Key West Sandbar Map - 7 Stunning Sandbar Locations

Travelers to Key West have a fantastic experience waiting for them. Secret beaches, tucked into the crystal clear water. Shallow water islands waiting to welcome you for sun, sand, and relaxation. In some cases, these hidden gems are a beach party waiting to happen!

Welcome to the Key West sandbars! Think of a sandbar as being a small island. Seven stunning sandbars are similar to seven islands. Most of these sandbars can be found off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

Some sandbars are close enough to shore that you can reach them by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, but most are only accessible by boat. It is possible to find these sandbars with excellent navigation skills, but it’s far better to hop on board a scheduled charter or private tour and leave the navigating to your Capitan.

Florida Keys Sandbar - Islamorada

To protect the wildlife of the Florida Keys, Wildlife Management Areas cover most areas. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in connection with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, currently manages 27 of these areas. Special rules are in place to protect wildlife, such as no-wake zones, a no-access buffer, and limited closures. An experienced local guide will navigate these areas and get you out to the lesser-known regions.

Highlighted below are picks for the best sandbars near Key West for a memorable trip.

1) Visit The Popular Boca Grande Key

Boca Grande Key is located 14 miles west of Key West and attracts travelers and locals too. It consistently gets high marks as the nicest island for its calm, crystal-clear water. It attracts friendly dolphins splashing and playing in the warm water. This area becomes crowded with boats and locals on weekends and holidays. If possible, try to visit on a low-season weekday to avoid crowds.

Sandbar Key West - Dolphins Near Boca Grande Sandbar

2) Explore Snipe Key

Snipe Key is a small group of islands northeast of Key West and west of Mud Keys. Snipe is a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary member protected by a no-wake zone. This area is quieter than some of the other, more crowded sandbars. The water here is crystal clear and very shallow. Suitable for walking, swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Best Sandbar In The Keys For Kayaking - Snipe Keys

3) Make A Quick Trip To Woman Key

Woman Key, like Boca Grande, is protected by the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. Half of the beach here is closed to protect the wildlife. Loggerhead turtles like to nest here, on the beach and the dunes. Woman Key is just 13 miles west of Key West, making it a quick trip to get here.

Loggerhead Turtle Near Woman Key

4) Explore Mud Keys

Mud Keys, like Snipe, is a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary member and is protected by a no-wake zone. In addition, two creeks on the west side are closed to provide a protected bird sanctuary.

The islands are approximately 15 miles northeast of Key West. The Mud Keys are mangrove islands. The red mangroves attract various birds like frigates, ospreys, and great white herons.

Mangrove Island And Turquoise Water In The Florida Keys

5) Marvin Key

Marvin Key is located just past Snipe Key and northeast of Key West. It’s in a quieter area than the more popular sandbars, like Islamorada. Due to the shallow water with a rocky bottom, this sandbar is one of the hardest to get to. It’s best navigated by an experienced captain who has made that passage before.

Best Sandbars In The Keys - Marvin Key

6) Islamorada Sandbar – Also Known As Whale Harbor Channel Sandbar

Located on the Atlantic Ocean side and only a mile offshore is the stunning and hugely popular sandbar of Islamorada. During the busy summer season, you’ll find hundreds of boats gathered here, turning the sandbar into a huge beach party. People bring out their beach chairs, barbecue grills, and sun umbrellas to sit in the shallow water and enjoy the party atmosphere.

Islamorada is great for families with young children, as the shallow water is an excellent place for swimming. While the crowds may be off-putting for some, keep in mind that there is a reason this sandbar is so famous. It’s great fun! Its location, not too far from the shore, makes this a great place to ride your jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboards.

Sandbar Florida Keys - Islamorada For Families

7) Marathon Key

Grab your kayak and head out to Marathon Key. This is an excellent fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing area. You can get there by launching a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from nearby Curry Hammock State Park.

Paddleboarding Near Marathon Key

Go Sandbar Hopping In The Florida Keys!

Let us get you out to the crystal clear waters of Key West. Our experienced local guides know all the great spots to visit. But, of course, we call Key West home and take our own families out to the sandbars too.

Book your memorable Key West Sandbar Tour now! We look forward to hearing from you!

Sandbar Hopping On Turquoise Waters In The Florida Keys


3 to 4 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Sandbar Tour For Large Groups

If your group is larger than 6 and you have a hard time finding a boat ride to the sandbars because of the 6 passengers limit, we are here to help. You can book our 2 identical Hurricane 27 foot deck boats and our captains will drive them side by side so you can take cool photos and they will raft up the boats on the sandbars so you can enjoy and share this amazing time together.

3 to 4 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Hopping Sandbars In Key West

What a perfect day to take a boat ride! You will see not one but several different sandbars on this tour! It will only take 25 minutes to get there on our epic adventure, and we can stop as long as you want at those sandbars that interest you the most. This is something you cannot miss!

Experience the mangrove trails of Mud Keys and hang out with locals at Snipe Point after. You won't want the day to end.

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2 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Key West Sunset Cruise

Ocean, meet our captain! One of the best things about the backcountry waters is how it’s never too crowded. So jump in and enjoy the peacefulness and remoteness as you stand in the "middle of the ocean" with nothing but water around you. Optionally, bring some champagne to enjoy with the sunset as a backdrop. Then, just sit back and relax as you cruise on out into the middle of nowhere, leaving behind any stress or worries.

2 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Mud Key Mangrove Safari

It's time for some adventure and excitement with a boat trip through the backcountry. After only a short ride, we'll take you on a leisurely cruise down to Mud Key Sanctuary, where you can enjoy the countryside and take in all the wonders of nature that surround you. Stop by the sandbar for a refreshing dip or just stroll around and soak up the sun. Capture your memories and cherish them forever.