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Lower Keys Beaches Include Bahia Honda State Park And Dry Tortugas

The Lower Keys beaches are next before heading to the great beaches in Key West.

This section of the Florida Keys contains some of the more popular tourist destinations.

Here you'll find Big Pine Key, Little Torch Key, Ramrod Key, Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key and Sugarloaf Key.

This area is unique in that you have the largest concentration of the best beaches in Florida Keys.

You also have 5 popular spots right in Key West, which is the true action center for the Lower Florida Keys.

Since there are five very good beaches in Key West, we've separated these beaches from the Lower Keys, so it's more readable for you.

Morning Dawns over Lower Keys Beaches Famous for Their Beauty

Lower Keys Beaches Like Bahia Honda Are Famous For Their Beauty
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection

Veterans Memorial Park

On Little Duck Key, MM 40, just south of the 7 Mile Bridge and before Bahia Honda State Park is Veterans Memorial Park.

This is a nice, if not narrow Florida Keys beach, and pets are allowed on leash. Veterans Memorial Park, which was originally called Duck Key County Park, also has restrooms and picnic facilities.

Picnic Area And Beach At Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Memorial Park is open dawn to dusk and has no admittance fee.

Bahia Honda State Park

Big Pine Key - Oceanside - MM 37
. Sandspur Beach
. Loggerhead Beach
. Calusa Beach

Site of the best Lower Keys beaches, the 500 acres of Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key is only 12 miles south of Marathon Key and 37 miles from Key West FL.

Entrance Sign At Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key

Entrance To Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key

Famous for its 3 beaches, Bahia Honda State Park is one of the best places to go Florida Keys snorkeling and beach combing. Just don't forget to bring your snorkeling gear with you.

Bahia Honda also operates as a State Park, so there's a day use fee, and a camping fee.

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Sandspur Beach at Bahia Honda

Sandspur Beach is without a doubt the most spectacular of the beaches at Bahia Honda State Park. A mile long ocean side beach - it's considered by experts to be one of America's best beaches and is a world top contender.

With the coral reef offshore protecting the shoreline, there is little to no wave action, unless the wind is strong. The wind however can also bring in the seaweed, which especially in the summer months can be somewhat of a problem - visually and otherwise.

That however doesn't seem to matter when you get a chance to feel the delicious soft sand scrunching between your toes as you play on the beach. Or as you gaze upon the endless shades of aquamarine, turquoise and blue that stretch beyond your imagination.

Sandspur beach also has a gentle sloping drop off, making this another great Florida beach for children. The water is warm all year making it a great destination especially if your Florida Keys vacation is in the winter months.

Sandspur Beach at Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key

Sandspur Beach At Bahia Honda State Park On Big Pine Key
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection

Lining the back of the beach are coconut palms, sea grapes, and all manner of other dense vegetation. You can grab some shade near the edge of this dense mass, stretch out on a soft beach towel and catch some sun, or just play in the warm, tropical water.

Loggerhead Beach at Bahia Honda

Adjacent to Henry Flagler Railroad Bridge, Oceanside, and just a bit further down from Sandspur Beach is Loggerhead, sometimes called the Oceanside Beach.

Loggerhead Beach is a great Florida snorkeling destination as there's a tiny rocky island with a few trees on it, not far from shore. You can kayak or boat out to the island, then snorkel around the water looking at a variety of marine life.

The sand bar not far from shore is a great place to go when the tide is out. You can search for shells and other interesting finds such as sea glass plus you'll have an excellent view of the old bridge.

Spectacular Rainbow Colored Sunset at Bahia Honda State Park

Rainbow Colored Sunset at Bahia Honda State Park
Photo Courtesy of

Calusa Beach at Bahia Honda

Near the Bahia Honda Bridge, Calusa Beach is on the Gulf side. It's sometimes called the Bayside Beach, and is at the southern end of the Bahia Honda Park.

Being on the west side, the land protects it from the sometimes strong Atlantic winds. This means the water is calmer and typically you'll encounter less seaweed which can occasionally be a problem at Sandspur and Loggerhead Beaches.

Among the different Lower Keys beaches, Calusa Beach is a popular family beach as it's protected from the wind. If you're traveling with children, make sure you've brought beach toys and other items such as water wings with you so they'll have fun, stay busy and keep safe.

There's also parking close by and the nature center is fun for the kids. It also has more facilities, with covered picnic pavilions and grills, restrooms, showers, a marina, even a dive shop.

While at Calusa Beach, you'll want to take a leisurely stroll on a restored section of the old Flagler bridge. From here you'll enjoy the warm ocean breeze along with the incredible turquoise vista that surrounds you.

Bahia Honda State Park is open 365 days a year from 8:00 to dusk. There is a nominal entrance fee and camping at Bahia Honda State Park is also available.

Calusa Beach at Bahia Honda State Park

Family Friendly Calusa Beach At Bahia Honda State Park

Dry Tortugas National Park

Located 68 nautical miles southwest of Key West Florida, these are the last of the Lower Keys beaches.

The Dry Tortugas beach on Garden Key is a great place to spend the day after visiting Fort Jefferson. The water around the Garden Key and the Dry Tortugas is absolutely amazing, so you'll want to include Florida Keys snorkeling in your Florida Keys vacation plans.

You can only access the Dry Tortugas by seaplane or ferry, so this is not a place you can plan on going for just a few hours.

A trip out to Dry Tortugas National Park is a full day event. If you want to stay overnight, which you can in designated camping areas, you'll have to remember to bring plenty of camping supplies. The Dry Tortugas also have no fresh water, stores or public telephones.

There's an entrance fee charged for admittance to the park, plus your fee of getting there by seaplane, private boat or ferry. There's also a nominal camping charge should you decide to stay over at this ultra primitive camping facility.

Looking over Moat to Dry Tortugas Garden Key Beach

Looking Over Moat To Dry Tortugas National Park Beach
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, Dale M. McDonald Collection

Before arriving in the Lower Florida Keys, you had a chance to explore the Upper Keys, and Middle Keys beaches.

The Lower Keys beaches really are the icing on the cake when it comes to Florida Keys beaches. If you go to one or even all of these great spots, the memories you'll take home with you will be cherished forever.

Nothing is quite like spending a day at a tropical Florida beach, soaking in the sun, staring out at crystal waters, the shades only an artist could possibly create.

However, the fun isn't over yet. Now it's time to head off to the wonderful beaches in Key West.

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Local Weather Zip Codes

Key Largo - 33037
Marathon - 33050
Key West - 33040