Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Key Largo is the gateway to the Florida Keys. And there’s no better introduction to the island chain than hanging out on some of the best beaches in Key Largo.
Key Largo’s beautiful beaches span national parks, a national marine sanctuary, and botanical gardens. With its soft sands and turquoise waters, Key Largo is one of the USA’s most popular destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling. Perfect for couples, friends, and family, this Monroe County key has everything you need for a memorable seaside getaway.
Ready to plan the perfect Key Largo beach vacation? Find your next favorite Florida Keys seaside escape by lazing on one of these top-rated Key Largo beaches.
Top-rated Key Largo beaches
Looking for the most popular beach destination in Key Largo? Start with Cannon Beach. This seaside gem is a great beach for kids, with calm water and plenty of fun activities. Cannon Beach got its name from the 17th-century cannons that sit on the sand near the shore.
The warm waters make Cannon Beach great for swimming no matter what time of year you’re visiting. With pure white sand and all necessary amenities close by, it’s easy to see why Cannon Beach is one of the top-rated Key Largo attractions.
One of the top nearby activities is visiting John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. At this popular marine park, you can go scuba diving or snorkeling to see a variety of marine life and tropical fish.
You can also rent canoes and kayaks to paddle its waterways. Take one of the short glass-bottom boat tours to see the large artificial reef and the Christ of Abyss underwater statue. Well-known shipwrecks like the USS Spiegel Grove are also visible at the marine park.
Searching for the beach closest to Key Largo? Far Beach is the first beach you’ll arrive at when driving into the Florida Keys via Key Largo. The shallow water and huge palm trees make it one of the top beaches for visitors who want to relax. It’s also a good base for exploring the nearby John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Outdoor activities at Far Beach include swimming, sunbathing, wildlife watching, and diving. Overnight camping is also allowed at no charge. It’s an amazing place to have an adventure with friends. Snorkeling equipment is also available if you want to explore the coral reef systems or marine life.
Far Beach gets very crowded at times. It might not be the best choice if you’re traveling with a large group or if you don’t want to get up early in the morning to find a parking spot.
The shores and ocean beds in Far Beach are also rockier than other options. It’s not the ideal place to take small children swimming unless they have protective water shoes.
Harry Harris Park
For a more family-friendly beach with tons of fun activities, head on over to Harry Harris Park. It’s located near Key Largo in Tavernier, FL. With its simplicity and relaxing vibes, Harry Harris Park is one of the most popular beaches in Key Largo.
Harry Harris Park Beach has all the necessary amenities to make your Key Largo beach day carefree. The park offers public showers, picnic tables, a boat ramp, and beach lounge chairs.
The tidal pool and swimming pool are great for kids, or even for adults who want to take a time-out from swimming in the ocean. The children’s playground in Founders Park is a great place to hang out at the end of the day. If you have your skateboard or rollerblades, you can also hit the skate park nearby.
After a day of sunbathing or swimming, watch the sunset with your loved ones and have a beachfront picnic in the grass or at one of the nearby tables.
Other beaches near Key Largo
Indian Key Historic State Park
Looking to visit one of the state parks near Key Largo? Indian Key Historic State Park is one of the most visited state parks in the Florida Keys. First discovered in 1836, Indian Key is a tiny island that’s only accessible by boat.
To explore the active marine life near this island, you’ll need to rent a boat or drive your own if you have a license. Honestly, there isn’t a ton of activities to do at Indian Key Historic State Park, but the privacy and crystalline water definitely make it worth visiting. It’s also one of the best getaways with friends in the area.
Swimming, sunbathing, and kayaking are great ways to see the fish and wildlife. Short hiking trails are also scattered around the island. Make sure to bring an extra dry pair of clothes and some comfortable shoes.
If you’re closer to Key West, Anne’s Beach near Islamorada is a perfect place to relax in your beach chair and read. The shallow water makes it easy to sit and cool off when the sun is strong. Anne’s Beach has tons of picnic tables. Bring some snacks and food to enjoy a sunny oceanfront picnic.
Public restrooms and showers are also available if you want to rinse off or change clothes. The main reason Anne Beach is so popular is that it’s dog-friendly. Pets love to play in the warm shallow water.
Since the water is so shallow and the sand near the water’s edge tends to get mushy, Anne Beach is not the best beach for swimming. The parking lot is also extremely small. Get there early to ensure you can find a parking spot for your car.
For a less crowded beach nearby, check out Islamorada Library Beach and Park. It’s much more secluded as the beach lies further away from the nearest beach towns.
Looking to visit a nice beach town near Key Largo? Sombrero Beach is conveniently located in Marathon, FL, and has some of the clearest water around Key Largo. The small sandy strip is a great place to work on your summer tan, go fishing, or even surf in the gentle waves.
Marathon is one of the best places in the Florida Keys to go bar or restaurant hopping. It’s less frequented by tourists. In the area, you can get to know the locals and live like a true Florida Keys or Key West resident.
After spending the day in the water and sun, head to the volleyball courts or picnic pavilion in the adjacent park. There’s also a children’s playground where your kids can run off the last of their energy before heading back to your hotel or resort. Sombrero Beach also has a large parking lot, public restrooms, and rinse showers.
Located between Key West and Marathon, Calusa Beach is a small area with only a narrow strip of sand. While it’s not the best place for sunbathing and relaxing, it’s a great option for more active beachgoers.
Head to one of the rental booths to get a kayak, canoe, or snorkeling gear. If you have your own diving gear and certification, you can also dive at Calusa Beach. For the less adventurous, it’s a great spot for swimming, too. The waves around Calusa Beach are often small and gentle.
Calusa Beach is in Bahia Honda State Park, home to several other the most beautiful beaches in the Florida Keys. At the park, you can overnight camp in a large campground. There are also public restrooms and showers. After a day of adrenaline-pumping activities, you can enjoy an outdoor meal in the picnic pavilions. They also have grills for guests to use.