[PHOTO_102684]An hour's drive from Key West, on the southern edge of Marathon, is what many consider the Florida Keys' nicest beach. This large state park offers a view of Henry Flagler's historic, now-defunct bridge, a reminder of how the Keys were once the playground for wealthy New England industrialists.
The park offers world-class snorkeling in the Key's crystalline waters. Snorkeling tours are offered on a regular basis, if you'd like to learn a little more about the area from a guide. Bahia's beaches are uncrowded and have picnic tables. The lesser known beach is the one looking over the historic bridge.
Camping is also an option, with a variety of campsite types, a central area with showers, and a small marina. There's great fishing at Bahia Honda, and no boat is required.
When you've had enough sun, there's the nearby Pigeon Key Visitors Center, which shares the history of the Keys' amazing Seven Mile Bridge. (Movie buffs know it was featured in the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Jamie Lee Curtis movie True Lies).
During the building of the bridge (which replaced Flagler's train bridge), an entire village of workers lived (high density-style) on tiny Pigeon Key, and the island is open for tours. Get your tickets at the Visitors Center, or bring your bike and ride out to the island.
The water at Bahia Honda park makes it an ideal destination for a wonderful, low-cost day in the Keys.