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7 Best Beaches in Key Largo – Beach Lovers Guide

7 Best Beaches in Key Largo – Beach Lovers Guide

Key Largo is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning coral reefs and is home to some of the best beaches in the Florida Keys. From the popular John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to the secluded Harry Harris Park, Key Largo beaches offer something for every beachgoer.

Key Largo is a great place to spend a few nights before making your way down to Key West. There are tons of things to do in Key Largo, and the hotels & restaurants in Key Largo are much easier on the wallet. We suggest spending 2-4 nights in Key Largo. It is a great place to base yourself when exploring the Florida Keys.

With powdery white sands and vibrant marine life just offshore, these beaches are a must-visit for relaxing and soaking up the Florida sun. One thing to note is that there are both public and private Key Largo beaches. We’ll focus on the public beaches in Key Largo. Let’s go explore the best beaches in Key Largo!

Best Key Largo Beaches

Far Beach best beach in Key Largo with sandy shore and palm trees

1. Far Beach – Key Largo

Key Largo, known as the gateway to the Florida Keys, sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. If you are driving from Miami to Key West, when arriving in the Keys, the first beach you come across is Far Beach. With its soft white sand, black mangroves, and tall palm trees, this Key Largo beach is popular with locals and tourists.

When we visited, there was a small snorkel tour operator at one end of the beach. We did not want a tour, but we were able to hire snorkel gear for all the family. With the different fish, coral, and marine life to be found in the waters, here you will find the best snorkeling in Key Largo.

The beach also features wooden benches and a picnic area situated at the far end. At one edge, you can locate a wooden ramp with wheel-chair access to the beach and other amenities like showers and picnic tables. Nearby, there are walking trails that allow visitors to do some bird-watching.

Far Beach is a public beach in Key Largo, but there is a State Park entry charge per vehicle of only $8.50. This fee also gets you into Cannon Beach. Visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park website for more details.

Related Article: Best Breakfast in Key Largo

view of the black cannons on Cannon Beach in Key Largo at sunrise

2. Cannon Beach – Key Largo

One of the most famous beaches in Key Largo is Cannon Beach. It got its name because of the 17th-century naval cannons that dot the sand. The legend goes that the cannons came from an old shipwreck.

Cannon Beach is great for kids. The bay’s shape helps provide calm water. Because the beach is located in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, there are numerous water sports available. Scuba diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys are famous around the world, and here is no exception. We got to see the famous USS Spiegel Grove and the underwater statue Christ of Abyss when diving in Key Largo.

On our trip, the water was a little murky, so we waited until another day before deciding on hiring snorkeling equipment. Instead, we took a glass-bottomed boat tour, which provided amazing underwater scenes of tropical fish and colorful coral. The State Park is home to the 3rd largest coral barrier reef in the world and numerous wrecks.

Harry Harris Beach Key Largo with people sitting on the sandy beach

3. Harry Harris Beach and Park – Tavernier

This beach is definitely one of the best family beaches in Key Largo, as Harry Harris Park has more to offer than just a beach. The park is complete with public barbeque grills, covered picnic tables, and restrooms. Technically, it is in Tavernier, Florida, but only 10 minutes from Key Largo.

We found ourselves at the park when we were looking for playgrounds in Key Largo. There are two playgrounds with slides, swings, see-saws, and more. If you are traveling with toddlers, you are always looking for playgrounds and activities to burn off that extra energy at the end of the day. Harry Harris Beach is a great place for the kids to play and watch the sunset.

Another nearby park to check out is Founder’s Park in Islamorada. You could spend the entire day here. There is a great beach, splash pad, and Olympic-size swimming pool, picnic areas, tennis courts, basket court, dog park, the best playground in Islamorada, and more.

Anne's Beach in Islamorada Florida Keys

4. Anne’s Beach – Islamorada

One of the most beautiful beaches in Key Largo is Anne’s Beach. It’s technically in Islamorada, but it is only 35 minutes from Key Largo. Named in honor of the environmentally conscious Anne Eaton, who spent her life fighting to maintain the natural beauty of the area.

Anne’s Beach is on the Atlantic Ocean, which can be windy, but due to the beach being really shallow, the water remains relatively peaceful. Due to the wind, it is a great beach for kitesurfing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. There is a small shallow swimming area that is good for kids to splash around in, but overall, it isn’t the best beach for swimming.

Other Best Beaches in the Florida Keys to Visit

We tried to keep this list to Key Largo beaches. However, there are several other Florida Keys beaches to visit when driving to Key West we wanted to mention. Here are a few of our favorite beaches in the Florida Keys.

four palm trees silhouetted on Founder's Park Beach in Islamorada at sunset - top beaches near Key Largo

5. Founder’s Park Beach

Another nice stretch of sand close to Key Largo is located inside Founder’s Park in Islamorada. Our family loves this park, which offers lots of outdoor recreation. There are a few nice playgrounds here, perfect for traveling the Florida Keys with young kids!

On our last trip, we visited this park several times and found it nearly empty most times, which is mind-blowing because this is a great beach in the Florida Keys. The sunsets are nice here too, it’s a great family beach spot!

Sombrero Beach Marathon Florida Keys

6. Sombrero Beach – Marathon

We were surprised by this gorgeous white sand beach in Marathon. We originally were looking for playgrounds in Marathon for the kids, as we had time to burn after breakfast in Marathon. Not only did we find an awesome playground but one of the best beaches in the Florida Keys.

Sombrero Beach is a five-minute drive off the Overseas Highway. From April to October, Loggerhead Turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs at night. Make sure to visit the turtle hospital; it is one of the best things to do in Marathon.

wooden boardwalk leading out to Smathers Beach - One of the best beaches in Key West

7. Smather’s Beach – Key West

If you are looking for the best beach in Key West you will find yourself on Smather’s Beach. It is a gorgeous, long, sandy beach with great sunrises. Whenever we visit, it is never too busy; we can always find a place to sit and relax.

Most tourists in town don’t head to the beach and instead visit other attractions in Key West. They are out eating at the best restaurants in town or staying out late at the bars on Duval Street. So if you are a beach lover, make sure to head to Smather’s Beach.

Where do you like to spend the day in Key Largo?

We are always looking for new places to check out. Please comment below with what you think are the best beaches in Key Largo.