Our favorite Florida Keys beaches. (Yes, there are nice beaches in Key West!)

Sandy beach with blue ocean and swimmers in view
Blue-green ocean, warm water, and a good beach for sunbathing – all available in Key West

Looking for a good beach while visiting Key West?

Many visitors are surprised to find that the island paradise of the Florida Keys does not have a lot of beaches.

You see, Key West and the rest of the Florida Keys are coral islands – former reefs, created when the ocean was deeper and the region was submerged below the sea.

Today, the ocean is shallower and the living coral reefs are six miles offshore, providing a barrier to waves and swells. Thus, with little sand to begin with, and a lack of wave action to deposit more, beaches in the Keys are a bit of a rarity.

That being said, you still have some great options for quality Key West beach time.

Here are our suggestions:

Bahia Honda State Park

  State Park and Local-Favorite Beach, 40-Minute Drive from Key West A thirty-mile drive from

Dry Tortugas Beach

  Fort Jefferson State Park Beaches – Local Favorite Nearly 90 miles from Key West

Smathers Beach

  Located on Key West’s southern shore, this long and tranquil beach is almost 1

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

  Located in Key West, this is a Florida State Park & favorite known to

Higg’s Beach

  County-owned Beach located in Key West, with a popular restaurant overlooking the ocean This

Simonton Street Beach

  Tiny Beach at end of Simonton Street Has Lately Come to Life For decades