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Woman Key

Exploring Woman Key Sandbar

By now, you know that Key West, Florida, has some of the most amazing sandy beaches in the United States. But if you drive down US 1, you won’t find them—we keep our beaches hidden! Sandbar trips to the shallow waters, little keys, and mangrove islands are the only way to find them. 

Here’s a look at one of our favorite Key West sandbar expeditions—Woman Key. 

Woman Key Sandbar

Where Is Woman Key?

You might not realize this, but Key West is not the end of the Florida Keys. While the Overseas Highway ends at MM 0, the islands keep going farther west. You can see some of them on the horizon while watching the sunset at Mallory Square. 

If you get on a boat—and you should get on a boat when you visit Key West—you can cross Key West Harbor and explore some of those little islands.

The first group of islands is known as the Marquesas Keys. For the most part, these islands are uninhabited mangrove keys separated from one another with winding, wild, and crazy shallow water channels.

The flats between these channels dry out at low tide to reveal some truly epic sandbars. 

Woman Key is just one of those spots. It’s about ten miles west of Key West and about two miles southeast of the Boca Grande sandbar. Both of these spots are popular with Key West sandbar charters, and since they’re right next to each other many times, you might be able to visit both on one trip.

Snorkeling at the Sandbar

What's the Woman Key Sandbar Like?

If you’ve never been to any of the incredible sandbars in Key West, you’re in for a treat. Sandbars are idyllic beaches that only appear at low tide. Some parts of the sandbar are completely exposed, while others lie under a few inches of water.

You can wander all day on the sandbar and find all kinds of cool stuff. The sandbar at Woman Key is known for having a lot of Queen Conch, the giant snail for which the Conch Republic is named. The conch are protected, however, so you can’t take any conch home with you for fritters! 


Dolphins at Woman Key

You’ll also likely see lot of other marine animals on a Key West sandbar charter. Things like stingrays gliding over the sand flats and probably some tropical fish, too. It’s not uncommon to see tarpon and bonefish out here, and the flats are also popular with fly fishermen. Up above, we always see tons of osprey and frigatebirds soaring. And the occasional visit by a dolphin or shark can’t be ruled out!

Woman Key is a protected part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In fact, a zone of beach on Woman Key is closed to the public to protect nesting birds. It’s only a small area on the southeast corner, so there are plenty of other areas to explore. 

Woman Key Couple

Other Great Key West Sandbar Trips

Snipe Point

Snipe Key is another popular sandbar charter destination. Unlike Woman Key and Boca Grande, Snipes is northeast of Key West in an area the locals call the backcountry. Your charter captain will wind their way through shallow waters and mangrove islands to get there. Getting to Snipes Point is half the fun.

Higgs and Smathers Beach

Both Higgs and Smathers Beaches are popular spots on the island of Key West if you’re not up for charting a sandbar trip. They get busy on nice weekends, but they’re great options for a quick stop or for a stroll down by the water.

Fort Zachary Taylor

Fort Zach is a Civil War fort right here on Key West, so you don’t have to take a boat ride. The beach at Fort Zach is one of the nicest in town well worth the admission fee (a few dollars) into the state park.

Fort Jefferson and Dry Tortugas National Park

 You can only get to the Dry Tortugas on the park ferry or by seaplane. It’s quite a trek to get there—these islands are 70 miles west of Key West and are the literal end of the Florida Keys. They’re about as isolated as you can get while still being in Florida. 

The sandbars and beaches at Fort Jefferson are about as beautiful as you can find. With the Civil War fort as a backdrop, every scene is picture-perfect.

Postcards From the Beach Woman Key West

Here are some pictures from our sandbar charters to Woman Key.

Ready to Go?
Book Your Woman Key West Sandbar Charter Today

When you’re ready to head out, call Captain Zak and make a plan to get out there! 

Depending on the weather, not all sandbar charters visit Woman Key. But the captain’s in charge, and he knows where the best spots are. Tell him what you’re looking for, bring sunblock, and hold on for the ride!

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