Key West Beaches – Beach vacations and top resorts

Key West Beaches, beach vacations and top resorts are all waiting for you. There is no better way to get ready for the Key West nightlife than catching a few rays at the beach. In fact, whether your vacation plans call for the Key West Bars, a fun family vacation or a romantic holiday, there is no better way to relax than being at the beach.

The Key West beach scene isn’t nearly as crowded as South Beach or Waikiki Beach and you won’t have to worry about finding that perfect spot in the sand, beneath a palm tree or under an umbrella. You may also choose one of the Key West Beach Resorts for the best luxury accommodations and beach time.

Smathers beach with umbrellas

Although Key West is an island, there aren’t as many beaches as I expected when visiting for the first time. The beaches are great for adults who are looking for a quiet day in the sun. Waves in Key West are usually very small. There is a coral reef that lies 5-6 miles off the shores of Key West. The reef is part of the third largest reef system in the world and the only living coral reef in the U.S. The reef serves to break the waves, which is a bonus if you are taking small children to the beach. The waves will be very small so the kids will be able to enjoy the beach and the water. You can relax knowing the beach is safer than other tropical destinations where the surf is more powerful and dangerous for young kids

Because the surf is broken by the reef and there are only small waves on shore, Key West is not known for shelling. You can purchase shells in the souvenir shops, but they were not likely to have been found on the island. In fact, the surf is so calm on Key West beaches that the sand isn’t really from Key West. The beaches were actually created with sand brought from the Bahamas by barge! Now there is a trivia question for your friends!

Smathers beach palm sand water

Smathers Beach

There is plenty of public beach access in Key West. Sun worshipers can find their place in the sand on Higgs Beach, Smathers Beach or the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach. If you are planning a cheap Key West vacation, either of these three will work as Higgs Beach and Smathers beach are free. There is a small admission price for the Fort Zachary Taylor beach.

Grab a soda or a snack from road side vendors near the side walk at Higgs and Smathers beach. There is a café at Fort Zachary Taylor or bring your own cooler for lunch at one of the picnic tables

Casa Marina rear view day
If you are looking for a Key West beach resort, start with the luxurious Casa Marina Resort. This Waldorf Astoria resort opened in 1920 and has an excellent beach and pool. Be sure to have lunch at the poolside restaurant which is also just steps away from the beach. We had lunch there on the last day of one of our trips. The perfect spot to make you want to return to Key West! I wish we would have had time to enjoy the hammocks on the beach. Imagine reading a book or taking a nap on this luxury beach!

Casa Marina Resort

Another recommendation for a luxury beach resort on the island is the Pier House. Located on the opposite side of the island from the Casa Marina, the Pier House is on Duval Street in the heart of Old Town Key West. The Pier House has a private beach and the views from the guest rooms are breathtaking. Pier House guest rooms also provide a front row seat to the annual Key West World Championship powerboat races.

Pier House Aerial

Swimming area at the Pier House Resort

Planning a beach wedding in the Keys? Both of these resorts would be an amazing setting for any beach wedding.

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