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The Ultimate Key Colony Beach Experience: A Florida Keys Gem

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Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys, Key Colony Beach stands as a premier destination for families, anglers, and ocean enthusiasts alike. This unique city offers direct access to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, creating a perfect playground for exploring vibrant coral reefs, engaging in world-class fishing, and embarking on unforgettable diving adventures. Whether you're seeking relaxation on sandy beaches or active days filled with water sports, Key Colony Beach promises a versatile vacation experience tailored to delight every visitor.

Discovering Key Colony Beach: A Historical Overview

The Founding of Key Colony Beach

The journey of Key Colony Beach began in 1957, spearheaded by visionary developer Phil Sadowski and his team. Their ambitious plan was to transform the then-remote Shelter Key into a distinctive vacation hotspot in the Florida Keys. Envisioning a community that blended seamless access to the ocean with luxurious living, they laid the groundwork for what would become one of the most cherished retreats in the region.

Evolution from Shelter Key to a Thriving Community

Originally a mere 97 acres of low-lying land that was frequently inundated by high tides, Shelter Key underwent a dramatic transformation. The early days of development involved extensive dredging around the island, not only to prevent flooding but also to expand its area and elevate it to a safer six feet above mean sea level. This initial phase set the stage for a series of developments that would significantly enlarge the island's footprint and enhance its appeal as a residential and tourist destination.

Today, Key Colony Beach proudly spans 286 acres, featuring 1,340 units of diverse housing options, from quaint beachfront villas to luxurious resorts. The city's population fluctuates seasonally, peaking at around 4,000 during the winter months, thanks to its popularity with tourists seeking a serene winter escape. Despite its growth and the buzz of seasonal visitors, Key Colony Beach maintains a charming small-town feel, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Your Guide to Staying in Key Colony Beach

Choosing the right accommodation can make all the difference in your vacation experience. Key Colony Beach offers a variety of lodging options to suit any preference, whether you're looking for the luxury of a high-end resort or the comfort of a cozy rental home.

Luxury Accommodations

For those who prefer a touch of luxury in their stay, Key Colony Beach does not disappoint.

  1. Fairfield Inn and Suites Marathon Florida Keys: Just a short drive from Key Colony Beach, this hotel provides everything you might need for a relaxing stay. It boasts a 24-hour fitness center, a business center for those who need to stay connected, and two inviting outdoor pools perfect for a refreshing swim after a day in the sun. The on-site restaurant, Waterside Sparky’s Landing Bar and Grill, offers a delightful menu for lunch and dinner and a full-service bar serving a selection of beer, wine, and spirits. Guests can start their day with a complimentary hot breakfast, ensuring a hearty beginning to their adventures in the Keys.
  2. Glunz Ocean Beach Resort: Positioned directly on the beachfront, Glunz Ocean Beach Resort offers stunning views of the ocean and easy access to the sand and surf. The resort features villas and suites, each designed to provide guests with a serene and luxurious seaside experience. Amenities at the resort include snorkeling, diving, lawn tennis right on the premises, and yoga classes at the fitness center. For relaxation, guests can enjoy two private outdoor pools, a spa, and evening gatherings around the fire pits. The on-site outdoor BBQs and a business center add to the convenience for both leisure and business travelers.

Cozy Rentals

If a more intimate accommodation style appeals to you, Key Colony Beach’s vacation rentals offer a home-away-from-home experience.

  1. Rock Lobster Bungalow: Overlooking a picturesque canal, this bungalow is a gem for those who love the water. With quick access to the open ocean, it’s a favorite for kayaking, boating, and fishing enthusiasts. The Vaca Cut Bridge nearby provides easy access to both Gulf and Atlantic waters, making it ideal for those looking to explore different marine environments.

Each of these accommodations provides a unique way to experience Key Colony Beach, tailored to different tastes and needs, ensuring every visitor finds their perfect vacation spot.

Culinary Delights in Key Colony Beach

A trip to Key Colony Beach isn't just about sun, sea, and sand—it's also a chance to embark on a gastronomic journey through the local culinary scene. From fresh seafood to delightful tropical beverages, the dining options here cater to all tastes.

Must-Visit Restaurants

Key Colony Beach and its surroundings boast a variety of dining establishments that highlight both local ingredients and global flavors.

  1. Sparkys Landing: This spot is famed for its West Coast-style fish tacos, but that's just the beginning. The wood-fired Shrimp & Bacon Pizza and the unique Frueben (Fish Rueben) are local favorites that showcase the innovative culinary spirit of the Keys. Sparkys Landing combines great food with a laid-back atmosphere, making it a must-visit for any food lover.
  2. Havana Jack’s Oceanside Restaurant and Bar: For a taste of the Caribbean in the heart of the Florida Keys, Havana Jack's offers an enticing menu. Guests come for the fish sandwiches and shrimp tacos and stay for the Chicago-style pizza. In the evenings, this place transforms with live music, creating a perfect setting for a relaxing dinner by the ocean.
  3. Key Colony Inn Restaurant & Lounge: Known for hosting one of the largest brunches on the islands, Key Colony Inn is a paradise for brunch lovers. Here, you can savor dishes like stuffed shells, yellowtail in lemon dill sauce, and custom omelets. The restaurant's extensive menu and friendly service make it a popular choice among both locals and visitors.

Beachside Bars and Cafes

For those looking for a more casual dining experience or a great spot to enjoy a drink, Key Colony Beach has plenty of options.

  1. Curly's Coffee and Marina: Start your day at Curly's with freshly brewed coffee, mocha, or chai. For those looking for something cooler, try an iced chai tea, an Italian soda, or a refreshing smoothie. Curly’s is not just about great drinks; it’s also a place where you can rent water sports equipment like paddleboats and kayaks. They even offer half and full-day fishing charters for those interested in exploring the local waters.

Please visit the full blog post at https://middlefloridakeysrealestate.com/key-colony-beach-experience/.  

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Tracy Chacksfield


9141 Overseas Highway,

Marathon, Florida


Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Great information for both potential buyers & residents in the area. Thanks for sharing this data with us in the Rain!


May 15, 2024 11:47 AM