The Florida Keys are known to be one of the best getaways for those looking for a tropical paradise. Palm trees blow in the salty breeze, life operates on island time, and the waters are crystal clear, blue, and teeming with marine life. It is, truly, the perfect place to relax with a pina colada and soak up the best tropical vibes. But, what it is not known for, ironically, are its beaches. In fact, much of the islands are rocky, and the best way to enjoy the best that the Keys have to offer is from the land or out on the water, as sandy beaches are actually few and far between. Despite this fact, there are spectacular beaches scattered throughout the Florida Keys that are well worth visiting, and will satisfy your beachy cravings. These are arguably the top 5 beaches in the Lower Florida Keys:
-Higgs Beach: Key West
Higgs Beach is easily one of the largest sandy beaches in the Keys, with 16.5 acres of oceanfront property. The beach offers ample room for those looking to partake in beach sports like volleyball, snorkeling, and kayaking. Visitors can rent equipment for water sports and beach activities right at the beach as well. The beach is part of the larger Higgs Memorial Beach Park, which includes tennis and pickleball courts, a children’s playground, a dog park, exercise trails, and more. There is also a garden club nearby where visitors can stroll about and see a spectacular assortment of flora, as well as view historic sites including a Civil War-era fort. Within the Higgs Memorial Beach Park, visitors can walk to restaurants where they can enjoy local cuisine with an out of this world view!
-Smathers Beach: Key West
Smathers Beach is located on the southern shore of Key West, and is one of the largest public beaches in the city. It is known for its stunning white sandy beach and warm, calm water - perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Visitors can enjoy a host of amenities for rent including volleyball net rentals, jet skis, and more. Umbrellas and chairs are also available for rent. Smathers Beach-goers love wading out to the sandbar just off-shore for an unforgettable Florida Keys experience.
-Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: Key West
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is the southernmost state park in the United States. The beach here is located on the southern boundary of the park, and not only boasts beautiful white sand and calm waters, but is also great areas for picnics, paddleboarding, swimming, fishing, and snorkeling. While here, visitors can also tour the historic fort - which predates the civil water - and the amazing collection of civil war weaponry and other relics. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park perfectly highlights the best of Key West: a relaxing tropical paradise with an incredibly rich history.
-Calusa Beach (Bahia Honda State Park): Big Pine Key
Bahia Honda State Park is located at Mile Marker 37 in the Lower Florida Keys, and is an absolutely incredible spot to visit. The park itself is more than 500 acres, plus an offshore island which provides spectacular snorkeling and fishing. Within the park, visitors have access to fantastic amenities like kayaking, biking, fishing, swimming, nature trails, and guided tours. Visitors can even stay the night, as there are camping sites within the park, as well as cabins available for rent. Calusa Beach, located near the southern tip of the park, offers perhaps the best place for both sunbathing and swimming with its long stretch of sandy beach and sheltered calm waters. There is a snack shack gift shop onsite as well.
-Sandspur Beach (Bahia Honda State Park): Big Pine Key
Also located within Bahia Honda State Park is Sandspur Beach. Located on the northern end of the park, Sandspur Beach is much more secluded and private than Calusa Beach. It allows visitors to escape to what feels like a private island, with lush foliage, calm waters for swimming, and fewer tourists. Visitors have access to restrooms and picnic tables nearby for a great, private picnic lunch. The waters here are shallow and pristine, perfect for families and those who want an easy, tranquil dip in the ocean.
The Lower Florida Keys are far more secluded and tranquil than the Upper Keys, and are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you are a resident of Lower Florida Keys real estate, you have to try these spots - you will not be disappointed!