Smathers Beach is considered the best public beach in Key West. It’s large and equipped with well-maintained amenities such as restrooms, showers, and volleyball courts. But its most prominent and likeable feature is that it’s sandy – unlike most other beaches in the city, which tend to be ground coral or pebble.
This long scenic beach is a great place for a family holiday, or a romantic date, or just enjoying loneliness and tranquility. If you happen to stay in Key West, this beach is definitely worth a visit!
Location and Access
Smathers Beach is located at 2601 South Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West, which is just south of the airport. It is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and features no entrance fee.
Parking is ample. You may have to pay for a parking space in the beach parking lot but there is also free parking available just a few meters away from the beach. Overnight parking is not allowed.
You can make use of public restrooms from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They are clean and well-maintained. There is also an outdoor shower area. If you want to buy some food, drinks, chairs, or even rafts – there are all kinds of concessions on the beach. If you bring your own food for a picnic, wake up early and go to the beach to occupy one of the pretty pavilions with tables inside.
The sand on Smathers Beach is clean and soft – they seem to rake it regularly. The beach is shallow and there are no strong currents, so it’s a good swimming spot for little children, and many of the visitors are families with kids. There are sunbed rentals on site. However, there are also plenty of palm trees where you can enjoy the shade for free.
The water is usually warm and clean. There are no corals, which is an unusual thing for Key West. Be aware that there may be quite much seaweed, especially at the north end of the beach.
In addition to swimming and relaxing in the sun, the popular activities on this beach include snorkeling, parasailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and beach volleyball. Smathers has volleyball courts and several vendors where you can rent various kinds of watersport equipment.
- 1 hour 5 minutes from Marathon, FL
- 2 hours from Key Largo, FL
- 3 hours 5 minutes from Miami, FL
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Smathers Beach which you can visit: