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 that there are some terrific beaches in Key Largo and Islamorada to 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 area!
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.
Playing at Anne's Beach Near Islamorada FL
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
In Key Largo at MM 102.5, John Pennekamp State Park includes Cannon Beach and Far Beach
Located near the John Pennekamp Visitors Center,
Cannon Beach gets its name from cannon placed at the 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, or you can snorkel out to it. With the calm waters in the lagoon, even small children are able to enjoy the day, wading and playing.
This 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 spot, Far Beach is more of a place to go and unwind, take a dip in the ocean, and 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.
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 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.
The man made beaches are soft and sandy, and there's even a playground to keep the children busy. The Park's facilities include restrooms, showers, bike path, covered pavilion, picnic tables and BBQ grills, plus there's a fishing jetty and several good boat ramps so it's easy to plan a full day outing while on a Florida Keys vacation.
If you enjoy diving and snorkeling in the Florida Keys, Wilkinson's Point is nearby, This makes Harry Harris a popular park for those who also want to spend some time in the water, snorkeling and Key Largo diving.
Pets are also allowed at the Park but they must be on leash.
Harry Harris Beach Park is open 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 here.
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 which is "Purple Island".
Founder's Park and Beach
At MM 86.5, Bayside, if you're staying in the Islamorada area, this is a really cool park with a ton 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. The Park also has 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 a floatation device, get in the pool, and watch a movie under the stars.
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. Plus adjacent to the beach is a place where you can rent kayaks, and pedal boats.
The park is open 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.
Sun Rising Over the Water
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Cory McDonald
At MM 81.5, Bayside in Islamorada, this is like many of the other Upper Keys beaches near Key Largo in that it's rather small. Nonetheless, this is a great destination spot for the whole family.
Situated directly behind the library, it makes for the perfect outing. Go ahead, grab a book to read to the kids, or savor one just for yourself, then stroll down to the soft sand and have a relaxing read.
This beach is perfect for families with small children as you have the amenity of the library, a playground, bathrooms, BBQ area, plus a nicely maintained grassy area that leads to the small, sandy beach.
Since the beach itself 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. The tide will be coming and going however, 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 later, could become submerged with water.
Located in the Islamorada 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.
Named in honor of Anne Eaton, a local environmentalist, this Monroe County beach is narrower, natural and right off US Highway 1. It's often considered a stopping off place for a picnic before continuing on elsewhere, but it's actually quite a nice park, and should be considered a destination beach.
Anne's Beach has 2 smaller parking areas, which are free. One at each end of the Park, and they're connected by a boardwalk. You can play on the beaches 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 in mind so you're not surprised.
Anne's Beach in Islamorada
Photo Courtesy of Teresa Smith
The boardwalk itself winds its way through the mangroves which parallel the narrow beach. A lot of Upper Keys beaches have these natural settings. At Anne's Beach, with the trees trimming out the beach and the boardwalk, it makes the area even more secluded and relaxing. It also 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.
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. There's also covered picnic tables, so you can pack a lunch and relax in the shade overlooking the water.
The park also has restrooms and showers, and there's also an abundance of birds and other wildlife that hang out in the mangroves.
Anne's Beach is open dawn to dusk and there is no admittance fee.
Tea Table Fill
At MM 79, Bayside, in the Islamorada area, this is one of the more unusual Upper Keys beaches. Located on Tea Table Key, just past the Tea Table Bridge, this is a great spot with deep water swimming, Florida Keys snorkeling or even novice diving.
This is a true treat, as usually the water at the local beaches is 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.
The Upper Keys beaches include a variety of activities for the whole family, just don't forget your aqua shoes and sunscreen.
Of course after spending time playing here, you'll want to head down to the Marathon FL beaches
the Lower Keys beaches,
and of course the great Key West beaches
for even more Florida Keys vacation fun!