Best beaches in Key West?

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#22
286 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by karena1
okay, I have 2 questions - we agree the beaches in KW are less than desirable

so>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

1. If we rent a car for the day can we head north a bit and find a nice beach that rents loungers?

2. Are there any great excursions/ferry that will take us to an offshore beach for the day that also rents loungers?

We are in KW from 7-5 so have a long day and would love to find a cool beach
1. No. There is no nice beach driving distance from Key West. Bahia Honda, mentioned above, was destroyed in Hurricane Irma and is mostly closed. It will be many more months, potentially a year, before the park is restored. You also would be taking a risk renting a car on the Overseas Highway. An accident can stop traffic for hours and you may miss your ship’s departure.

2. There are private charters that go to offshore sandbars. Fun in the Sun Charters is one example. You can find others listed on TripAdvisor under top attractions for Key West. They are very expensive. I’m guessing about $600 for a half day.

I’m sure you have better beach destinations on your cruise. I would do something else while in Key West.
#23
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3,017 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
The main crescent beach at Bahia Honda is open. I wouldn't go there in a rented car on a cruise, though.
#24
286 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by BNBR
The main crescent beach at Bahia Honda is open. I wouldn't go there in a rented car on a cruise, though.
Just to be clear, the nicer beach that has received so much press and is the reason the park is so well known, Sandspur Beach, is closed. The Bayside beach (Calusa beach) is opened along with about 20 percent of the park.

Have you been there recently? I was there about two weeks ago and the park looked terrible. Damage remains plainly visible everywhere, the concession building is closed, and even the open areas of the park look very bad.

It is not worth the trip in my opinion.
#25
Charlotte, NC
3,149 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by BNBR
The Keys are not known for beaches. You aren't being realistic in what you want. The best beach, by far, is not accessible to you - it's at Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas and you wouldn't have the time to make it there and back. The best beach within an acceptable drive would probably be Bahia Honda and that's about an hour drive east. The only beach you would probably have access to would be Fort Zachery, and I'm almost certain you can rent loungers there, but don't picture your bright white Caribbean sand and crystal clear water. South Beach (next to Southernmost) is another option that has chair rentals but it's not exactly a great beach. And how could I forget... Smathers and Higgs Beach. You should just google and research them and see if any are to your liking.
Smathers and Higgs would not be good beaches to go to, IMHO - they have sand and the ocean but that's about it. They have chair rentals but IIRC, its all open - very little, if any shade other than under the few pavilions they have.

And while we love going to Dry Tortugas, OP doesn't have enough time on their cruise stop to make it worthwhile to go, if its even possible given their timeline
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#26
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3,017 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by keywester33
Just to be clear, the nicer beach that has received so much press and is the reason the park is so well known, Sandspur Beach, is closed. The Bayside beach (Calusa beach) is opened along with about 20 percent of the park.

Have you been there recently? I was there about two weeks ago and the park looked terrible. Damage remains plainly visible everywhere, the concession building is closed, and even the open areas of the park look very bad.

It is not worth the trip in my opinion.
I was there a few weeks ago. I wouldn't make the drive, either.
#27
10,007 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
yeah, I think we are going to maybe do a snorkel tour or something off the ship. Nothing else in Key West I want to do, been there too many times so have done all the "touristy" stuff. If we cannot find a good snorkel tour, we will probably just stay on the ship.
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#28
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3,017 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
I caught a commercial for Fury Adventures the other day. May want to check them out.
#29
Atlanta/Key West
10,030 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by karena1
yeah, I think we are going to maybe do a snorkel tour or something off the ship. Nothing else in Key West I want to do, been there too many times so have done all the "touristy" stuff. If we cannot find a good snorkel tour, we will probably just stay on the ship.
I would recommend Floridays for a great snorkeling adventure as opposed to the "cattle boats' that carry so many.

https://floridayskeywest.com And you can save $$$ by booking online.

Mike
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#30
Plainsboro, New Jersey
1,595 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
There are a few smaller boats - the Javacat or the Patty C - which wouldn't be too bad for a private charter. If you can swing four hours you'd have enough time to hit a snorkeling spot then hit the Sandbar...




These two boats will take two - six people, but there's one other that will take up to 11 - The Echo II.

Pjk
#32
Atlanta/Key West
10,030 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I assume you have read the previous remarks about the keys not being a beach destination as all of the beaches are man made.

The easiest and most direct way for you to get to Smathers Beach is to take a taxi which will be much less expensive than using the trolley.

Five Sixes Taxi 305-296-6666

Mike
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#33
446 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by bhopal21
I assume you have read the previous remarks about the keys not being a beach destination as all of the beaches are man made.

The easiest and most direct way for you to get to Smathers Beach is to take a taxi which will be much less expensive than using the trolley.

Five Sixes Taxi 305-296-6666

Mike
Thanks!

What I'm thinking is to take the Trolley get off at Southernmost Point early morning and then take the taxi to Smathers.
#34
Atlanta/Key West
10,030 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by michelle028
Thanks!

What I'm thinking is to take the Trolley get off at Southernmost Point early morning and then take the taxi to Smathers.
Skip the trolley as that is just unnecessary expense. You don't need both modes of transportation.

Mike
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#35
224 Posts
Joined May 2009
I personally think Ft. Zachary Taylor Beach is nicer and much easier to get to than Smathers Beach.

However, if you want to see the Southernmost Point and then go to Smathers, then taking the free Duval Loop first and then a taxi makes sense.
#36
Charlotte, NC
3,149 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by jaga04
I personally think Ft. Zachary Taylor Beach is nicer and much easier to get to than Smathers Beach.

However, if you want to see the Southernmost Point and then go to Smathers, then taking the free Duval Loop first and then a taxi makes sense.
^^^ This

Smathers beach is also pretty much butted up to Roosevelt Blvd
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#38
Charlotte, NC
3,149 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Ocean, beach, Roosevelt Blvd


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#39
446 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by jaga04
I personally think Ft. Zachary Taylor Beach is nicer and much easier to get to than Smathers Beach.

However, if you want to see the Southernmost Point and then go to Smathers, then taking the free Duval Loop first and then a taxi makes sense.
By chance, how much do you think a taxi would cost from the Southernmost point to Smathers?
#40
Fort Lauderdale, FL
3,017 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Are you really this determined to go to the beach in Key West? What other stops do you have? Can you just extend an extra night and do a beach day in South Florida? Key West is simply not a great beach destination.