6 Best Snorkeling Spots in Florida

by Jane Sophia
Best Snorkeling Spots in Florida

Neither Florida nor snorkeling need any introduction. Snorkeling water sport is increasing in popularity day by day. Let us know more about best snorkeling spots in Florida.

Oceans, and seas that are pregnant with diverse, and colourful marine lives including the coral reefs but don’t attract tourists, have started providing facilities, and amenities for snorkelling, thus building their tourism.

Florida is surrounded by seas, and oceans on its three sides.

  • East-Atlantic Ocean
  • South-Straits of Florida
  • West-Gulf of Mexico

With more than 2100 km of coastline, Florida boasts of excellent marine lives, and coral reeds.

This is what the scuba divers, and snorkelers are looking for; a long coastline with diverse geography.

Why Florida has the best snokeling spots in the U.S.?

  • Small ‘key’s,
  • Rivers,
  • Marine state parks,
  • National parks,
  • Marine sanctuaries,
  • Bays,
  • Estuaries,
  • Lagoons,
  • Marine protected areas

These are all great spots to snorkel.

6 Best Snorkeling Spots in Florida

Let us look at my compilation of the best snorkelling destinations in Florida.

  1. Key West

Out of 800 keys (Cays) (islands) off the shores of Florida, Key West is the most visited key for its spectacular beaches, and wonderful marine lives.

Swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers converge on Key West like bees.

Divers, and floaters (snorkelers) will have to travel in a catamaran to some distance in Florida Straits to get into the water because, for some reason, marine creatures do not like the beaches of the keys.

Dolphins are seen swimming, and jumping in large numbers but at a distance from the shore.

Coral reefs can be spotted a bit farther.

where you dive into the water wearing your snorkel, and fins, you can easily recognize jellyfish, sea sponges, nurse sharks, and lobsters.

Another unique marine creatures you can spot are the Sea Anemones.

Sea Anemones

They appear as some underwater flowers or plants. However, they are living creatures in eye-catching colors.

It is no wonder, Key West is one of the best snorkelling destinations in Florida.

  1. John Pennekamp Cora Reef State Park

Usually, this takes the number one position in the list of the best snokeling destinations in Florida.

John-PennekampThis favourite place for snorkelling in Florida is located in Key Largo. It is 100 km north of Key West.

A coral reef park means it is an underwater park. While you can snorkel anywhere around the key, Cannon Beach is somehow liked by the range of tropical fish and that is where, the snorkelers are asked to go.

Apart from those swimming creatures, you can get into a shipwreck. In addition, there is a statue of Christ, standing erect on the sea floor.

It is known as the Christ of the Abyss.

Among the various fish species, the parrotfish, yellowtail snapper, and the brilliantly-colored Blue Chromis stand out.

If you get to see a long fish, recognize it as the Caribbean Reef Shark.

Emperor Angelfish. Surely it is unique and beautiful.

  1. Bahia Honda State Park

An entire key among the Florida Keys is named as a marine state park. It is located 35 km northeast of Key West.

The Atlantic Ocean surrounding this location is blessed with abundant fish species that both the snorkelers, and seabirds are interested equally.

Leaving behind the seabirds, snorkelers are taken on a boat. They are taken near the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. It preserves the coral reefs present under the water.

Among the familiar fish species, you can see the starfish, spiny lobster, and conches. Snorkelers join an arranged tour of the state park, and the sanctuary.

It is somewhat a thin-crowded snorkelling destination in Florida.

  1. Ocala National Forest

In this lush forest, snorkelers, and swimmers seek out the Alexander Springs set amidst beautiful jungle.

I never knew a spring is a habitat for fish species that are worth looking at. Nonetheless, the Alexander Springs covers a staggering 7,900+ acres.

The water body hides a mini forest in its belly. They act as ideal habitat for unique freshwater fishes species that include Bluegill, Bass, and Florida Gar.

That makes the Alexander Springs a good snorkeling destination in Florida. Johns River feeds the springs.

De Leon Springs is the nearest city to the Alexander Springs. The distance between the two is 37 km.

  1. Dry Tortugas National Park

The NP is in Garden Key, one of the Florida Keys. Garden Key is located in the Gulf of Mexico, on the west coast of Florida. It is roughly 100 km west of Key West.

The water is said to possess great clarity, which suits snorkelers to see through their goggles.

Barracuda, Angelfish are easily spotted as soon as you hit the water. It means, their population is thick in the waters surrounding the Harden Key.

Getting to Garden Key snorkelling spot in Florida.

Seaplanes fly between Key West to Garden Key. The ride takes 40 minutes only. However, this is not a standalone trip.

You have to be a part of half a day tour to Fort Jefferson, the major attraction on Garden Key. You will get time to do a snorkelling stint. The price also includes lunch.

  1. Biscayne National Park

It is part of Biscayne Bay which is located very close to the Miami City. The Biscayne Key is connected by a road with Miami. A little less than an hour drive from Miami will get you to the wildlife-rich NP.

The dense mangrove forest in Biscayne Bay provide ample habitat to numerous marine creatures, reptiles, and birds, including the long-flying Pelicans.

Snokelers who go to Biscayne Key can’t wait to get into the water wearing the snorkel and the fins. Their focus will be the Florida Reef, the largest reef system in the U.S.

The barrier coral reefs run for 270 km in the Atlantic Ocean!

I think the proximity of the Caribbean Sea that is known for possessing diverse, and rich marine lives, is the key reason for the water around Florida peninsula to be a great snorkeling destination.


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