Florida Keys Family Photographer | Best Beaches in the Keys

Best Beaches in the Keys

As a Florida Keys family photographer, we love traveling down to the keys for a weekend trip. The landscape of  idyllic water views go on for miles and miles. 

As Florida natives, we have gotten accustomed to wide sandy beaches all along the coast. But what we adore about the Florida keys is how unique the landscape is in comparison to mainland Florida. The Florida Keys offer the best ocean snorkeling in the state. 

The Florida Keys isn’t known for wide sandy beaches but there are plenty of amazing beaches to explore in The Florida Keys. Here are a few of our favorites:

Bahia Honda Key

Bahia Honda State Park is a popular destination in the keys that offers incredible waterfront camp sites – if you are lucky enough to score a reservation!

Many of the best natural beaches can be explored here like Calusa Beach and Sandspur beach. Enjoy white sand under the palms with views of the seven mile bridge. The park is open from 8am until sunset and there is an admission fee of $8.50 per vehicle for 2-8 people. 

There is a boat ramp available at Bahia Honda State Park for $10 per boat. 


36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key

bahia honda state park beach

Bahia Honda State Park, taken by karlnorling

Anne’s Beach

Situated along lower Matecumbe Key sits Anne’s Beach. Regularly touted as one of the best beaches in the keys because of its tranquil scenery. The sandy beaches make it a wonderful pace to swim and relax. 

Enjoy Anne’s Beach from sunrise to sunset. Anne’s Beach is a great place for children because of the shallow water that is very calm. Leashed dogs are permitted.

This is a great beach to stop at along your drive down the keys, it’s located at MM73.5

Curry Hammock State Park

Open from 8am until sunset, you can soak in the picturesque views of this untouched paradise. For about $5, you can spend a day at Curry Hammock State Park which is located 56200 Overseas Highway in Marathon, FL.

In addition to paddling, fishing and biking there is an excellent nature trail that winds through 1.5 miles of tropical landscape. You can launch your kayak or canoe here and there are camp sites available with composting toilets and solar powered showers. 

Dry Tortugas National Park

Technically, Dry Tortugas National Park is 60 miles off of the coast of the Keys. Accessible by boat only, this historic landmark offers clear waters and impeccable snorkeling. 

You can take the daily ferry, private charter, your own boat or a seaplane to get to the island. 

The opportunity to get up close with a sea turtle and explore a 19th century fort awaits you at Dry Tortugas National Park. They offer primitive camping as well.

Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park by Thomas

Smathers Beach

Smathers Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the keys. Smathers beach opens at 7am and offers restroom facilities, free parking and beach rentals. 

This location can get pretty crowded during popular seasons like spring break and summer. 

2601 S. Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL

smothers beach by florida keys photographer

Smathers Beach by dcwriterdawn

Sombrero Beach

This hidden gem located in Marathon is a local favorite. Sombrero Beach is a great place to swim and sunbathe. There are picturesque palm trees that blow in the ocean breeze and provide wonderful shade from the bright sun. 

2130 Sombrero Beach Rd. Marathon, FL

sombrero beach by florida keys family photographer

Sombrero Beach by teakwood

Fort Zachary Taylor 

Open from 8am to sundown, Fort Zachary Taylor is the go-to beach in Key West for swimming, sunbathing and soaking in the vibrant views. There is a concession stand with beach supplies for sale, restroom facilities and plenty of shaded picnic tables. I recommend bringing some water shoes as the sand can be a bit rocky in certain areas. We also noticed several beach goers that brought along hammocks to tie to the trees – looked like a great idea to me! 

If your little ones are tagging along, I would suggest bringing something for them to float on like maybe a pool noodle or pool ring. The water can actually get quite a bit deeper here than in many areas throughout the keys. 

There is a $6.50 admission fee per vehicle and it’s located at 601 Howard England Way in Key West, FL. 

fort zachary taylor

Fort Zachary Taylor by Elizabeth Nicodemus