People come to Key West to explore the trendy restaurants and historic sites, but lots of tourists don’t realize that there is a pristine beach just a walk away from hectic Duval Street. Fort Zachary Taylor Historical State Park costs just $2.50 for an all-day admission and it offers everything a beach lover craves. There is plenty of shade, a great cafe for lunch and very nice swimming and snorkeling. An added bonus is that you can also visit the Civil War era fort just to the right of the beach or cool off in a state of the art “splash pad.” There is plenty of bike parking and even barbecue grills in a shaded grove.
The fort offers guided tours and monthly Civil War reenactments.
The nearby Splash Pad is very popular with kids.
The Cayo Hueso Cafe serves up delicious hamburgers.
On one of our beach visits a pair of manatees swam right next to us while we snorkeled and another day we spotted several gigantic tarpon while exiting the water. The snorkeling is particularly good on the rocky outcrops opposite the main beach. We were able to see many colorful fish there. All in all, it was a serendipitous discovery to find such a perfect escape a walk away from frenetic Duval Street.