Key West Beaches
The beaches for the most part are dirty, abound with homeless drifters and the water is often too full of fecal and other matters to swim in. Only one exception to that is Ft. Zachery Taylor State Park Beach. This is a small, but very nice beach.
If you are coming to the Keys for a beach vacation, you are sorely misled and wasting your time.
Key West Folks
What a title! Key West is full of gays, retirees, scammers, and normal fun-loving people. This is a place to party for a few days. There are other things like the US Coast Guard Memorial Museum, Mel Fisher Treasure Museum and the Hemingway House. But, this is a party place with some fishing as well.
Just below Marathon Key is Big Pine Key where one of the best spots for beach activity is on Bahai Honda State Park. This is a fun place. The beach is small, as is every beach in the Keys, but the swimming area is very nice with snorkeling fun to boot!
The best beach in the Keys is Sombrero Beach. A long, white sand beach where weddings take place. (The sand is imported from other parts of Florida.) Jogging this beach was fun. There are a few other nice beaches on Marathon Key, but again, if you are going just for the beach, you will be disappointed.
This is the only place where someone asked me what I was doing on 'their' part of the beach. (They don't know the law!) So, I am sure this key has many good folks who live on the best island in the keys. But there are enough of the uppity kind to watch yourself.
Anne's Beach and Founder's Park are about it for beaches in this key. Not much for beaches.
The folks here seem nice, nicer than those south. They seemed like neighbors you would like to have, at least the people I met. Lousy beaches, nice people. But remember what Brenna, retired school teacher and now gate clerk and volunteer. The disease here is alcohol. If one is not doing here, one is drinking here.