Fort Zachary Taylor beach is Key West’s premier beach and one of its most popular destinations. In a place where each sunset is a reason for a festival, the beach sits atop the list of must-dos. As one of the best Florida beaches, Fort Zachary Taylor beach is about more than just soaking in the sun. It’s a popular gathering place to watch the sun set over the cruise ship harbor. This beach named for a Civil War-era fort that was named after the former U.S. president is both sandy and rocky, but still good for a stroll or napping in the sun. It’s not just for relaxing, however—there are plenty of adventures to enjoy here, too. The beach’s home, a state park, is home to a long list of fun things to do both on and off the shore.
Nestled at the southern tip of Key West, the island at the southern edge of the Florida Keys, this location was ideal for a fort in a time when Florida needed protecting. Now 150 years later, the strategic location is one of the best places to visit in Key West, located where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Atlantic Ocean. It costs a few dollars to enter the park, less than a cup of coffee for pedestrians and less than lunch for a vehicle. Once you arrive, you’ll have access to the various activities at the park. Guided fort tours are available, and trails wind from the fort to the shore. The beach, in view of the cruise ship harbor, is a popular place for swimming and snorkeling, thanks to the teeming corals and tropical fish just below the surface. Anglers also flock to Fort Zachary Taylor to cast a line and see what’s biting. The beach also has several visitor amenities, including a cafe, picnic tables, and interpretive exhibits.