If you’re like most folks; you’re heading south to enjoy the warm weather and the many activities that go along with an island vacation. Key West is known for its beautiful waters, spectacular coral reefs, dazzling sunsets and abundance of water sports. But did you know that there are several exceptional white sandy beaches in the area?
Dry Tortugas & Fort Jefferson National Park
For a day at the beach, book your crew seats aboard the Yankee Freedom III. This luxurious catamaran will ferry you out to one of the best beaches you’ll ever encounter. Not to mention a day of adventure you’ll never forget. The Dry Tortugas is a collection of tiny little islands that surround the historic Fort Jefferson National Park and probably one of the most unique places on earth. The first thing you’ll notice after your relaxing boat ride on the Yankee Freedom is how incredibly clear the water is. The white sandy beaches are pristine and the scenery is gorgeous. You can snorkel by simply walking into the water—which is great for all levels of snorkelers and swimmers. You can soak in the sun, pack a picnic, explore the fort (even take a tour) and do some bird watching; the area is famous for its abundance of bird species. The Yankee Freedom is the official ferry of the Dry Tortugas and while you’re on board you’ll also learn a lot about the area from their crew.
Fort Zachary Taylor
Another historic Fort, Fort Zachary Taylor is located on the southern tip of Key West at the end of Southard Street. This state park encompasses more than 50 acres and is the southernmost beach in the continental United States. There are picnic tables, a beachside café, restrooms and a short nature trail for hiking and biking through the park. The beach here is beautiful, although a bit rocky so if you have any water shoes, it’s a good idea to wear them. You can snorkel here, the reef is teaming with vibrant tropical fish and it’s an easy snorkel for adults and kids. This is a great outing in Key West, especially for families because you can spend the entire day on the beach, swimming, running around and exploring. They offer guided tours of the Fort each day at noon. Fishing is also allowed here.
If you’re the type that doesn’t like to just sit and soak up some rays, head to Smather’s Beach in Key West for non-stop action. This half a mile stretch of beach is where you can start up or join in a beach volleyball game, rent a jet ski, go parasailing or windsurfing. Located on South Roosevelt Boulevard, Smather’s has picnic tables, chair rentals, restrooms and a concession stand. It’s well known among locals and visitors for a great way to spend the day while in Key West.
So next time you’re in Key West, be sure to check out the Dry Tortugas, Fort Zachary Taylor, or Smather’s Beach for spectacular aqua water, soft sand, and lots of fun!