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Travel + Leisure Lists the Top Beaches in Key West

August 9, 2023

Key West has some awesome beaches. Picking which ones to visit while you're in town can be hard- especially since everyone has their own opinion on which ones are the best! If you want a professional opinion, then I suggest you turn to the world-renown travel magazine, Travel + Leisure


In June, Travel + Leisure (or T+L) released a list of what they consider the nine best beaches in Key West. These are the beaches that made the cut! 

Smathers Beach: This half-mile long beach is one of the most popular seaside spots in Key West. T+L highlights their amenities, which include spaces for beach volleyball, restrooms, and showers for rinsing off. They add, "Don’t be surprised if you see crowds gathered at the beach around sunset — this is a popular spot for weddings, and weekends often lure these parties down to the water’s edge for photos, vows, and million-dollar views." 

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Beach Park: Fort Zachary Taylor blends the casual, fun atmosphere of the beach with fascinating local history. T+L calls it "Far and away the best beach in Key West for a refreshing swim and snorkel" due to its reefs and deep water. 

Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach: Like Smathers Beach, Higgs Beach is incredibly popular. T+L shared, "You’ll find everything you need here for a fun beach day, including shallow waters for swimming and snorkeling over seagrasses, plus beach volleyball, tennis and pickleball courts, and even a beachfront playground for children."

Simonton Street Beach: "This diminutive Key West beach draws in-the-know locals, and tourists who’ve stumbled upon it while exploring the island." 


South Beach: "A beach day here puts you within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, bars, and some local history — island lore maintains that when Tennessee Williams lived in Key West, he came to South Beach almost every day for a dip in the water." 

Rest Beach at C.B. Harvey Park: "The warm, shallow waters and soft sandy beach make this is a favorite destination for shell hunters and families, as it's ideal for wading and playing." 

Dry Tortugas National Park: For a super unique experience, head to Dry Tortugas National Park. It features a historic fort, serene beaches, picturesque blue waters, vibrant coral reefs, fascinating marine life, and many different birds. The catch is getting there. "The 100-square-mile park is reachable by boat or seaplane, and it's the least-visited national park in Florida, composed mostly of open seas and seven small islands." If you have time to visit, then you will have an amazing time at the remote, rugged Dry Tortugas! 

Sombrero Beach: "Drive about 50 miles back toward Key Largo and Miami to reach this scenic swath of beach on Marathon Key — locals treat this one like a backyard hangout spot." 

Bahia Honda State Park: This state park is one of the most desirable campgrounds in the United States. "The park also happens to have long stretches of beautiful natural beachfront, making it great for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming." It is a gorgeous, diverse beach to visit. 

Which beach do you think is the best in Key West? Tell us in the comments! 

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