Key West’s manmade strand, built with sand brought in from the Bahamas in 1961, offers a rare stretch of white sand among the Keys’ otherwise-rocky shores. The vibe of downtown Duval Street extends to this beach, where the people-watching and socializing are just as important as the sun and waves. Beach volleyball and parasailing are also popular activities on Smathers, where the water has a year-round average temperature of 79 degrees.
Smathers Beach is definitely the longest stretch of white sand beach in Key West. It runs along Roosevelt Boulevard for the better part of a mile. Conveniently located across the street is the Sheraton Suites Hotel. Curbside meters on Roosevelt Blvd. assure a continuous supply of money to the city from parking revenues, one quarter at at time. This beach has everything but lifeguards. Vendors with vans pull up to the curb selling food and drink and there are vendors on the beach renting kayaks and beach equipment.
A steady procession of people parades up and down the extra-wide sidewalk that parallels the beach on bikes, skates, and on foot. The beach itself is fairly wide with excellent white sand, lush coconut palms, and shallow water that is great for swimming and basic snorkeling. There are public restrooms and showers to rinse off. Above: A wide sidewalk and metered parking runs the length of Smathers Beach.
Dogs allowed: No pets allowed on the beach.
Alcohol allowed: No alcoholic beverages allowed on the beach.
Lifeguards present: No.
Shell collecting: No collecting of Queen conchs or Bahama Sea Stars.
Smathers Beach is named for George A. Smathers a former senator who served Florida for eighteen years in Congress.
Source: Smathers Beach, Key West.
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