Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is Florida's southernmost state park. Fort Taylor is the park's centerpiece ad was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. The park is home to the most popular beach in Key West, which is located on the southern shore of the park. The beach offers picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Visitors can also enjoy a short nature trail and bicycling within the park.
The park also hosts the Cayo Hueso Café which sells snacks, drinks, beach supplies, and souvenirs.
Located in Key West at the end of Southard Street on Truman Annex. Entry is $6.00 per vehicle, $2.00 for pedestrians and bicyclists, $4.00 Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.
The quickly became our favorite place to hang out - South Beach is FANTASTIC for people watching. Small, but nice and clean. We liked this beach because there were more people like us there - NOT the thin, tanned, teeny-boppers like at Smathers Beach - but it was not overly crowded. Better for the morale, if you know what I am saying... We really like Fletcher, who brought us our beach chairs ($5), and treats throughout our stay - a frozen towel to cool the back of our necks, and popcycles.
The Southernmost Beach Cafe was great - good food, and fun drinks. The Barbados Punch was my favorite fruity drink, but the Drunken Sailor was pretty good too. Our companions said the Bloody Mary's here were the best. Prices are reasonable (~$10 for burger and fries). We loved it and will definitely hang out here again.
Key West has both snorkeling and diving. Here's a great primer on the snorkeling scene. http://beachesinkeywest.com/key-west-snorkeling
The best beaches for snorkeling are Smathers Beach, Fort Zachary Taylor, South Beach Key West and Higgs Beach.
Or you can take one of the many charters out and do a snorkel/kayak combo. Very relaxing!
Seems like there's nothing easier than spending a day at the beach in Key West! The entire southern side of the island is dotted with public beaches, some of which are fully equipped with restroom facilities, picnic tables, chair rentals, bars and restaurants. Since we didn't have that much time to spend in Key West I had to content myself with a quick visit to South Beach, where playwright Tennessee Williams is said to have come for a swim nearly every day during the years he spent in Key West. Even though I'm not the kind of person who's interested in spending much time sunbathing (being a redhead, and all!), South Beach struck me as the kind of place where I could very well spend a few hours with a book in one hand and a refreshing drink in the other!
All along the Atlantic side of the island, is a narrow, mostly man-made beach. This is the closest to a big beach in Key West. I don't do beaches much. The better beaches are down by Fort Taylor SP. I've been swimming down there on the part of the beach that is still owned by the USNavy.
Even so, the beach gets a lot of use. People come to walk or run on the beach. Mornings are good for bird watching (Photo 5). And wedding photographers (photo 4) seem to think the beach is perfectly fine.
Smathers Beach is the largest public beach in Key West. Powdery soft sand, turqouise water, lined with palm trees - it is what a south Florida beach should look like! On the windy day we were there for a beach wedding, there were kite-surfers out on the water who were fascinating to watch!
The beach is located on the south side of the island, along the Atlantic Ocean
If you're coming to Key West for some beach action, I'm sorry to say you may be disappointed. Although there are are a few small manufactured beaches at some of the resorts, most of the beachfront looks like this picture of Smather's beach on the East side of the island. It is very shallow - I mean at low tide you could probably wade out a quarter mile! - Seaweed washes in and often covers the beach. One possible exception is Higgs beach Park. It isn't really a beach, but built up shell covered with sand and held in place by a seawall. You can lay out in the sun however, get wet if you're so inclined, and rent watersports toys nearby ( Jet skis, kayaks parasail charters etc. ), There is also a playground, a dog park and a historic burial site of African slaves rescued from a slave ship.
I am not a fan of Higgs beach; it is dirty and there are no palm trees for shade. Alot of homeless people are in this area too, and they will ask you for money.
In conjunction with the beach is the AIDS memorial and the White Street Pier. That side of the beach is nicer, but still not nice enough for me to ever go there.
There are always contamination notices being sent out about the water here. I really suggest you don't swim here, only walk around.
I like to walk around this beach in the evening; that is when it is peaceful and all the "craziness" has left to go pamper up for Duval street. If you go during a spring/summer break, during mid day, it will be crowded.
I think it is nice to lay out in the sun here, or to play games, but I'd be warying of swimming here. Old seaweed lines the coast and is never taken care of, and there have been lots of notices put out not to swim here, do to a large amount of fecial contamination. Yes, I said fecial.
Key West has lot of Water Sports activities that you can do in the green waters on Atlantic Ocean. These activities include Parasailing, Jet-Ski Waverunners, Water trampoline, Kayaking and Snorkelling. On the sail you can enjoy some good food, beer and great music. With Snorkelling, you can see some of the colorful fish, coral reef and other sea animals. We started the day at 10 on a Saturday and tickets can be purchased at the location itself for $85. The 6 hour sail starts with a few drinks and it stops after 25 miles off the coast. This is when you get the oppurtunity to jump into the waters and doing the sports which you like. The Banana Boat ride for me was the best where your Banana boat is tied on the back of a fast moving speed jet that makes sharp turns. It is exciting because you have to balance yourself from falling at 30-40mph speed. One day should be good to cover all these Water sports at the green waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
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