The largest of Key West’s public beaches, Smathers Beach fills up with a sun-loving crowd in fine weather. Stands along the beach rent out kayaks, sailboats, paddleboards, umbrellas, and chairs, or you can book a parasailing experience to soar above the crystal-clear water here. It’s just as beautiful from above, and many Key West scenic flights give aerial views of Smathers Beach’s pristine sand.
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Things to Know Before You Go
- There is free parking at Smathers Beach.
- Shower facilities and restrooms are on site.
- Smathers Beach is a popular destination for Spring Break, when the shore fills with a young, energetic crowd.
How to Get There
Stretching along Route A1A, also called South Roosevelt Boulevard, Smathers Beach is just a few miles away from downtown Key West. Parking is free, but limited. To avoid the hassles of driving and parking in the crowded streets, consider hop-on, hop-off tours or a trolley tour; many operators have a stop at Smathers Beach.
When to Get There
Key West enjoys year-round beach weather, with balmy temperatures even in the middle of winter. Both sunrise and sunset are lovely here; photographers should make a point of visiting during uncrowded early hours. Spring Break in Key West stretches from late February through early April, with the most partying in the month of March.
Where to Watch Sunset in Key West Mallory Square might have Key West’s biggest sunset party, but there are plenty of places to catch evening light here if you want to avoid crowds—Smathers Beach is a great place to start. Other options include sunset cruises that take off daily from the waterfront, or you can catch gorgeous views from Sunset Pier, the Key West Harbor Docks, Fort Zachary Taylor, White Street Pier, and The Bight.
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- Key West Garden Club
- Vandenberg Wreck
- Edward B. Knight Pier
- Basilica of Saint Mary Star of the Sea
- Key West Cemetery
- Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
- Southernmost Point of the Continental USA
- Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
- Key West Lighthouse and Keeper's Quarters Museum
- Duval Street
- Key West Cruise Port
- St. Paul's Key West Episcopal Church
- Hard Rock Cafe Key West
- Fort Zachary Taylor
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Key West Museum