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Nixon Beach Sandbar and Shallows

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Nixon Sandbar - Boats

The west side of Key Biscayne is laden with mangroves and tidal shallows.

At the westernmost point (which is actually a separate island called Mashta Island) and at the southern end of the shallows, the water is about knee deep and covers a wide sandbank called the Nixon Beach Sandbar (President Nixon had a private residence in Key Biscayne while he was in the Whitehouse).

The sandbar is a popular gathering spot for boaters and on a sunny day there may be hundreds of moored vessels, each playing their own sound track of salsa, merengue and reaggeton. It will be extremely noisy, and the smell alcohol in your nostrils will be intertwined with diesel fumes.

As a passing kayaker, there isn't much for you to do here, except to catch your breath.

The north end of the shallows is much more quiet, but also covered with sea grasses so there aren't many places to get out and stretch your legs. You are also more directly exposed to easterly winds coming in through Bear Cut Inlet.

There is more wildlife on the north shallows. You will occasionally see stingrays and nurse sharks in the water hunting for small fish, and cormorants and pelicans perched on top the mangrove trees.

The north shallows are a very pleasant spot for a stop and listen to the sounds of nature, provided the party on the Nixon Sandbar isn't too rowdy.

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