6 Best Beaches In Key Largo

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As the first island in the Florida Keys chain, Key Largo is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. It’s accessible from mainland Florida, but it feels like a destination in its own right, with great diving spots, an abundance of unique flora and fauna, and great restaurants.

There are tons of fun things to do in Key Largo, but one of the most satisfying is hitting the beach. This is an island, after all, so even though most of the beaches are man made, you won’t be short on scenic coastlines, soft sand, or tropical vibes.  Here are some of the best beaches in Key Largo.

Harry Harris Park

Harry Harris Park is all about the beach. The scenic and sandy stretch is the main attraction of the park, and the $8 weekend entrance fee ($5 for kids) is well worth it. You could also visit during the week and get free entry. 

The beach is split neatly in half by a public boat ramp, which you can utilize for a fee ($40). There’s also a fishing jetty and a great viewpoint, so be sure to check it out while you’re here.

Once you tire of swimming and sunbathing, you can use the picnicking and BBQ facilities, sports courts, and playgrounds.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Discover some of the best beaches in Key Largo at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is one of the best things to do in Key Largo. This underwater gem is renowned for its fantastic diving, but there are also several beaches located within the park. Entrance is $8 per vehicle and $.50 per person, and you’ll no doubt get your money’s worth.

The park sits on Largo Sound, a calm bay off the Atlantic Ocean. It’s is surrounded by mangroves, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in nature as they enjoy a day at the beach. 

Cannon Beach 

Named for the 17th-century cannons that still sit on the sandy shoreline, Cannon Beach is the bigger of the two beaches inside the park. It’s located in a secluded lagoon-like area, with crystal clear water that’s perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. There is a large swimming area, soft white sand, and plenty of space to spread out and sunbathe, picnic, or build sand castles. 

Far Beach

Far Beach is more of a hidden gem, perfect for anyone looking to get away from the crowds. The long sandy beach is surrounded by verdant vegetation, fostering a sense of privacy and calm. The beach itself is sandy, with a calm surf and a nice swim zone. This beach is also great for tide pooling, and if you tire of the water, you can hop on a trail, have some lunch at the picnic area by the parking lot, or hop in a kayak and paddle around the scenic shoreline. Note that this beach is a bit more pebbly than Cannon Beach, so a good pair of sandals or water shoes is recommended.

Rowell Park

Conveniently located off of Highway 1 along the lovely Blackwater Sound, Roswell Park is home to one of the best beaches in Key Largo. This spot somehow flies under the radar despite its location just off the overseas highway, so make sure you don’t just drive past! You’ll likely have this scenic spot mostly to yourself, though there aren’t a lot of facilities – bring your own chairs, towels, and snacks!

The beach is unique in a few ways. The sandy shoreline is separated from the water by a concrete slab with ladders to help stall erosion, but to the left, there is a small sandy spot that is great for tide pooling. The water itself is surrounded by trees and rocks, which makes a nice natural swimming area perfect for doing laps.

Founders Park

Take a trip south to Founders Park for a memorable day at the beach. The park sits on the island of Islamorada, about 20 minutes south of Kay Largo and features a soft sand beach, beautiful blue water, and some fantastic facilities that make the short road trip worth your while. 

If you get tired of sand, you can go swimming in the park’s Olympic-sized swimming pool, or cool off on the splash pad. There are also sports facilities (including a tennis and pickleball complex, baseball and softball fields, a golf driving cage, and a basketball court), a picnic pavilion, a playground, and more. 

Note that there is an $8 entrance fee ($5 for kids) to the park.

Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park

For an exotic day at the beach in Key Largo, head to Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park. This is an island located off of Key Largo, so you’ll need to put some effort in if you want to reach this hidden hideaway. 

Ferries depart from Robbie’s Marina, and you can also rent your own boat or kayak out to the island. Once you arrive, you’ll find tropical vegetation, several historical sites, and a stunning coastline that you can explore from the water or on a boat tour. 

The beach here isn’t anything to write home about – it’s more of a muddy outcrop, but you can go swimming and snorkeling off the park’s large dock.

Private Beaches In Key Largo

Some of Key Largo’s best beaches are only accessible if you’re staying at the resort that faces them. If you have the cash and want to splurge on your vacation to the Florida Keys, here are some of the best resorts with top-notch beaches in Key Largo.

Gilbert’s Beach Resort

The beach here is soft and sandy, and if you don’t want to pay to stay at the resort, you can visit for lunch to gain access to the beach area. 

Kona Kai Resort

This is a truly private beach, so you’ll need to book a room at Kona Kai Resort to access the little slice of paradise. The beach is small but pristine, with sun loungers, a ping pong table, hammocks, and a large dock with access to the water. There is also a swimming pool and hot tub closer to the resort. 

Sunset Cove Beach Resort

You don’t have to shell out tons of cash to stay at a beach resort in Key Largo. The Sunset Cove Beach Resort offers affordable rooms with direct access to the private beach. Relax in a sun lounger, stay cool under a beach bungalow, or wade into the water from the soft sand.