Library Beach is certainly not what you would call a beach….
Yes it has sand.
Yes it has water.
But other than that if you are heading off to hit a tropical landscape of sandiness and palm trees then you are going to be disappointed.
But I know that sounds less than a positive start but read on, as you might just change your mind, and if you have small kids in tow then Library beach might actually be a place to seek out and enjoy.
Let’s start with giving you some details of what’s there, and then we can fill you in with how to get to the beach, as it’s not the easiest in the world to find.
So What Is At Library Beach To Entertain Me And The Family Then?
Well no doubt you will head straight to the water, which is more like a lagoon than an open sea type of thing.
It’s a swimming hole really.
Nothing more and nothing less, with mangroves providing pleasant shade to the water as the creek winds its way through the trees.
It’s very sheltered which of course means that the water is very still, which makes it great to get out of the heat of the Islamorada sun and cool down in.
One thing to be aware of, is the channel of water is tidal, so at high and low tide the dropping and rising water can form a bit of a current.
Not massively strong, but if you are relaxing whilst the kids splash around happily it is worth keeping an eye on them.
And honestly, Library beach has one thing that has made my kids want to come back time and time again, and that is the snorkelling.
Because of the shallow waters, and the warmth of the waters you can spend hours snorkelling around the mangroves.
Which they have done ever since they were little.
They couldn’t think of anything better than strapping on their masks, and snorkel tube and dipping below the waters to watch the fishes dart about.
All along the waters edge the mangrove roots make an absolute mecca for marine life.
You wouldn't expect it from a small place like this, but it won't take you long to see Grunts, Snappers, Spadefish, Snook and even Grouper zipping around the mangrove roots.
I have even heard kids shouting out delightedly to tell their Mum and Dad that they have found a lobster or starfish under the waters.
Although when the tide starts going in and out the sediment does get a bit shaken, so the visibility won’t be that good to see the best of what’s under the water.
Is There Anything Other Than The Water And Sand At Library Beach Though?
The beach is the main thing, although it does have a playground for the kids with a few swings.
But that will only entertain the really tiny ones in your party.
But a nice part of the park is the shaded picnic area, by some permanent grills where you can bring some sausages, burgers and have yourself a barbecue.
This is lovely and can really make a great end to an afternoon at Library Beach.
Although you will need to bring your own coals, and can’t drink booze why you are there.
But I love it as the sun starts going down, to get a bit of fire going on the grill, whilst the kids play in an out of the water.
Bathrooms facilities are provided which is also very useful.
Where Is The Library Beach To Be Found.
The best way to find the beach is to type the address of Helen Wadley Branch of the Islamorada Library at the bottom of the page into your GPS.
That of course will take you straight to the spot, as it is not signposted at all well.
Or follow the mile markers that signpost the overseas highway to 81.5 in Islamorada.
These little green signs are brilliant, as if you see the numbers going up, you are on your way to Key Largo, and going down to Mile Marker 0 you have hit Key West.
Look for the library and the Royal Poinciana tree and tucked behind it you will find the beach .
Click On Image Above To Go Straight To Google Maps
What Is The Parking Like At The Beach?
The parking at the beach is free, although there aren’t masses of spaces.
However as not many people generally come to the place I have never found it to be a problem at all.
Another great thing about such convenient parking, is you do not need to carry everything across to the water, which can be a pain.
Leave it in the car and just quickly zip back and forth to get what you want.
What Else Is there To Do In The Area If We Get Bored At Library Beach?
The beach is across the road to the Hurricane Monument which movingly remembers the lives of those folk that were tragically taken by the 1935 Hurricane.
A tomb actually contains some of the 420 people who died, although it doesn't state how many are actually laid to rest here.
A little drive away, you can also find the History of Diving Museum which shows how scuba, snorkelling and air apparatus really came into its own through the ages.
Don't be put off like I was for many years, as this is a great hands-on attraction, which all the family will enjoy.
And another place to consider is the Theatre of the Sea, which is a brilliant mini- Sea Life kind of place, although I wouldn't honestly do both of them on the same day.
My suggestion would be a few hours at the diving museum in the morning, drive to Library beach for a picnic, and a splash around, and then a quick glance at the hurricane monument before making your way, wet, sandy, but happy back to your home.
Address: Helen Wadley Branch of the Islamorada Library, MM 81.5 Bayside, Islamorada, Florida Keys