The Bahia Honda
One of the Sunshine State’s southernmost parks, the remote island of Bahia Honda Key offers visitors an idyllic haven of stunning beaches and brilliant sunsets, perfect for a day of fantastic Key West snorkeling. The park is situated along both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, with beautiful beaches on both sides. Picnic on silken white sands, swim in crystal clear waters, put on the binoculars for some bird-watching or try some fishing from shore. Snorkeling gear and kayaks can be rented at the park, and exciting reef-bound snorkeling trips are also available.
Bahia Honda Views
The park is famous for its pristine views of sea and shore. Stroll to the end of the old bridge for enchanting panoramas or take a relaxing walk along the footbaths and boardwalks lacing this incredible reserve. A nature center offers intriguing information on the island’s plants and animals, and campsites and vacation cabins are also available.
Perfects for kids and families, each of the captivating beaches of Bahia Honda possesses a special charm. Tiny Calusa on the island’s northwest side has several small pavilions, restrooms and a fresh water shower, while the south side’s Loggerhead has a long shallow sandbar perfect for snorkeling or strolls through impossibly clear waters. Sandspur, the largest beach, has three large pavilions and outdoor freshwater showers.
Bahia Honda Snorkeling
Bring your own equipment or rent at the park and take a peaceful swim in mask and fins off the beaches, particularly near the rocks; the Gulf side beach is particularly warm and calm and you can walk out a long way. View brilliant tropical fish including snapper and parrots as well as marine life from conch to lobster, sponges and coral. It’s also fun to take a kayak out to a little island or to the old railroad bridge and combine exploring with snorkeling around the shoreline.
The Bahia Honda is considered one of South Florida’s best beaches and it situated in area of incredible natural beauty. Explore the park on foot or by bicycle. Cycling is popular in the park and there is a scenic 3.5 mile paved road perfect for a leisurely ride.
Bird-watchers flock to Bahia Honda for its large and varied population of wading birds and shorebirds, particularly along the shallow sand flats created during low tide on the ocean side. Amazing feathered denizens of the park include plovers, great white herons, great egrets, white ibis and great blue herons. During the time of fall migration you may also see hawks circling overhead.
A popular boat trip from Bahia Honda, Looe Key Reef National Marine Sanctuary offers some of the Keys’ most spectacular reef snorkeling. The sanctuary, established in 1981, is about eight nautical miles from Bahia Honda, and day’s snorkeling there can offer amazing sights, from sturgeons and parrot fish to angelfish, barracuda, sharks, turtles and butterfly fish.
After a blissful day of sunning, swimming and snorkeling, enjoy a refreshing ice cream on the beach. The park’s little snack stand is rumored to have some excellent key lime ice cream.