Top 6 Key Largo Beaches, FL: Discover the Best Public and Private Shores


Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys, presents a treasure trove of coastal wonders with its array of Key Largo beaches. From the sun-drenched shores of popular public beaches to the exclusive sanctuaries of private retreats, Key Largo’s beaches offer an unmatched variety.

But what makes the beaches in Key Largo truly special? Is it the serene embrace of the crystal-clear waters, the soft whisper of the palm trees, or the allure of hidden coves waiting to be discovered?

Dive into this guide to uncover the beauty, mystery, and charm of Key Largo’s beaches – a journey that promises to leave you enchanted and longing for more.

Imagine a tranquil escape nestled in the heart of Florida’s Key Largo, where mangroves stand tall, offering a unique coastal experience unlike the typical sandy beaches we often dream of. My journey through Key Largo was an eye-opener to the beauty and serenity hidden within these mangrove-blanketed shores.

Best Public Key Largo Beaches

Far Beach

Tucked away in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Far Beach is a serene haven that captivated my heart. The modest $5 entry fee is a small price for the tranquility that awaits. Here, two distinct beaches, each cradled by protective buoys and embraced by a wall of lush mangroves, offer a refuge for those seeking peace and quiet.

The journey to Far Beach is an experience in itself. The park sits on Largo Sound, a calm bay bordered by mangroves, with only a slender channel connecting it to the Atlantic Ocean.

Key Largo Beaches Places To Swim

This unique geography makes it ideal for gentle water activities like rock skipping or floating. As I strolled along the wraparound beach, split by a stunning mangrove barrier, I was struck by the thoughtful design that seamlessly blends nature with accessibility.

The beach’s sandy shores, sprinkled with mangrove pods and seagrass, invite visitors to wade into the shallow waters.

The surprise, however, lies in the unexpectedly chilly touch of the water, a refreshing contrast to the warm Florida sun. Walking further into the shallows, the sandy mud beneath my feet felt like a soft, natural carpet, adding to the beach’s unique charm.

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach, located in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, is a family-oriented beach that balances the natural charm of Key Largo with accessible amenities. The beach’s name, inspired by the 17th-century cannons that adorn its shores, adds a touch of historical intrigue to the scenic landscape.

As I stepped onto Cannon Beach, the difference from Far Beach was immediately noticeable. The beach is larger, catering to families and groups with its expansive space.

Best Key Largo Beaches In United States

The water access here is excellent, inviting visitors to splash and play. The area is dotted with sharp pebbles, but a sandy section to the right offers a perfect spot for building sandcastles and enjoying the gentle ripples of the water.

The beach’s design thoughtfully incorporates the surrounding mangroves, with strategically placed rocks creating a natural barrier on one side.

On the other, the beach opens up, offering a sense of freedom and space, a stark contrast to the more secluded Far Beach. This openness, combined with the inviting swim zone free of mangrove patches, makes Cannon Beach ideal for those seeking a more traditional beach experience.

What I particularly enjoyed about Cannon Beach was its versatility. The small trees lining the shore are not just for shade but also provide an opportunity for a playful climb.

Harry Harris Park

Harry Harris Park, in contrast, offers a more diverse experience. As I anchored at Tavernier Key and ventured ashore, I found the beach split by a public boat ramp, creating two distinct areas.

The side near the ramp, with its pebbly terrain and boat traffic, is less suited for swimming but offers a unique short hiking experience along the shore. The paved jetty, extending into the ocean, provides stunning views of the mangrove islands and the coast, making it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts.

Swimming At Key Largo Beaches Shores

The other side of the ramp reveals a beach perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The fine, clean sand gently slopes into a designated swim area, enclosed by a beautiful breakwater.

This creates a serene tidal pool, safe from large sea creatures, ideal for families with children. The concrete path along the breakwater offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the park, presenting numerous photo opportunities.

The beach attracts families due to its safe swimming area and park amenities, yet it’s spacious enough for all visitors to enjoy a variety of activities, from picnicking to watching boats at the ramp.

Rowell Park

During my exploration of Key Largo beaches, I almost missed the hidden treasure of Rowell Park. Tucked away and easy to overlook, this beach is a serene gem that offers a unique experience, different from the more popular spots on the island.

Rowell Park is not just a beach; it’s a haven for those who appreciate the quieter side of coastal life. As the launching point for the Key Largo Sailing Club, it’s a place where the excitement of sailing meets the tranquility of the sea. The park greets visitors with a lush green lawn, a refreshing change from the typical sandy beach entry.

Best Key Largo Beaches In Florida

The beach itself is a marvel of design, with a concrete breakwater that serves both as an erosion barrier and an entrance to the tidal pool. This pool, deep and well-sized, is ideal for those who enjoy swimming laps in a more controlled environment. The swim ladders conveniently located along the breakwater make access to the water effortless.

Rowell Park’s standout feature is its peace and quiet. It’s one of Key Largo beaches, which I discovered during a Google search.

This relative obscurity means that the beach is often quiet, frequented by a few locals or visitors seeking a tranquil retreat. The elderly individuals I saw there seemed completely absorbed in the breathtaking views, a testament to the beach’s serene atmosphere.

Rowell Park is not your typical beach destination. There are no picnic tables or crowded sandy shores. Instead, visitors will find a scattering of trees providing sparse shade. It’s a place that encourages simplicity – bring a chair, or just sit on the concrete wall, dangling your legs into the cool water.

Key Largo’s Private Beaches

Key Largo, a jewel in the string of the Florida Keys, offers an array of private beaches tied to various resorts, each providing an exclusive and luxurious seaside experience. These private shores offer not just seclusion but also a suite of amenities that enhance the tropical beach experience.

Rock Reef Resort

My journey brought me to the Rock Reef Resort, an exclusive destination that promises its guests a private and serene beach experience. The resort’s beach is a picturesque sandy peninsula, offering stunning views of a bay encased by mangroves. This setting is perfect for those seeking both beauty and tranquility.

The resort’s layout is thoughtfully designed, with docks on one side and a sandy boat launch on the other, catering to various aquatic interests. The gazebo at the end of the peninsula, equipped with picnic tables, is an idyllic spot for enjoying the ocean breeze and the panoramic vista.

Bayside Cottages

Another gem I discovered was Bayside Cottages, located on the more serene bay side of Key Largo. This property enchants with its tropical décor and unique beach structure.

Unlike traditional Key Largo beaches, Bayside Cottages boasts two sandy peninsulas that create a stunning, protected swim area. These peninsulas, reinforced by a seawall, offer sturdy grounds akin to docks, allowing guests to walk out over the water or relax in beach chairs at their tips.

The resort’s design is ideal for water sports enthusiasts. The created tidal pool is perfect for launching kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, providing a safe starting point for exploring the bay. The proximity to mangroves and moored sailboats adds to the allure, inviting guests to discover the natural beauty and tranquility of the area.


Key Largo beaches, a blend of public and private paradises, offer an array of experiences for every beach enthusiast. From the bustling energy of popular spots to the tranquil retreats of private shores, these beaches encapsulate the best of Key Largo’s coastal charm.