I have been to Smathers Beach and actually Key West is one of my favorite places to travel...such a great laid back atmosphere with so much to see and do! I am not sure if you are planning to visit while on a cruise or just as a destination but Smathers Beach is located at the South side of the "island" or key, near the airport. Smathers Beach is a nice beach, not the best I have seen but nice. They do not clean up the seaweed and the first foot of the shore is quite thick with the stuff. But once past the seaweed the sand is nice and the water is warm! They have alot of sand volleyball games going and places to rent rafts to take into the water. The beach is not close to any restaurants or shops like you will find on Duvall street. I would give Smathers Beach a 6 on a scale of 1-10. Nice to visit but not an incredible beach. Please let me know if you are visiting the Keys aboard a ship or planning to fly direct. (The drive from Miami to Key West is amazing and the way I would recommend to go!) Key West is fun...hope you get the chance to visit!