Accessible only by boat or seaplane, Boca Grande Key is a small 180 acre uninhabited island that sits roughly 14 miles west of Stock Island Marina Village in Key West. Located within the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, Boca Grande Key is inside of what is known as the Mule Keys, made up of 13 small and mostly uninhabited islands. The exception to this is Ballast Key, which is privately owned by a local real estate developer.
JOURNEY TO BOCA GRANDE KEY
We recommend your bareboat charter journey to Boca Grande Key begin during the morning hours as you'll be able to enjoy a leisurely Key West sunrise while sipping on some morning coffee or tea. If the wind is coming from the north you'll find your first few sailing hours to have generally calm waters as Stock Island Marina sits south of Key West, which means wind is mostly blocked by the island. This steady northerly wind (or no wind at all) offers an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy some morning yoga on deck, which many of our guests rave about! If your morning starts off with a brisk southerly wind, though, don't worry you'll still enjoy some incredible time sailing at speeds of 7.5 knots or more!
As your yacht departs the marina channel and heads west toward Boca Grande Key you'll see several points of interest off your starboard side (right side of the boat when facing forward). Within minutes you'll see airplanes landing and departing from Key West International Airport and the nearby Key West Naval Air Station. The rumbling of aircraft engines will quickly fade into the background as you pass Smathers Beach, a very popular spring break destination where you'll find jet ski rentals, windsurfing, volleyball and more. Within a few miles your bareboat charter yacht will pass Edward B. Knight Pier, one of the most well-known spots on the island to check out those famous Key West sunsets people always talk about. If you have time while in Key West this pier is a must-visit, especially since it's typically free from the cruise ship crowds that generally occupy the island's other well-known sunset spot, Mallory Square. As you approach the western-most side of the island you'll come upon Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Florida's southernmost state park and home to a number of trails, secluded beach spots for a romantic afternoon, paddleball and volleyball, snorkeling areas as well as a mid-1800's fort originally built to defend the U.S. coastline. Keep a close eye out as you head west from here because the primary cruise ship channel into and out of Key West passes just to the west of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.
Within a few hours your charter yacht will make its way toward Woman Key followed shortly by your ultimate destination, Boca Grande Key. We highly recommend dropping your sails and motoring through the heavy current of the Boca Grande Channel and anchoring at either the Mullet Banks Anchorage or on the north side of the island at the Boca Grande Anchorage.
Once your bareboat yacht is safely anchored, enjoy the rest of your day partaking in a number of relaxing, fun, and romantic activities that Boca Grande Key offers:
Paddle board or kayak through mother nature's mangrove forest and natural tunnels
Take some beach umbrellas and relax for hours to the sound of the heavy currents of the Boca Grande Channel
With proper permitting you can partake in a lobster hunt and underwater shelling
Enjoy a romantic stroll on pristine beaches along the west and southwest side of Boca Granda Key
With water depths typically ranging from 3 - 10 feet, Boca Grande Key and Woman Key offer some of the most remarkable coral reef gardens and marine life found anywhere in The Florida Keys. Safely enjoy these unique habitats by kayak or stand-up paddle board and feel free to snorkel as well
Most of the year you will find this island is full of beautiful hermit crabs, so get to the races with some old fashioned hermit crab racing but please be mindful of the habitat and do not harm these incredible creatures
With no light pollution to speak of you can enjoy a peaceful or romantic evening under the stars following one of the most sensational sunsets anywhere in the world
Recommended Duration: 8 hours - 1.5 Days
Distance from Stock Island Marina: 14 miles
Activities: Beach relaxation, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, sunset viewing, star gazing, hermit crab racing