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Clarence Higgs Memorial Beach

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The vibe at Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach, known locally as Higgs Beach, is laid back and calm. Unlike its livelier and busier neighbor, Smathers Beach just upstairs, people here are less busy and more focused on the latest popular novel, or just happy to gaze out at the ocean or take a long walk on the wharf of adjacent peach.

This beach park has a bit of everything, including a Civil War-era fort, a separate small and large off-leash dog area, a historic cemetery, and walking trails. Bring your tennis racket or pickle-ball equipment to use the courts to whet your appetite, which you can satiate in the cozy cafe. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available, along with kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and other beach gear at the concession stand.

If you're traveling with children, an expansive play area includes the latest innovative structures designed to elicit squeals of joy from the little ones. Be sure to wander the ruins of the Civil War-era fort known as the West Martello, home to the Key West Garden Club. The flowering plants inside are colorful, fragrant and truly spectacular.

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