The beach is located on the south side of the island, along the Atlantic Ocean and State Road A1A, and begins at mile marker zero, the beginning of A1A. The beach is lined with coconut trees and is often crowded with tourists and locals alike.
On September 2, 2013, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad arrived on Smathers Beach after swimming 110 miles (166 kilometers) from Havana, Cuba. It was the first time a person had ever swum from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
Smathers Beach has a tropical savanna climate. During the summer, temperatures range from 80 degrees F to 95 degrees F. Winter temperatures range from 50 degrees to 80 degrees F.