Swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling are ideal at most beaches in Key West. Lifeguards are not present at beaches, so swimming is at your own risk. There is no wave action on the beaches due to the close proximity to the only living coral reef in North America -- just 7 miles away.
Smathers Beach – Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Key West longest beach is a public beach. Plenty of space for lounging, a pickup game of volley ball or rent a paddle board or kayak and get the ocean view of the beach. A popular beach to “tie the knot” so don’t be surprised if you see brides and grooms. You won’t be disappointed by the view.
Rest Beach – A smaller beach which is located at the southern end of White Street. It sits between Smathers Beach and Higgs Beach. The beach area has picnic areas so bring your Cuban sandwich, dip your toes in the water and enjoy the views.
Dog Beach – Exactly what you would expect, it is the only pet friendly beach in Key West. Located off the corner of Vernon and Waddell Streets. Bring your “best friend” and throw the stick or just splash in the water and enjoy the views as your pet enjoys the fun.
Higgs Beach – Bring your picnic baskets and the kids, with plenty of covered picnic areas and kids play area you will definitely want to spend the day. Tired of playing in the sand? Take a short walk to the West Martello to enjoy the tropical setting of the gardens.
South Beach – Just take Duval Street south until you reach the ocean, which is where you will find South Beach. Surrounded by historic homes and just steps away from the Southernmost Point you can enjoy the ocean view or walk out onto the pier for a look back at the beach.
Ft Zachary Taylor State Park and Beach – Part of the State Park system there is a nominal fee to enter the park. It is well worth the cost as you are able to enjoy swimming and snorkeling. Want to make it day, there are picnic areas with grills so you can grill your favorites. The park does stay open until Sunset, so be sure to stay and catch beautiful Sunsets on the water.