Just next to the old Henry Flagler railroad bridge is Bahia Honda State Park, often passed up as motorists zoom down the highway to Key West. Bahia Honda boasts a natural-sand beach and plenty of activities for the family both on and off the sand. The park concession operates snorkeling tours to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, a protected reserve that you’ll spend an hour and a half exploring. Tour prices are very reasonable, and if the weather is less than adequate causing murky snorkeling conditions, the company will cancel the trip (instead of sending you out there and wasting your time). The historic bridge behind Bahia Honda — Photo courtesy of The FireCloud Report
Tent camping is available as well as RV hookups, but if you’d like to stay in a cabin you must book this far in advance. While snorkeling is one of the main draws among campers, fishing, kayaking, bicycling, and boating are some of the other ways to occupy your time. Many people enjoy a quiet stroll on the bridge overlooking the park - particularly at sunset.
Depending on the time of year, the pavilion area can get very crowded, so bring beach blankets or chairs so you’ll have a place to sit and enjoy the sparkling water. Seaweed occasionally washes up along the beach, but the channel by the bridge offers seaweed-free swimming and a sandy sea floor.
There’s also a gift shop, snack bar, and guided tours (check the schedule before your visit).