Beyond the iconic landmarks and bustling streets, multiple parks in Key West beckon both locals and visitors alike. Key West isn’t just about beaches and parties; it’s also home to amazing public spaces for families and friends.
This article will explore the top eight parks that make this place special. Each park has its charm, from pretty gardens to cool forts by the sea. Let’s take a virtual tour of these places and see which of them you should visit next!
1. Mallory Square
Location: 400 Wall Street, Key West, FL 33040, United States
Mallory Square is like the lively heart of Key West, where the island’s spirit comes to life in a burst of colors and energy. This iconic waterfront plaza is where locals and visitors gather to soak in the breathtaking sunset views that paint the sky in hues of orange and pink.
As the sun dips below the horizon, Mallory Square transforms into a bustling spectacle of street performers, artisans, and food vendors, creating a vibrant, carnival-like atmosphere. The sound of live music fills the air, and the scent of local cuisine wafts through the breeze, creating a sensory symphony. It’s not just a square; it’s a lively celebration, a communal embrace of the island’s charm.
2. Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach Dog Park
Location: 100 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040, United States
Higgs Beach Dog Park is a beloved location among the residents of Key West because of its beautiful scenery, verdant spaces, and decent size. This off-leash area is next to the spectacular vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a moment to appreciate the expansive views; few dog parks in Key West have views like these!
There are many things to do in the vicinity, such as tennis courts, snorkeling, and even kayaking, and the beach and dog park are accessible to everyone. There are several benches at Higgs Dog Park where you can sit and unwind while watching your pet play. Large dogs and little dogs have their fenced-in sections.
Dogs must follow park regulations, which stipulate that they must be friendly and have updated licenses and vaccinations. Dog owners must tidy up after their pets and spend as much time as possible with them. Dogs should be leashed when they are outside of the fenced-in area. As long as they are leashed, dogs are allowed on the pier or beach across the street.
3. C. B. Harvey Rest Beach Park
Walking on C. B. Harvey Rest Beach Park by Florida beaches
Location: White Street and Atlantic Boulevard, Key West, FL 33040, United States
Rest Beach, or C.B. Harvey Par, has a beachfront setting on Atlantic Boulevard. Cornelius Bradford Harvey was a former mayor and city commissioner of Key West, and his name is honored on C.B. Harvey Memorial Rest Beach.
It’s a narrow 300-yard stretch of sand and greenery that runs along the east side of White Street Pier. A short distance away near the Edward B. Knight Pier entrance is the Key West Aids Memorial, which you should check out while you’re there.
Rest Beach is distinct from other beaches in Key West due to its natural vegetation strip and small dunes that border the shore. While generally soft, the sand along the water’s edge tends to be gritty and mixed with coral pebbles. Easy free parking includes picnic tables, shade, a wheelchair and bike path, a boat ramp at the east end of the beach, and a yoga deck with nightly lessons.
Because the tides bring a lot of debris ashore and many people like strolling along the water’s edge in search of shells, Rest Beach is also a wonderful place to go beachcombing. Furthermore, despite not being a dog-friendly area officially, Rest Beach draws a lot of dog owners and their animals anyhow, most likely due to its proximity to Higgs Beach Dog Park.
4. Sonny McCoy Indigenous Park
Spotlight: Indigenous Park by CityofKeyWest
Location: 1801 White St, Key West, FL 33040, United States
Sonny McCoy Indigenous Park is where you’ll see native trees and birds. Tours for groups and individuals here can be arranged with prior notice. The park has six bocce courts, a picnic area, a nature trail and pond, and the Nature Rescue Center, which treats injured wildlife.
Sonny McCoy Indigenous Park is visible from the Atlantic Ocean. This rare green spot in the heart of Key West provides a natural freshwater pond, something you won’t find anywhere else on the island. Wildlife awaits, including herds of non-native iguanas, flocks of birds, and freshwater turtles.
The Key West Wildlife Center is situated in a fitting park area. There is free parking in the lot at the intersection of Atlantic Boulevard and White Street. This is an excellent place to park for those who want to bike on the Overseas Heritage Trail.
5. Little Hamaca Park
Location: Government Road, Key West, FL 33040, United States
One of the few nature trails in Key West is at Little Hamaca Park, a preserve on the Key West Salt Ponds border.
It winds through salt flats and a mangrove forest, nestled in a secret island area along a boardwalk and pathway. You may encounter a variety of the island’s environments as it crosses a tiny ridge that traverses this region of Key West. A half-mile walk to the canal is used to supply the water needed for the ponds’ salt manufacture. The park is now a wildlife and bird sanctuary.
Families, dog lovers, and lone travelers seeking inspiration and tranquility in nature will find Little Hamaca Park the ideal getaway. For a short while, guests can lose themselves in a verdant haven that provides seclusion from the sunburned chaos of Duval Street and nearby beaches. Cars, bikes, golf carts, and scooters are all accommodated in its tiny parking lot.
6. Bayview Park
Inspirational Keys to Living – Bayview Park Key West by Carrie and the Keys
Location: 1320 Truman Ave, Key West, FL 33040, United States
In the heart of town, in a residential Key West area, is where you’ll find Bayview Park. Plenty of parking is around the park, including pull-in and parallel street spaces. There are many shaded spots where you can have a picnic and a pavilion that you can use. There are six restrooms as well.
The Boys and Girls Youth Club and the CO-ED games are held in Bayview Park during the week all year long. There are summer and after-school programs offered. At the park, teams that play kickball and ultimate Frisbee have several events.
You can have access to the following amenities at the park:
- Basketball courts
- Five public tennis courts and a Pro Shop
- Pepe Hernandez softball field
- Playground equipment area
The bay is easily accessible by foot from the park, open every day from 7 AM to 11 PM.
7. Bill Butler Park
Location: 744 Poor House Ln, Key West, FL 33040, United States
Bill Butler Park serves as a playground and picnic place for the children living in the neighborhood.
Bill Butler, a musician who led a funeral procession band to the Key West Cemetery, is honored by having this “Pocket Park” named after him. Butler was the leader of Welter’s Coronet Band, a fifteen-piece orchestra that performed in front of numerous funeral processions in Key West.
In August 1984, William “Bill” Butler’s hearse broke down while traveling to Key West Cemetery. His nephews took Bill’s casket and carried him the remaining distance on their shoulders.
8. Cozumel Park
Cozumel Park in Key West. Spotlight on the City by CityofKeyWest
Location: 1208 19th Terrace, Key West, FL 33040, United States
Cozumel Park serves as a community playground for the children in the vicinity. Additionally, there’s a space for family get-togethers and picnics.
Cozumel Park has a large amount of green space, a basketball court, play equipment, a splash pad, artificial turf, and restrooms. It also has an artificial field for pick-up games and sports practices.
Enjoy A Relaxing Day At Key West Parks
Embracing a leisurely day at Key West parks is an invitation to unwind amidst nature’s embrace. From the tranquil botanical wonders to the coastal serenity of waterfront parks, each green oasis offers a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation.
In the end, spending a chill day at Key West parks is just a laid-back way to enjoy nature and take it easy. Whether it’s a walk, a sit-down, or a bit of both, these parks give you a cool spot to kick back and soak in the island vibes. So, next time you’re around, consider a low-key day at one of Key West’s parks – it’s a simple and easy way to enjoy what the island has to offer.
Aiming to have the most fun family adventure? Here are the top 15 things to do in Key West with kids that will definitely complete your travel plan while surrounded by sun-soaked beaches and swaying palms.
There is no shortage of free things to do in Key West, where tourists can try sampling some of the best seafood in the world to staying up late partying at one of the island’s famous bars. Make sure to include some of these fantastic Key West free attractions in your itinerary if you are still planning your vacation to Key West.
With a plethora of the best restaurants in Key West to choose from, both locals and tourists are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options. The city’s unique blend of Caribbean, Cuban, and American influences is reflected in its gastronomy, resulting in an exciting fusion of flavors that has captivated countless visitors’ hearts and taste buds.
Parks In Key West FAQs
Key West is special for its laid-back atmosphere, vibrant culture, and beautiful natural surroundings. It’s known for its colorful architecture, historical sites, lively nightlife, and the famous Mallory Square sunset celebrations. The island has a unique blend of charm, artistic spirit, and a sense of escape from the hustle and bustle.
People love Key West’s relaxed vibe, warm weather, and diverse activities. The island offers a mix of water adventures, cultural experiences, and a welcoming community. The lively events, such as the sunset celebrations and festivals, contribute to its appeal. It’s a place where you can enjoy outdoor activities and island life’s slower pace.
While Key West is not known for its long sandy beaches, it has some beautiful spots. Smathers Beach is a popular sandy stretch, and Fort Zachary Taylor State Park offers a beach with clear waters. The focus is more on the island’s overall ambiance and water activities than extensive beachfronts.
Yes, living in Key West can be relatively expensive. The cost of living, including housing, groceries, and dining, tends to be higher than in many mainland areas. Limited space on the island contributes to higher housing costs. However, the unique lifestyle and natural beauty are significant factors that attract residents despite the higher expenses.