As an inveterate beach bum, I have been to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Until last week, had someone asked me to list the top three beaches in the world, I probably would have included West Bay Beach in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; Nungwi Beach on the northern tip of Zanzibar, and Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. But after a visit to Bahia Honda Key, I realized that not only does Bahia Honda State Park have the best beaches in the Florida Keys, they also qualify as some the top beaches in the world.
Bahia Honda contains three separate beaches, each of which is completely different from the others. Calusa Beach is tucked into a gentle cove at the foot of the old Overseas Railway trestle at the southern end of the park. A portion of the old bridge has been maintained as an elevated walkway that offers spectacular views of the beach and inlet. Calusa is popular with families because restrooms, a snack bar, and ample parking are all located adjacent to the crescent.
At Loggerhead Beach, located in the center of the park, a submerged sandbar emerges at low tide. Sunbathers deposit coolers and perch folding chairs on these exposed sand hills and wade far out into the shallow aqua water to search for shells and sea glass.
I was impressed by both Calusa and Loggerhead beaches, but when I drove up to Sandspur Beach on the northern end of the park, I was stunned. Sandspur is achingly beautiful, with pure white sand that ran through my fingers like powdered sugar and crystal clear turquoise waters stretching to the horizon. Sea oats and razor-sharp grasses atop low dunes swayed in the gentle breezes and puffy white clouds scudded across the sky. I cannot imagine a more exquisite beach. Sandspur Beach in Bahia Honda State Park was, hands down, one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.
Sadly, Bahia Honda State Park took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma in 2017. The State of Florida has been repairing the damages since then, and much has been restored. Both Calusa and Loggerhead beaches are open. Camping sites, cabins, concession stands, the dive shop, and boat ramps are all back in operation. The Nature Center operates on a limited basis. However, as of the spring of 2020, Sandspur Beach and camping sites are closed while reconstruction work continues.
The park is located on Bahia Honda Key, 12 miles south of Marathon Key. The entrance is located between Mile Markers 36 and 37, oceanside (as opposed to Gulf side) of U.S. Highway #1. For more information, phone the park at 305-872-2352.
14 thoughts on “Bahia Honda State Park Has the Best Beaches in the Florida Keys”
Hola, curious if this beach is still makes your list of Top Beaches?
stay adventurous, Craig
Hi Craig: I would definitely still include it on my list of the top ten beaches in the world, which is saying something, since I live in Thailand, which has some truly incredible beaches.
This is a beautiful beach! The water is a lovely aqua and the sand is clean. My family and I stopped here briefly on the way back home from Key West, where I was very disappointed with the beaches—the best being Fort Zachary Taylor, which is rocky and almost necessitates wearing water shoes. I was sorry we didn’t have more time to spend at Bahia Honda. I was pleasantly surprised, too, to find the restrooms new and very well maintained. Good job, State of Florida!
Hi Jeanne: I’m so glad you left a comment. I also thought this was a beautiful beach – one of the most beautiful ones I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of beaches.
This is the greatest beach ever!!!
It is not often that beaches in the contiguous US have water this amazing color! Seems like you usually need to travel to the Caribbean and the pacific to see this beauty. Thank you.
I appreciate any tips on great beaches. I haven’t heard of this beach before. Love the information. How does it compare to Hawaiian beaches as far as traffic?
The traffic at Bahia Honda is MUCH less than any pf the Hawaii beqaches, which in my opinion, makes it even better!
Bahia Honda State Park is the most spectacular place to be. If anyone visits, they will never want to leave. It is a perfect place to be. Great blog. All the best.
.-= Charles Rinehart´s last blog ..The Florida Keys Don’t Miss This Tropical Paradise =-.
This is a beautiful beach. My father lived in S. Florida for a while and there are lots of beaches in the area, but some can get really crowded and congested. This beach looks like some place I would love to travel. Thanks a lot for the tip, I will be there next week and am looking for beaches to go to, this will be great!
You are not serious!
I agree ! Was there a few weeks ago. Not impressed at all. Hardly any beach at all and the seaweed smelled horrible. I grew up going to NC beaches and I love Florida beaches, too — but not the Keys !!!
Truly a beautiful beach, thanks for the opportunity to view the pictures. I must say having lived on both the West Coast and now the East Coast of Canada I have seen many beautiful beaches. Hornby Island’s Whaling Station Bay is a great beach, Long Beach on Vancouver Island is amazing and we have one close by at West Point in Prince Edward Island.Floridaâ€™s Bahia Honda State Park is truly a gem. Cheers Mike