Smathers Beach, Key West's largest and most well-known beach, runs along the southern shore of the island for almost 2 miles, facing the expansive Atlantic Ocean, along the famous A1A highway. Beach activity ranges from tanning, volleyball, and watersport/beachsport rentals.
Smathers Beach is one of four beaches that are owned and managed by the City of Key West. The shallow, crystal clear waters make for the perfect beach day. Be it a day of paddleboarding, snorkeling or just sitting idly by, on a beach blanket.
Courtesy of Sunset Watersports
It was here that famed swimmer Diana Nyad finished her solo swim from Cuba to Key West. A most impressive feat, given that it was a 110 mile swim and she was the first person to undertake the journey WITHOUT a shark cage!
The sand is brought in from the Bahamas (island rumor) and deposited there for your pleasure. Tropical storms have a habit of sweeping the sand away, and nearly every other year the City of Key West has to replenish the beach.
You can leave your surfboard home – the minuscule swell is not even a ripple. Snorkelers have a swim zone to enjoy the rocky bottom and the tiny sea life that live in these waters. just offshore.
Vending trucks offer snacks, beverages, chairs, and rafts. The beach is open Monday thru Saturday from 6am until midnight and noon to midnight on Sundays.
Getting There: South Roosevelt Blvd., from the Key West airport to Bertha Street.
Here's some more information on the other beaches on Key West.
From here you can also hop aboard the trolley and continue your island exploration. Be that a tour of the Hemingway Home and Museum, an informative tour on the Conch Tour Train.