7 Secrets to the Ultimate Key Colony Beach Experience

Introduction to Key Colony Beach

Located in the heart of the Florida Keys, Key Colony Beach is the perfect place for a family getaway.

Key Colony Beach has direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, making it an ideal destination for exploring coral reefs, enjoying world-class fishing, and diving adventures.

a silhouette of palm trees in key colony beach

Credit: Image by Denys Kostyuchenko | Unsplash

Background and History

Key Colony Beach was established in 1957 by a group of developers led by Phil Sadowski. The goal was to create a unique vacation spot in the Florida Keys.

The City of Key Colony Beach was built from what was known as Shelter Key, a low-lying island. The place was originally 97 acres, with a sandy beach on the ocean side.

Back then, the island would be flooded during high tides until Sadowski and his group began dredging around the island, adding to its size and increasing its height to 6 feet above mean sea level.

Today, Key Colony Beach is home to 815 residents, with the population peaking at about 4,000 in winter because of tourists. The city now sits on 286 acres, with approximately 1,340 units of housing, 136 undeveloped lots, and 9 developments in progress.

a girl playing by the shore in key colony beach

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The Ultimate Key Colony Beach Experience

Planning a trip to Key Colony Beach, Florida? Here’s our ultimate guide to making the most of your getaway!

#1: Accommodations

There are various types of accommodations available in Key Colony Beach, from luxury hotels and resorts to cozy rentals.

Luxury Stays

The Fairfield Inn and Suites Marathon Florida Keys is conveniently located less than 1.6 km from Key Colony Beach. Guests have access to a 24-hour fitness center, a business center, and two outdoor pools.

There is an on-site restaurant, Waterside Sparky’s Landing Bar and Grill, which is open for lunch and dinner. The full-service bar serves beer, wine, and spirits. A complimentary full hot breakfast is served daily.

Glunz Ocean Beach Resort is a beachfront resort with villas and suites overlooking the ocean and beach. The resort is within short walking distance to Sunset Park.

Various activities are organized at the resort, such as snorkeling, diving, and lawn tennis. Guests can also benefit from yoga classes provided at a fitness center. Other amenities include two private outdoor pools overlooking the ocean, a spa, fire pits, outdoor BBQs, and a business center.

Cozy Rentals

If you prefer staying in a home away from your home, there are many Key Colony Beach vacation rentals to choose from.

One such rental is Rock Lobster Bungalow, which overlooks a canal and provides quick access to the open ocean. The Vaca Cut Bridge gives you easy access to the gulf side, where you can enjoy kayaking, boating, and fishing.

a fish buffet in key colony beach

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#2: Gastronomic Journey

A vacation in Key Colony Beach won’t be complete without enjoying the local food scene.

Top Dining Spots

Sparkys Landing is popular for its West Coast-style fish tacos. Other local favorites include their wood-fired Shrimp & Bacon Pizza and unique Frueben (Fish Rueben).

Havana Jack’s Oceanside Restaurant and Bar serves the best Caribbean cuisine in the area. Diners come here for tasty fish sandwiches, shrimp tacos, and Chicago pizza. In the evenings, enjoy a relaxing dinner with live music.

Key Colony Inn Restaurant & Lounge is popular for offering one of the largest brunches on the islands. Patrons love their stuffed shells, yellowtail in a lemon dill sauce, eggs benedict, pancakes, and custom omelets.

Beachside Bars and Cafes

Curly’s Coffee and Marina is the go-to place for a cup of coffee, mocha, chai, hot chocolate, iced chai tea, an Italian soda, or a smoothie.

In addition to beverages, you can rent water sports equipment, a paddleboat, or a kayak at the marina as well. There are half and full-day fishing charters available near the reef or offshore.

two people scuba diving in key colony beach

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#3: Outdoor Adventures

There are a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy the waters in Key Colony Beach.

Fishing Excursions

If you enjoy fishing, you’ll have an amazing time at these fishing charters, which offer the chance to catch snapper, sailfish, blackfin tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, king mackerel, grouper, and more, depending on the time of year.

  • Wet Tails Charters
  • Callion Fishing Charters
  • Saltnsun
  • Riplines Charters
  • Ana Banana Fishing Charters

Snorkeling and Diving Spots

Coffins Patch offers an amazing snorkeling and diving experience. There are six different reefs in the area, each sporting a predominantly different coral.

Other prime spots that offer great opportunities to see the world under the water include Bahia Honda State Park, Looe Key, and Pigeon Key.

Boating and Sailing

Aside from fishing, boating is one of the most popular activities in Key Colony Beach. Its ideal location near the Vaca Cut makes it a prime spot for boating. There are plenty of local boat rentals, so you can easily rent a boat and head out for a day on the water.

Before you go boating in Key Colony Beach, be sure to familiarize yourself with local regulations. It would be good to hire a local guide or charter company when navigating the waters.

a white bird sitting on a boat in key colony beach

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#4: Family-Friendly Fun

There are numerous opportunities to have fun with the whole family in Key Colony Beach.

Parks and Recreations

Family-friendly recreational facilities on the island include four community parks, two children’s playgrounds, bocce courts, pickleball courts, tennis courts, shuffleboard, horseshoe area, and an executive-style 9-hole par 3 golf course.

The children’s playgrounds feature sliding boards, swings, merry-go-round, tetherball, dome gym climber, swinging bridge, see-saws, and spring hobby horses.

Education and Conservation Tours

The Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge, one of the oldest refuges in the nation, is home to the largest heron species, the majestic great white heron, unique to South Florida and the Florida Keys.

The refuge is also a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife and a place where you and your family can enjoy fun water activities such as boating, fishing, snorkeling, and diving.

#5: Cultural Exploration

The Crane Point Museum & Nature Center is a 63-acre property dedicated to the preservation of the Florida Keys’ natural habitat and animals. The center includes nature trails, a natural history museum, historic homes, and a wild bird rescue center.

The museum showcases the natural and cultural history of the middle Florida Keys area. Exhibits feature the Calusa Indians, Spanish explorers, Caribbean pirates, and Bahamian settlers of the late 1800s, as well as offshore coral reefs, tree snails, sea turtles, shells, Key deer, and local tropical fish.

a mom and daughter taking a selfie in key colony beach

Credit: Image by Beth Macdonald | Unsplash

#6: Events and Festivities

There are many festivals and events on the island that draw tourists, including Key Colony Beach Day, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, and Key Colony Beach Fishing Club’s Annual Clam Bake.

From February through March, Concerts in the Park feature local talents like John Bartus, Rick & Dayna, and the Island Band.

#7: Planning Your Trip

Now that you know the best spots and activities to enjoy in Key Colony Beach, it’s time to start planning for your trip. Yes, planning is one of the key things to ensure you have an amazing vacation!

Best Times to Visit

The best time to visit Key Colony Beach, FL, is in the months of March, April, and May. During these months, the temperatures are warm and sunny, with little rain. However, this is also the busiest time of the year, so prices may be higher, and there will be more people.

If you prefer a more affordable and less crowded experience, it would be ideal to visit Key Colony Beach between September and November when the weather is still warm and sunny, but there is a higher chance of rain.

Itinerary Ideas

While you’re in Key Colony Beach, it would be a good idea to spend some time in nearby Marathon, which also offers plenty of diving, snorkeling, and charter fishing trips.

Go strolling, sightseeing, or birdwatching at the Old Seven Mile Bridge, hunt for seashells at Coco Plum Beach, go fishing from the bridge at the Long Key Bridge, or pack a picnic and play volleyball at Sombrero Beach.

Other Marathon attractions include the Florida Keys Aquarium, the Turtle Hospital, and the Dolphin Research Center.


There you have it – the 7 secrets to an amazing Key Colony Beach vacation!

If you’re interested in learning more about Key Colony Beach real estate, feel free to give me a call today at 305-912-2177. You can also email me at tracy@thebeautifulkeys.com for any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several recreational facilities on the island, including four community parks, two children’s playgrounds, bocce courts, pickleball courts, tennis courts, shuffleboard, and an executive-style 9-hole par 3 golf course.

Must-try restaurants serving the best seafood in the area are Sparkys Landing, Havana Jack’s Oceanside Restaurant and Bar, and Key Colony Inn Restaurant & Lounge.