When people think of a tropical island, beaches instantly enter the mind. Well, Key West does have beaches, but the island is made of limestone, so the beaches are rocky and man made as the sand is pumped in from the Bahamas. For years, the locals have been enjoying more private beaches, aka, the sandbars. We are a boating city after all! So, here in Key West we have sandbar charters that can take you to the better beaches. Hopping on a boat and heading a few miles away from it all to lounge in shallow, gin clear waters is pretty close to heaven. As the country song says.. “Toes in the sand, Drink in my hand”. Absolutely my favorite way to go boating here in Key West.
What is a Sandbar
Sandbars are super shallow areas in the water. These areas are created by the currents and tides carying sand and depositing it creating a shallow mound. Some are like little beaches to our tropical islands. Depending on the tide, they can be completely exposed or a few feet of water can cover the area. In all cases they are about the prettiest places around. Pure white Carribean sand piled in a spot with crystal clear water. Sounds nice doesn’t it?
Key West Sandbar Charters
There are private sandbar charters for hire that depart from Key West that take folks out on private boating charters for a nice relaxing day. Hiring a charter is a great way to go. No worry about the need to know anything except how to enjoy the day. Sandbar charter captains know the area well. They know what may be a gorgeous spot one day may not even be accessible the next. Knowledge of the tides and understanding weather conditions is pretty important when heading to these areas. Most sandbar charter captains have a portfolio of private and not so private spots to visit depending on the needs of their clients. Some spots are very crowded party zones with loads of boats and activity. Other spots might have a few boats and easy going. Then there are the private spots where no one is around for a more clothing optional experience for those that might be looking to wear a little less.
More Popular Sandbar Spots
Boca Chica Sandbar – very close to the island of Key West, this is a popular spot for sandbar charters and other excursions due to its convenient location. However, it is located on the flight path of the naval air station, so there are often jets flying overhead. That makes this an ideal spot if you like airshows, but not so much if you are looking for peace and quiet.
Boca Grande – this island located about 15 miles west of Key West was a locals favorite because of its beautiful beach. But, so many visitors with their own boats have nearly destroyed it by beaching their boats, getting stuck, blowing out the sand and eroding the island. So, the island is now closed to everyone, although I do see people out there on occasion still.
Marvin Key – about 15 miles to the north of Key West, this is a locals spot very popular on weekends and holidays. However, it has been found out, and these once wonderful bonefish grounds are now subjected to a lot of pressure from inexperienced boaters that have damaged the fishery.
Snipes Key – a very popular sandbar for Key West locals and now many charters as well. This is the sandbar that I call the party zone for the many boats that congregate here almost daily and play music while hanging out in the sunshine.
Woman Key – about 10 miles away from Key West lies this tiny island. At low tide, the sandbar here is a favorite for many. Be sure to avoid the areas prohibited by NOAA for conservation sake.
Who to Go With
Toon Time Charters
When folks are looking for the most comfortable boat at a reasonable price my goto company for sandbar charters is Toon Time Charters. They have a 27ft Barletta Tri Toon boat that is super fast and ultra comfortable. Plenty of shade is an option with easy in and out of the water with a very nice custom ladder. Snorkeling gear and bottled waters are included. The boat also has a nice bar table for lunch preparation as well. Puppy Friendly! – Love that.
Toon Time Sandbar Trips
Call Direct 1-305-292-7212
Dream Catcher Charters
A very nice operation they have several different boats to chose from. Ranging in size from 24 – 36 ft. Some with center consoles and one Tri Toon Boat that is overly comfortable. All with varying pricing and some even have a bathroom. Private fishing charters are their focus but they have been doing sandbar trips since before it was a thing, often including fishing and snorkeling in the trips. The boats are amazing! You will not find a nicer boat on the island than those run by this team. Another thing that I love about this team is that I can bring my small dog with me.
Dream Catcher Charters Sandbar Trips
Call Direct 1-305-304-5808
More About Key West
Island Genn – Key West Concierge