John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park picture
Bob Care/Florida Keys News Bureau

Key Info

102601 Overseas Hwy

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours, Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park1 of 13
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#1 Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

For the cleanest beach and best waters in Key West, you should head for the westernmost point of the island to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park. There, you can sunbathe, hike, bike, fish and get a dose of history all in one place. Recent visitors favor this shoreline over Smathers Beach (the water is clearer, making it an ideal snorkeling spot), but travelers also warn that the sand is not soft and that beach shoes are needed to traverse the rocky terrain safely. While the beach might not be as powdery soft as some other Florida beaches, it does offer some great snorkeling opportunities, according to recent visitors. Along with your snorkel gear, pack some grilling food and charcoal: This beach has plenty of barbecue grills and rental equipment.

If you get tired of hanging out beachside, stop by the historic fort located within the park. The fort was built in mid-1800s and was used during the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Guided tours are offered twice a day.

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