What took me so long? Like a lot of visitors, I had overlooked Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park on my visits to Key West because it is tucked away out of site. But the historic fort and great beach are worth discovering.
Beaches in Florida
One of our favorite stops on the drive down the Florida Keys — Anne’s Beach in Islamorada — has re-opened two years after it was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Located at mile marker 73.5, Anne’s Beach is a rare thing in the Florida Keys – a natural sandy beach. And it’s free.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is a great destination: You can enjoy so many activities in one place – kayaking, surf-fishing & a one-mile-long powdery-white sand beach with shaded picnic tables nearby.
Honeymoon Island is an unusual combo: It’s accessible, with first-rate concessions, and yet it’s a big, natural beach where you can get away from people and see wildlife. And you have to love how it got its name.
This wild island on the Gulf coast is never crowded — it’s too hard to get there. For those who drive to Pineland on Pine Island and then take the hour-long ferry to the state park, the rewards are many: Nine miles of perfect beaches, shaded jungle-like trails and wildlife that includes osprey nests, dolphins, stringrays and all sorts of bird and sea life.
With the best beach in the Florida Keys, Bahia Honda is a popular stop. But don’t miss the real star — the historic bridge. The park is also tops for camping and its cabins, though you have to plan way way ahead for that.
The beach town of Marco Island is all manicured and modern, but here are four adventures into the wild and authentic Florida that are within a quick drive. You can wade across a lagoon to a wild beach or have lunch in a funky fishing town or stroll on a boardwalk into a beautiful old growth cypress swamp.
Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.
This beach occupies one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast, and its a place for finding shells, sand dollars, gopher tortoises and, best of all, unadorned natural beauty.
People and birds alike enjoy the beautiful beaches and sandbars plus the pristine mangrove creeks at Bunche Beach. There are several routes for kayakers or it’s a great place for just combing the beach and enjoying the wildlife.