on-site restaurant serving tasty food, an outdoor pool to cool down in, a fitness centre and a bar with a wide range of drinks. There is also a hot tub and a 24-hour front desk for guests. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, free WiFi and an en-suite with luxury amenities.
10. Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is definitely one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys! There are plenty of facilities on offer, such as tables, showers, toilets and changing rooms to help make your visit even easier. It is filled with white sand and sparkling blue water, which is very shallow, making it a great beach to visit with young children.
Where to stay: Parmer’s Resort – This resort has a stunning beachfront view to offer to guests, as well as an outdoor swimming pool and gorgeous garden. Every morning, there is a buffet, or continental breakfast served to help guests start the day right! Every room has a sun terrace, free WiFi and a large en-suite with a powerful shower.
11. Smathers Beach
Smathers Beach is one of the longest beaches in Key West and has lots of activities to do, such as volleyball courts, parasailing, windsurfing and paddle boarding. Entry to the beach is free, and there are toilets and changing facilities. Oftentimes, there are parties going on at the beach, usually during Spring Break, so it’s a good beach to visit if you’re into the party scene.
Where to stay: Douglas House – This adults-only inn is a great place to stay if you want to stay somewhere a little more peaceful. It has free parking for guests, an outdoor pool, and free WiFi. There is a microwave, refrigerator and coffee machine in each room, along with a cable TV and an en-suite with free toiletries.
12. Simonton Beach
Simonton Beach is a small beach hidden away from the other major touristic beaches in the area. It is popular with the locals, and there is also a parking area if you wish to drive to Simonton Beach. There is a beach bar located next to the beach, which serves lots of tasty drinks and delicious foods to snack on. If authentic and unspoilt is your thing, then this is for sure one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys for you!
Where to stay: Pier House Resort & Spa – This beautiful resort has plenty of features to make your stay fantastic. For instance, there is a full-service spa, instant beach access, an on-site restaurant and lots of activities available for guests to book, like parasailing or jet skiing. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, en-suite and free WiFi.
13. Higgs Beach
Higgs Beach is an urban beach that is great for a visit of around 1-2 hours. There are picnic tables, a dog park and free parking if you drive. Additionally, it’s also a great place to visit if you want to go fishing, as there is a fishing pier that runs into the stunning sea.
Where to stay: Higgs Beach Hideaway – This accommodation comes with a private pool, a patio, free parking and BBQ facilities. There is also a fully-equipped kitchen with facilities such as a microwave and dishwasher. Free WiFi is also included in the stay.
14. South Beach
Another one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys is South Beach. Located in Key West, South Beach is not to be missed if you’re in the area! It is famous for being the southernmost beach in continental USA, so many people often got and get a photo taken here! There is a restaurant to have a drink in and relax for a few hours, and you can also rent deck chairs if you wish.
Where to stay: Dream South Beach – This hotel has lots to offer for guests. There is an infinity-edge rooftop pool, a rooftop bar, and a Mexico restaurant all on-site for guests to make use of. Each room comes with a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station, as well as an en-suite with luxury amenities.
15. Dry Tortugas
Dry Tortugas is one of the best beaches in the Flordia Keys for having the clearest water of them all! Here, you will find the only tropical reef in the whole of the USA, so that is defiently not something to be missed, especially if you’re a keen snorkeller. There are also some great restaurants along the beach to dine in.
Where to stay: Wicker Guesthouse – A stay at this guesthouse is a great decision if you want to visit Dry Tortugas. There is a tropical garden with bright flowers, an outdoor pool, BBQ facilities and a continental breakfast is served to guests every morning. Each room has a cable TV, microwave and a small refrigerator to make use of.
16. Cannon Beach
This is the last of the 16 best beaches in the Florida Keys- Cannon Beach.
Cannon Beach is most famous for the 17th century cannons that sit along the shore. It’s also a great destination for snorkellers or divers as there is a manmade shipwreck lying underwater for them to explore, which differentiates it from the other beaches. The water is very warm, and the sand is golden – so you’ll be sure to have a great time here!
Where to stay: Snappers Key Largo – There is plenty on offer for guests here, such as water sports facilities, a sun terrace and an on-site restaurant that has live music daily. Each room has a flat-screen TV, free WiFi, a coffee machine and a private bathroom. It’s a must-stay when visiting Cannon Beach.
16 best beaches in the Florida Keys – Conclusion
After reading this post outlining best beaches in the Florida Keys, I hope you’ve learnt about some of the best beaches to visit in the Florida Keys! If you’ve been to any of these best beaches in the Florida Keys, which were your favourite and why? Did I miss any of the best beaches in the Florida Keys? Let me know! If you’d like some further reading, this is what I’d recommend:
- The best things to do in Jacksonville Florida
- 55 Fascinating Facts About Florida
- 15 Best things to do in Florida Miami
Thank you for taking the time to read this article on the best beaches in the Florida Keys, enjoy your trip!