11. Bahia Honda State Park
Bahia Honda State Park is a must-visit destination if you're looking for clear water beaches in the Florida Keys. The park is located on Big Pine Key, about 30 miles from Key West. It's known for its two stunning beaches, Calusa Beach and Loggerhead Beach.
Calusa Beach is the most popular beach in the park, and for good reason. It has a long stretch of white sand and crystal-clear water. The beach is also a great place to snorkel, as there is a coral reef just offshore.
Loggerhead Beach is a bit smaller than Calusa Beach, but it's just as beautiful. It's also a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. The beach is named after the loggerhead sea turtles that nest there each year.
In addition to its beaches, Bahia Honda State Park also offers a variety of other activities, including camping, hiking, and picnicking. The park also has a historic railway bridge that you can walk or bike across.
Here are some tips for visiting Bahia Honda State Park:
- The park is open from 8am to 6pm daily.
- There is an entrance fee of $8 per vehicle.
- The park can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. If you're looking for a more peaceful experience, visit during the week or early in the morning.
- Be sure to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water.
- There are several picnic areas in the park, but you can also bring your own food and drinks.
- If you're planning on camping, be sure to make reservations in advance.
Here are some additional things to do around Bahia Honda State Park:
- Visit the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, a historic bridge that spans the Bahia Honda Channel.
- Take a boat trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park, a remote group of islands with pristine beaches and abundant wildlife.
- Go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or the Florida Bay.
- Visit the nearby town of Big Pine Key to browse the shops and restaurants.
- Take a day trip to Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States.
Bahia Honda State Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Florida Keys. With its clear water beaches, abundant wildlife, and historic sites, there's something for everyone to enjoy.