If you’ve never been to the Florida Keys, here’s something that might surprise you: Beaches on this beautiful string of islands aren’t as common as you might think. But Bahia Honda State Park, at Mile Marker 37 on Bahia Honda Key west of Marathon, has not one but three. And we’re talking beautiful beaches, like you see on postcards, with white sand, palms and crystal-clear waters.
Colusa Beach, on the Florida Bay side of the park, is known for its proximity to Henry Flagler’s historic Overseas Railway trestle, still a popular pedestrian overlook. Set in a cove that shields beach goers from winds, Colusa Beach is an ideal place to bring children. The other two beaches are on the Atlantic side. Loggerhead is known for a sandbar that stretches out seemingly forever into the azure. It’s mile-long Sandspur, though, that appears on most listings of the top beaches in Florida. Some even consider it among the most beautiful in the world.
Bahia Honda State Park offers snorkeling tours
But there’s more to Bahia Honda State Park than beaches. The 500-acre park also offers kayak rentals, fishing opportunities and picnic sites as well as a gift shop, snack bar and daily snorkeling trips. You could fill an entire vacation with repeat visits.
If your plans call for only one day in the park, devote some of it to snorkeling. It’s the quintessential Florida Keys experience. Your vacation wouldn’t seem complete without inspecting the underwater kaleidoscope of coral, tropical fish, seashells and other surprises.
At Bahia Honda State Park, you can arrange for a snorkeling tour to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. The expedition takes you out to a spectacular coral reef for 90 minutes of clear-water snorkeling. You’ll see huge star coral and countless memorable fish. Snorkeling requires no special skills and all necessary equipment is provided for rental. But make sure to book ahead once you know the dates you’ll be available. Tours leave from the park at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.
Even more at Bahia Honda State Park
You can pack your own lunch and bring it to Bahia Honda State Park, but you don’t have to. There’s a snack bar at the park, along with a full gift shop. You won’t want to spend much time indoors, however.
If you enjoy kayaking, you can rent sit-aboard crafts for one or two people, by the hour or by the day, at reasonable rates. Paddle out to the base of the Flagler bridge where people snap some of their favorite and most interesting vacation photos. If you want, you can even combine kayaking and snorkeling.
What could be better than doing nothing from sunup to sundown but lay on a gorgeous beach? The beauty of Bahia Honda State Park is that this question a) isn’t merely rhetorical and b) has no wrong answers.