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How To Access The Best Beaches In Key West

Your Guide To Finding The Best Key West Beaches.

Close your eyes and picture Key West, Florida. Even if you’ve never been there before, what do you imagine the island city to look like? If you’re dreaming about teal blue water, swaying green palm trees, bright orange sunsets, and soft white sand beaches then, you’re almost right!

The natural beaches in Key West are mostly coral rock so it's different from what most folks picture when they think of a traditional beach. But as locals, we know how to access the other best beaches in Key West. The ones from your daydream with the soft white sand and the teal blue water. Let us explain.

What's the difference between a coral rock beach versus a traditional sandy beach?

key west beach
A Key West beach

The lack of soft, white sand shoreline in Key West is the result of a beautiful live coral reef that extends from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas National Park. The coral reef prevents natural beach formation because the waves don’t crash onshore as you might see in Miami beach. The coral reef also affects the quality of the sand — which is a bit abrasive and somewhat sharp due to coral particles.

Does Key West have swimmable beaches?