Married here on the beach, came back the following 2 days just to relax and enjoy the water. Yes, the beaches in the keys are rocky, yes, you should bring watershoes; yes, you have to pay a small fee to get in (it's a maintained park with employees); yes- it has bathrooms, lockers, showers, giftshop, and a concession stand that has a huge variety of drinks and food (including alcohol). We rented chairs, umbrella and blue raft each day. You can swim to the rocks and see tons of fish, coral and general sea life. There are picnic areas, grilling facilities and benches all around. Australian pines provide shade and sing in the wind. So, if you are looking for a sugar sand beach, go to Smathers Beach- if you want a quiet, less crowded beach with amenities and can deal with some small coral rocks to navigate to get into the water, this is awesome. Also your paid fee ($7) gets you into the Fort and you can leave and return during the day. We left at 6pm, returned at 8:15 to watch the sunset. Much better than the crowds and whistles at Mallory Square. HIGHLY recommended by Floridian.
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