Hitting the beach is undeniably one of the best things to do in Key Largo. Known as the Diving Capital of the World, Key Largo offers more than just underwater adventures; its shoreline is dotted with some of Florida’s most picturesque and serene beaches. In this guide, we’ll take you through the best beaches in Key Largo. These beaches are home to shallow waters with tropical fish and marine life galore – perfect for those wanting a beach experience, not just a nap on the sands.
Despite its small size, you can find many beautiful beaches. Whether you opt for a Key Largo beach resort with a swimming pool and private beaches or one of the many public beaches, Key Largo beaches are also something pretty special.
Best Key Largo Beaches
Are you ready to hit one of Key Largo’s beaches? Whether you want picnic tables on Cannon Beach, tiki huts on private beaches, or to head off spotting marine life on Far Beach, Key Largo will have a sandy spot to throw down a beach towel. Honestly, there’s no wonder that it is one of the most popular places to stay on the Florida Keys. In this guide, we’ll give you the rundown of the top beaches – showing you exactly why Key Largo has earned its spot as a top beach day location in the Florida Keys. Book this floating tiki bar tour for a unique experience on the water.
For a romantic getaway, book a stay at Bungalows Key Largo. This adults-only, all-inclusive resort is located in a serene setting, offering daily yoga, a tiki bar, several pools, and spa. See rates and availability here.
1. Far Beach
Regarding a state park experience, Far Beach is one of the top Key Largo beaches. You can stop by the park’s visitor center for information on tours and equipment rentals. Its best beach option is Far Beach, a peaceful beach surrounded by mangroves and ideal for snorkeling. We’d suggest dedicating a few hours to enjoying Far Beach and a few hours to exploring the rest of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has the US’ first ever underwater park – and if that isn’t a draw, we don’t know what is. The park covers over 70 nautical square miles, and you can admire coral reefs, marine life, and more. You can snorkel, take boat tours, or go scuba diving to get up close to it all. You can book this half-day snorkel tour with all equipment included to explore this beautiful underwater world.
And even better, beautiful beaches are waiting for you on the shoreline. When visiting Key Largo, visiting John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is an absolute highlight, especially if you are interested in conservation or water activities. On land, there are palm trees with hammocks along the beach, beach chairs, and ranger-led walking tours of the park’s Mangrove Nature Trail.
Far Beach is located on the southeast side of the Overseas Highway. It is roughly midway along the Key and faces the Atlantic Ocean, with the Largo Sound in the middle of the park – great for water activities. It is near the – admittedly more popular – Cannon Beach. However, Far Beach has a more natural appeal; it is smaller but has more undergrowth and a focus on natural habitat versus a tourist beach experience.
2. Sunset Cove
If you are looking for a private beach, Sunset Cove Beach Resort is the place to be. What makes this spot so special? Its shallow water and peaceful vibe are exclusive – with sparsely filled beach chairs overlooking the tranquil waters, a small wooden jetty, and a few anchored boats on the horizon. Sunset Cove is the most lowkey among the Key Largo beaches. The joys of private beaches, right? The fewer crowds really make a difference. See rates and availability.
Guests can rent kayaks and snorkeling equipment, which are the perfect way of exploring the ocean more independently. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful tropical fish. Then, head straight back to the tiki bars for a rewarding cocktail and recline on the beach chairs. Sunset Cove is stunning and is the sort of place where you can relax all day and soak up the fine art of doing nothing. Accommodation-wise, the resort has everything from suites to waterfront cottages and motel-style rooms. It even has pet-friendly rooms.
Sunset Cove is located right by the mile marker near Point Charles. It is a fantastic beach choice if you are looking for a hotel and a beach. It is one of the quietest Key Largo beaches and serenely overlooks Sunset Cove. It is also one of the best beaches if you want a more traditional ‘beach experience’, a.k .a. with beach chairs and tiki bars, where you can sip cocktails and enjoy coastal facilities, not just natural views.
3. Seafarer Resort and Beach
Ready for more inspiration on more of the top private beaches in Key Largo? The Florida Keys are full of beautiful beachfront resorts, but Key Largo’s Seafarer Resort and Beach is easily among the top choices. The motel has the best beach for shade and beach chairs, with palm trees covering the shoreline and abundant chairs dotted in uniform rows along the sands.
The Seafarer Resort and Beach is ideal if you are looking for budget-friendly to mid-range style accommodation. It offers a laidback vibe with a lowkey beach to match. There are even optional boat docking facilities, so you can unplug from the world and head out on your fishing boat. Check out rates and availability
The shallow waters of this private beach are ideal for more nervous swimmers or those just wanting a more relaxing beach day. The still, shallow waters are really calming and an ideal spot for watching sunsets with a cocktail in hand. The resort is located on the south end of Key Largo, near the mile marker around Point Charles and Rock Harbor. It is excellently located to walk to nearby restaurants and is just on the outskirts of the real ‘hub of Key Largo’; it’s a fabulous compromise to balance quietness with centrality.
Key Largo’s Seafarer Resort and Beach offers a laidback experience but still a traditional beach day because you have all the facilities you need. Definitely keep it in mind if you want a resort and beach combination.
4. Sombrero Beach
Sombrero Beach is pretty special. Why? This white sand beach is where you’ll find loggerhead turtles nesting between April and October. It has a real tropical paradise feel, with outstretched, spacious white sands and shallow water. Sombrero Beach is backed by rows of palm trees and dense undergrowth, which gives it a natural feel – helping you connect with nature. It is easy to see why the turtles love it so much; if it is good enough for the turtles, it’s certainly good enough for you.
As a public beach, Sombrero Beach is one of the more popular beaches as it is easy to access than the private beaches. You can swim, sunbathe, or join in a volleyball game. Sombrero Beach is fun and light-hearted; make sure to keep a distance from any nesting turtles since they are an endangered species and are easy to distress. We’d recommend bringing a camera so you can snap pictures of the loggerhead turtles at a respectful distance if you visit between April and October. You are best visiting during quieter times too, like night-time, sunrise, or sunset, when the turtles are more likely to lay.
Sombrero Beach is actually located south of Key Largo and is around an hour’s drive. However, we just had to include it in this guide because of its vitality in turtle conservation and how it offers such a raw, special turtle encounter. It’s located near Boot Key and is right next to the Turtle Hospital and Dolphin Research Center. You may wish to make Sombrero Beach a full day out by combining it with these other conservation-related attractions.
5. Anne’s Beach
Anne’s Beach is another sneaky addition to this guide because it isn’t exactly located in Key Largo, but it is just 30 minutes away by car. What’s not to love? Anne’s Beach is a special spot named after a local environmentalist. The beach is a haven for wildlife, with a small slither of outstretched sand almost entirely engulfed by mangroves and greenery. It is where to go if you want a rural beach experience. Book this highly-rated mangrove tunnel kayak adventure.
You can spot tons of wildlife, including crabs, conches, fish, and lizards. If you want a more active experience, there’s a scenic boardwalk to enjoy, plus picnic tables for after. Anne’s Beach is like a miniature state park – a bitesize opportunity to reconnect with mother nature.
Anne’s Beach is located in Islamorada, just next to the Channel 2 Bridge, which is popular for fishing and sunset. Anne’s Beach is a really accessible beach day from Key Largo, and you should definitely stop by the nearby Habanos Oceanfront Dining while visiting. This Cuban restaurant offers casual snacks and waterfront views, all just a short walk from Anne’s Beach. It is a public beach, so having these facilities and amenities nearby is ideal.
6. Harry Harris Park Beach
Harry Harris Park Beach is one of the best public beaches in the Keys. The shallow water is dreamy for families with young children, and the sheltered nature of Harry Harris Beach makes it a reliable choice for more nervous swimmers. Given that there is a designated swimming area and a shower block, it is essentially the perfect place to go out of all the Key Largo beaches if you want a dip. You can also have personalized beach time with water sports and an easy-access boat ramp. There are barbecue facilities too, just in case you want to cook up your own storm beachside.
Harry Harris Beach and Park’s white sands and scattered palm trees are like something out of a glitzy travel magazine. The beach overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, with a scenic viewpoint within the park boundaries. It is gorgeous at sunrise and sunset and popular amongst picnickers. This spot is a fantastic bet if you want a tropical beach experience on the Florida Keys. The facilities, like a picnic area, play area, and boat ramp, are just the cherry on top.
Location-wise, Harry Harris Beach and Park is a breeze to reach from Key Largo. In just 12 minutes you can be sat on the beach. It is an easy drive too, just heading southwest along the Overseas Highway down to Tavernier. Note that you should find street parking to avoid a parking fee on weekends and holidays.
7. Cannon Beach
Out of all the Key Largo beaches, Cannon Beach is one of the prettiest in the Florida Keys. It is where you’ll find the most active marine life with tropical fish and crystal clear waters. Cannon Beach is a tropical paradise – we’ll hold our hands up and admit it; you won’t want to leave. It’s a great beach for shore snorkeling with a Spanish shipwreck just offshore and abundant coral reefs that you can access straight off the beach.
For confident snorkelers and swimmers in open water, Cannon Beach is a wonderful public beach to visit. The shallow water is just an added bonus. Don’t forget to spot the anchor about 100 feet offshore as well. Finding the anchor is a nice little treasure hunt for snorkelers.
Cannon Beach is also ideal for those who want to stay on the sand, perhaps only dipping in the sea to cool off. If this is you, a beachfront picnic is definitely in order on Cannon Beach, and its covered picnic tables are perfect for a shady midday snack. The picnic pavilions are dotted along the beachfront.
Cannon Beach gets its name – rather unimaginatively – from the three large cannons along the sand. You can walk along and find these. You can also take tours of the nearby swamps, mangroves, and shipwrecks. If you’d prefer to stay on the ground, there’s also a nearby aquarium.
This beach is located just on the edge of John Pennekamp State Park. It is a breeze to reach from Key Largo’s center, and you can either drive there and park up or walk, depending on the whereabouts of Key Largo you are staying.
Beaches in Key Largo: FAQs
These top Key Largo beaches are definitely a treat. Whether you pick the Rock Reef Resort, motel-style accommodations, or some flashy Key Largo bungalows, Key Largo has some brilliant beaches on offer, most of which will be directly on your doorstep. Before you rush off to find them, though, take a look at these top FAQs. These FAQs will help to guide you in choosing your absolute match made in heaven.
Does Key West or Key Largo Have Better Beaches?
When comparing the beaches of Key West and Key Largo, it’s important to note that each offers a unique experience tailored to different types of beach-goers. Key West is famous for its lively atmosphere, historic charm, and picturesque sunsets. The beaches here tend to be more bustling, with various water sports and beachside entertainment options. While Key West has its own appeal, those looking for a more tranquil beach experience, rich with natural wonders and magnificent coral reefs, will find Key Largo’s beaches to be unparalleled. This distinction firmly places Key Largo as a top choice for travelers seeking an idyllic beach getaway that combines natural beauty with a serene environment.
Does Key Largo have any good beaches?
Key Largo has dozens of amazing beaches – not just good beaches. There’s a mixture of public and private beaches, including the gorgeous Cannon Beach and Far Beach. There are many different facilities and activities too, from boat ramp choices to scuba diving and tidal pool crab spotting.
Which side of Key Largo is better?
Key Largo is so small that it doesn’t matter which side you stay on. However, with that said, the island is split in half by the Overseas Highway. The southwest side of Key Largo – aka the lower half under the Overseas Highway – is larger, with more space and attractions.
How clear is the water in Key Largo?
Very clear. Key Largo has some of the clearest water in the world and its beautiful water is what makes it have some of the best beaches on the Florida Keys. It is perfect for scuba diving, swimming, or a glass-bottom boat tour. Book a glass-bottom boat tour here.
Is water blue in Key Largo?
Yes, the water is a beautiful blue in Key Largo. All of the Florida Keys are known for having the best beaches thanks to the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
It doesn’t matter how long you have in Key Largo. You could be briefly stopping over on your Miami to Key West drive or you could be picking a bungalow resort in Key Largo to base yourself on the island for a week’s holiday. Regardless of how long you are staying on this sandy peninsula, you should try to squeeze in at least one of the beaches.
Regarding activities, you could look for a canoe and kayak launch – it’s a breeze to organize canoe and kayak rentals and enjoy spotting more marine life than you’ll find in a simple tide pool. You can take a glass-bottom boat tour, but you’ll have much more fun kayaking independently or snorkeling. Weigh these beaches carefully to pick the most aligned with your dream activities.
These seven are just the tip of the iceberg; you can head to the sandy beach and botanical gardens at West Martello Tower and Key West Garden Club or pick a more local beach like Dog Beach. Key Largo is the best for picking a beautiful beach; rest assured, you’ll be spoiled for choice.