+1 305 988 1179 CasualMondayCharters@gmail.com
Out at the Sandbar in Key West

A Guide to Sandbar Hopping Key West​

A Guide to Sandbar Hopping Key West

Think sandbars are just underwater obstacles for drunk boaters? Think again! Sandbars are the real beaches of the Florida Keys. They’re where the water is clear, the swimming is legendary, and the White Claws taste best. Don’t believe us? Join us for a tour of the best Key West sandbars—and a look at why no trip to the Keys is complete without hopping aboard one of our private Key West sandbar charters.

What is the Most Beautiful Beach in Key West?

“Which way to the beach,” asks every new arrival in the Keys. It’s a tropical island, so it must have a spectacular beach, right? Sadly, I’m sad to tell you the sad news. The Florida Keys—as gorgeous as they are— are low-lying limestone islets lined with mangroves. Translation: You’ll see tons of wildlife, invaluable seagrass meadows hosting robust ecosystems, great fishing, and basically no beaches. You will find a few pretty sandy beaches in the Keys. Higgs Beach and Smathers Beach are Key West spots that you’ll want to check out. Both are on the Atlantic side of the island, and both are popular spots for sunbathing and hanging out. But don’t believe some of the photos you see—these aren’t the best beaches in the Florida Keys. All of the beaches on the island are right off the highway, have few trees and are often covered in funky washed-up seaweed. It’s pretty, it’s authentic, it’s free— but you can do better. The ‘Gram-worthy places are a bit harder to get to.

Jewfish Basin Sandbar

What is the Most Beautiful Beach in Key West?

“Which way to the beach,” asks every new arrival in the Keys. It’s a tropical island, so it must have a spectacular beach, right? Sadly, I’m sad to tell you the sad news. The Florida Keys—as gorgeous as they are— are low-lying limestone islets lined with mangroves. Translation: You’ll see tons of wildlife, invaluable seagrass meadows hosting robust ecosystems, great fishing, and basically no beaches. You will find a few pretty sandy beaches in the Keys. Higgs Beach and Smathers Beach are Key West spots that you’ll want to check out. Both are on the Atlantic side of the island, and both are popular spots for sunbathing and hanging out. But don’t believe some of the photos you see—these aren’t the best beaches in the Florida Keys. All of the beaches on the island are right off the highway, have few trees and are often covered in funky washed-up seaweed. It’s pretty, it’s authentic, it’s free— but you can do better. The ‘Gram-worthy places are a bit harder to get to.

eco tour charters key west

The Local’s Beach—A Key West Sandbar Party!

There is one element that separates the casual Key’s tourist‘s experience from that of the locals. The locals own—or have friends that own–small boats. The Keys are and always have been connected to the water. Driving down US 1 is pretty—with ocean views from 42 different bridges on the Overseas Highway. But boating in the Keys is nothing short of spectacular. It’s a boat that gets you out to one of America’s only living coral reefs. And it’s a boat that will take you to the best beaches in Key West. You see, in the Keys, our best beaches are not along the highway. They’re out on the water. They’re giant sandbars, covered by a few inches to a few feet of water. They’re away from town and in the clear and clean water of the Gulf. It’s at these watery meet-up spots where you’ll see dozens of boats anchored at low tide. People enjoying the scenery, enjoying the company, enjoying the water, enjoying the sun—enjoying the Keys lifestyle

Where are the Sandbars in Key West?

None of the best sandbars are near town—they all require a few miles’ boat trip. Most of the trips take you away from the highway, away from the traffic, and away from the crowds.

Snipes Point

Located on the Gulf-side of the Keys and about nine miles northeast of town, Snipes Point is one of the loveliest sandbars you’ll find anywhere. The land here isn’t connected to any road, and the only people you’ll see got here by boat. There is a swing made from old lobster traps, and it’s the party hotspot on busy days. It’s located deep inside the Great White Heron National Wildlife Sanctuary. It’s remote, it’s beautiful, it’s a party—it’s basically everything you asked for.

Jewfish Basin

Want to have your own little Bahamas or Caribbean getaway? You’ll want to check out the gin-clear water and white sand in Jewfish Basin. At high tide, you’d probably miss the place. But at low tide, there are miles of sandbars just a few inches deep. It’s the perfect place to wade through the water, look for starfish on the bottom, and watch the occasional stingray swim by.

Marvin Key

Marvin Key is a tiny island just northwest of the Snipe Keys in the Gulf. It’s perfect for exploring, with shallow waters all around. The area has tons of places to beach the boat —so if you’re looking for a quiet place to wander around all alone or a bustling Key West sandbar party—we can find it for you any day of the week.

Boca Grande


Everyone knows that the Keys end at Key West, right? Newsflash—that’s only what people limited by automobiles think! The Keys continue, but the road does not. About 14 miles west of Key West is Boca Grande, a beautiful and secluded spot in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. It’s got a big beach with plenty of privacy and lots of space to explore. Next to Boca Grande is Woman Key, with some equally pretty beaches and even more options for beach-combing.

Low Tide at The Sandbar

How Do I Get to the Key West Sandbars?

So how do you get a taste of the Key West sandbar experience for yourself? The journey is almost as fun as the destination. The best Florida Keys sandbars are found on the bayside of the island. With a small boat or on a Key West sandbar charter, you’ll head out through channels that only locals know about. As the boat flies across shallow, clear water only a few inches deep, your route is marked by nothing but PVC stakes and the occasional (and somewhat out-of- place) orange traffic cone. Sidebar—there are some back-country boat channels in the Keys marked with old toilet seats. So a traffic cone is actually pretty top-shelf! The trip is a wild one if you’ve never done it before. Thankfully, if you’re aboard one of the best Key West sandbar charters, you can let a local pro like Captain Zak do all the driving. Once you’re there, it’s sandbar party time. Sip a cool beverage, wade through the warm and clear water, look for dolphins, or just float with your toes touching the sand. Now you’re living like a Keys local.

Comments are closed.

Book Now