Florida Snorkeling

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Surrounded by water Florida is a mecca for snorkeling. The best places to snorkel are on coral reefs where you will see many kinds of fish and other marine life.

Florida Reefs

Florida has the largest barrier reef in North America. The barrier reef is 221 miles long and runs from the northern tip of Key Biscayne off Miami south down to Dry Tortugas. There are many excellent snorkeling and diving spots on the barrier reef.

There are small detached reefs called patch reefs starting off the coast of Stuart Florida and running south down the coast of Florida.

Snorkeling in Florida can be done year round because the water is relatively warm.

Protecting Reefs
If you are going to snorkel or dive in Florida it’s critical that learn a very simple rule to help protect the Reefs.

Never touch the reef. It is alive and touching the reef, standing on the reef, or making any contact with reef kills it.

If you are taking your own boat to dive on a reef then do not anchor on the reef - look for a sandy area nearby to anchor.  In some areas there are buoys that you can tie up to.

Snorkeling in the Florida Keys

The Keys have the absolute best snorkeling with crystal clear water and both the barrier reef and patch reefs everywhere.

To find a snorkel spot your best bet is to visit a local dive shop and get the locations.

Books about Diving and Dive Charts

There are many books about diving in Florida and Florida Reefs and most boating stores and dive shops sell charts, which are maps with diving locations.

Many dive charts such as Top Spots describe the types of fish and other marine animals you will find on at each snorkeling location.

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Articles about Florida Snorkeling


Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge

Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge has a friendly atmosphere where campers can relax and enjoy the sun along the coral rock shoreline and divers can enjoy the nearby Looe Key National Underwater Marine Sanctuary.  It is located in the Lower Keys at Mile Marker 33.

Sugarloaf Key Resort KOA Kampground

Sugarloaf Key

On the Atlantic Ocean in the Lower Keys, the Sugarloaf Key Resort KOA Kampground is located at Mile Marker 20.  As the southernmost KOA Kampground in North America, this campground offers activities year round.

Knights Key Park Campground and Marina

Marathon

The oceanside Knights Key RV Resorts and Marina is located in the Middle Keys at Mile Marker 47 in Marathon Florida.  The Knights Keys Campground offers it guests clean, grassy sites among mature banyan and gumbo limbo trees.  Campers can swim on their beach or relax by tiki huts.

Dry Tortugas

Key West

Seventy miles off of Key West the Dry Tortugas is the site of Fort Jefferson built with 16 million bricks in the 1840’s and surrounded by breathtaking coral reefs just off the beach.

You can get to the Dry Tortugas on a 2 hour cruise aboard the Yankee Freedoom II.

Snorkeling Key West

Key West

Crystal clear water and coral reefs teeming with life are just a few miles off the shores of Key West. See parrotfish, tangs, bright coral, and a loggerhead turtle in just 10 feet of water.

With 80 feet or more of visibility and coral reef as far as the eye can snorkeling is a must during any visit to Key West.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo

On Key Largo in the Florida Keys at Mile Marker 102.5, you’ll find the award winning John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.  Home to the only living coral reef in the United States, the reef begins in Miami and stretches 221 miles down the Keys to the Dry Tortugas near Key West.

It is the third largest living coral reef in the world.  You can enjoy year round swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving at the John Pennekamp state park.