Splash, Suntan And Snorkel Key Largo At Upper Keys Beaches
Upper Keys beaches start with the Key Largo beaches and go down to Islamorada FL.
You'll find there are some terrific beaches in Key Largo FL and Islamorada where you can easily spend the day.
Whether you're snorkeling Key Largo, picnicking, wading in the warm water, or settling down with a good book beneath a shady palm tree, it's a great day at any of the beaches in Key Largo!
Also remember that you're on "island time" now.
You may just want to take it down a notch, and spend the day in quiet thought, contemplating not only the beauty of what surrounds you, but life in general. Self-awareness and self-growth
seem to go hand in hand with a relaxing day at any Florida Keys beach.
Florida Keys Kiteboarding Is Fun At Anne's Beach Near Islamorada FL
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
One of the more popular Key Largo beaches, John Pennekamp State Park is at MM 102.5 and includes Cannon Beach and Far Beach
Located near the John Pennekamp Visitors Center,
Cannon Beach gets its name from cannon placed at the Pennekamp Park entrance along with the cannon on it's beach.
Small in size, this is still quite a lovely man made Key Largo beach with its white coral sand. You can enjoy the view of a 17th century shipwreck replica about 100 feet from shore. Florida Keys snorkeling is very popular here as well, and you can snorkel or swim in the calm waters in the lagoon. The water at Cannon Beach is also conducive for small children being able to enjoy the day, wading and playing with their beach toys.
Cannon Beach is one of the Upper Keys beaches you'll want to spend time at.
Unlike Cannon Beach which is a popular Key Largo snorkeling from shore location, Far Beach is more of a place to go and unwind, take a dip in the ocean, then sunbathe the day away.
Beautiful with it's graceful coconut palms, and large sea grape bushes, it provides more shade then what you'll find at Cannon Beach. For those who are handicapped, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park has also created wheel chair access directly to the water's edge.
Pennenkamp Park is open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. til sunset. There is a nominal fee to enter the Park and the John Pennekamp campground
also features tent and RV camping.
Florida Keys Snorkeling at John Pennekamp State Park
Department of Commerce Collection
Harry Harris Beach
Harry Harris Park Beach is at MM 92.5, Oceanside in Tavernier and the phone number is 305-852-7161. This is one of the Florida Keys beaches located near Key Largo
and Islamorada FL.
Harry Harris Park Beach
is maintained by Monroe County and it's a great place to go since it has a lot of different facilities for the whole family to use and enjoy. There's also a ball park, so you may even get to catch a practice or a game that's going on.
Upper Keys beaches on Key Largo always have warm sparkling water and at Harry Harris it's no exception. With calm and shallow water, it's fun for the kids to splash around. There's also a huge tidal pool where the children can discover and learn about the different marine life.
Picnic Area And Beach At Harry Harris Park
The man made beaches are soft and sandy, and there's even a playground to keep the children busy. The facilities at Harry Harris Park include restrooms, showers, bike path, covered pavilion, picnic tables and BBQ grills.
For water lovers, you can also snorkel offshore plus Harry Harris Park has a fishing jetty and several good boat ramps. This makes it possible to plan a relaxing, full day outing at Harry Harris Park on your next Florida Keys vacation.
Another perk that Harry Harris Park has to offer is that pets are allowed on the beach park, however they must be on leash and picked up after.
The hours of operation for Harry Harris Beach Park are from dawn to sunset. The Park is free to Monroe County residents. On weekends and Federal Holidays there is a nominal per person charge for non-residents over the age of 16.
Sun Rising Over the Florida Keys
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection
Settler's Park and Beach
At MM 90.5, Oceanside in Islamorada FL
you'll come to another small, but nice Florida Keys beach and park that has a natural coral coastline. You'll definitely want to make sure you have your aqua shoes on while playing on this Islamorada beach.
Settler's Park and Beach is a small park that has a playground to help keep the children occupied.
The park is named in honor of the settlers who originally named the area Island Home after their schooner. Perhaps in keeping with the beauty of the area, or just to give the name a more romantic tone, they later translated it into Spanish - Isla Morada - the literal translation being "Purple Island".
Founder's Park and Beach
At MM 86.5, Bayside, if you're staying in the Islamorada area, this is a beautiful park with a variety of Florida Keys things to do. The park is also massive, covering about 40 acres.
Loaded with amenities, there's a marina, dog park, baseball fields, skate park, even an Olympic size pool. Other Park facilities include showers, restrooms and BBQ grills. Of course there's also the beach, suntanning, sunset watching, Florida Keys snorkeling, and fishing!
At Founder's Park they host concerts in the amphitheater, and every 3rd or 4th Friday of the month, at dark, you can bring something to float in the pool, then watch a movie under the star lit Florida Keys sky.
Founders Park, Islamorada FL
Like so many of the Upper Keys beaches, the water near shore is extremely shallow. This means great water for the kids to play in. However, they should still wear water wings or a life vest to prevent an accident from happening.
You'll also find that adjacent to this popular Islamorada beach, is a place where you can rent kayaks, and pedal boats. This adds another element of fun for the whole family.
The hours of operation for Founder's Park is 7 days a week from 8:30 a.m. til sunset. For non-residents there are entrance fees for adults, and for children 3- 17. There'a also a nominal fee to use the pool and one for the skate park.
At MM 81.5, Bayside in Islamorada FL, this is like many of the other Upper Keys beaches near Key Largo, in that it's rather small. Nonetheless, this Islamorada beach is a great destination for the whole family.
Tiki Hut At Library Beach
Situated directly behind the Islamorada library, this Florida beach is the perfect setting for a relaxed outing. Grab a book to read to the kids, or savor one for yourself, then stroll down to the soft, white sand and enjoy a good read.
The setting at Library Beach is quite beautiful and very peaceful. This makes this small Florida beach a great destination for families with small children.
This feature at this Park include a maintained grassy area leading to the beach, shade trees, tiki hut, playground, bathrooms, BBQ area and the nearby library.
Enjoying a Shady Afternoon
Playing On Beach & Swimming
Since Library beach does not sit on the bay but rather on a channel of water leading to the bay, it's better for the small ones as well. However, the tide still comes and goes, so you'll want to keep an eye on the children. You'll also want to make sure you haven't gotten to cozy in a low spot that could later become submerged with water.
Located in the Islamorada FL area at Lower Matecumbe Key, at MM 73, Oceanside Anne's beach is more pet friendly.
You'll find that there are few Upper Keys beaches that allow dogs, but at Anne's Beach, as long as they're kept on leash, it's fine. This makes an extra special day for Fido or Fidette because they can come along for a change.
Sign At Anne's Beach
Boardwalk At Anne's Beach
Named in honor of Anne Eaton, a local environmentalist, this Monroe County beach is narrower, natural and right off US Highway 1.
This Islamorada beach is often considered a stopping off place for a picnic before continuing on elsewhere. However, it's actually quite a nice Florida Keys park, and should be considered a destination beach for a relaxing day of outdoor Florida things to do.
A variety of activities can be enjoyed at Anne's Beach including kiteboarding, paddleboarding, snorkeling, swimming, nude bathing and sunbathing, picnicking, wildlife watching, reading and playing with Fido and Fidette.
Secluded Private Beach Areas
High Tide At Anne's Beach
Anne's Beach has 2 smaller parking areas, which are free. They're located at each end of the Park, and are connected by a boardwalk. You can play on the Florida Keys beach near the parking lots, or venture further down the boardwalk and look for a more secluded spot.
This Park is officially considered a nude beach, but it's not often used for this purpose. However, if you're strolling down the boardwalk looking for a special spot to spend the day, keep this nude beach fact in mind so you're not surprised.
Anne's Beach And Boardwalk In Islamorada
Photo Courtesy of Teresa Smith
At Anne's Beach, the boardwalk winds its way through the mangroves which parallel the narrow beach. You'll find that this very natural, unmanicured setting is typical of most Upper Keys beaches.
The dense layer of mangroves and trees trim out the small narrow strip of beach and boardwalk, creating a secluded and relaxing environment. This vegetation means you'll have a chance to sunbathe in private, but when you need to get cool, you can easily find shade up by the mangroves.
Not everyone however is inclined to sunbathe in the nude. If you're like the majority of the population, you'll feel more relaxed wearing a comfortable, yet stylish bathing suit.
The Florida Keys is literally surrounded by water with water related activities being a huge part of any Florida Keys vacation. This means you'll definitely need to have a bathing suit you can wear wherever you go, and a wrap to cover up when you're not at the beach or in the water.
Another great feature of Anne's Beach is that the clear water is shallow for a long way out - at least several hundred feet. This is due to the offshore coral reef, so it's a great place to take the children wading.
Other amenities at Anne's Beach include covered picnic tables so you can pack a lunch for the family and relax in the shade overlooking the water. There are also restrooms and showers.
This is also a good wildlife viewing destination as the mangroves and trees are home to a variety of birds and other Florida wildlife. Plus whether you're wading or relaxing on shore, you can catch glimpses of fish and other sea life living in the clear water.
Anne's Beach hours of operation are dawn to dusk and there is no admittance fee.
Tea Table Fill
At MM 79, Bayside, in the Islamorada FL area, this is one of the more unusual Upper Keys beaches located along the roadside. Man made, there are picnic tables, shade, and the benefit of easy access to the spectacular Gulf water.
Located on tiny Tea Table Key, you'll also find that just past the Tea Table Bridge, this is a great spot for deep water swimming, Florida Keys snorkeling or even novice diving.
Clear Multi-Hued Water
This is a true treat, as usually the water at the local Florida beaches are just knee deep wading until you get further out. There's also a public boat ramp and a bike path so you can make a great day Florida Keys fishing, biking and playing in the water on this tiny Florida Key.
The Upper Keys beaches include a variety of Florida Keys activities for the whole family. Just don't forget your aqua shoes and sunscreen!
Sun Rising Over the Water
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Cory McDonald
After spending time playing on these Florida beaches, you'll want to head down to the Marathon Key beaches
the Lower Keys beaches,
and of course the great Key West beaches
for even more Florida Keys vacation fun!