On the southern end of Key West, facing the Atlantic side, you’ll find one of the area’s most inviting public beaches: Higgs Beach. The public park welcomes visitors with its imported white sand and clear and relatively clean waters. Higgs Beach draws a crowd with its staggering array of activities and things to see.
While most come for the soft sand and sun, the beach itself has a lot more than just a spot to dip your toes in the Atlantic. There is a Civil War-era fort under the national registry of historic places, and Higgs Beach is one of the few spots you can gain access to a dazzling underwater marine park.
Swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, volleyball, paddlesports like kayaking and paddleboarding, tennis, pickleball, sightseeing, and much more in the recreation area attached to the park.
Snorkeling is a fantastic activity to enjoy here. While you can expect some amazing access to clear water in a lot of beaches in the Florida Keys, Higgs Beach offers a one of a kind experience with views of Key West Marine Park.
This area transports you into a beautiful underwater world with over 40-acres of diverse ecological landscapes. Check out multiple types of coral, seagrass beds, and a wide variety of aquatic life.
There is also a dog park located on-site that features both a large and small dog enclosure. This area is used quite a bit so expect your pup to find plenty of other dogs to run around with.
While the water at this beach tends to be shallow, there is a spot called “the well” that features deeper water swimming.
There are bathrooms, a kid’s playground, a concession stand, restaurants in the area, outdoor showers, sunbeds, picnic areas, and plenty of places to rent beach gear like chairs and umbrellas.
The concessions stand beachside is more than just typical beach grub. The cafe features Caribbean inspired fresh and local dishes prepared in an exquisite dining environment.
The iconic West Martello Tower features one of South Florida’s oldest garden clubs, The Key West Garden Club. Admission is free, and you can explore the expansive gardens with unique exotic plant species and a butterfly garden.
There is also a bike and pedestrian-friendly pier in the park. The Edward B. Knight Fishing Pier extends out into the Atlantic and can offer some fantastic sunrise views over the calm blue waters.
For a classic Key, West photo, make sure you take some time to visit the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S. This colorful monument marks the farthest southern point and is around 90 miles from Cuba.
The beach is also home to one of the largest African Refugee Burial Grounds in the nation.
There is also the U.S’s largest AIDS memorials at Higgs Beach.
Address: 1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040