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Best Snorkeling in Florida – Great Places to Visit

Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by Dan

Planning a snorkeling trip to Florida?  

Narrow down your search here by location or by the activities included in each place.

If you want to go snorkeling in Florida then you have many options available but none probably as well known as the Florida Reef.  It is the third-largest reef system in the world and spans four miles wide.  It starts up toward the Miami area and runs down around Key West.  In many places of the reef you will be able to swim out to it from shore but in others, you will need to take a boat out so be sure to know which location you are at.  You don’t have to go to the Florida Reef to still have a great time snorkeling in Florida.  There are other really cool places to snorkel that include shipwrecks and other beautiful underwater scenery.

Most people will want to go snorkeling during the summer months when the water is warm but if you dare you can always grab a wetsuit and go too.  You will also need clear and calm water so that you can see everything that is going on underwater.  I recommend getting as much information as you can about each location and talking to locals so that you protect yourself from dangers such as motorboats and rip currents.

Here is a list of some great places to check out throughout Florida for an amazing snorkeling trip.

Florida Panhandle:

  • East Jetty at Destin – Do all things beach here.  Snorkel, dive, layout, swim, or boat.
  • St. Andrews State Park – Take a boat to Shell Island to snorkel.  It is part of St. Andrews state park.  Buy a snorkel package or grab some gear and swim out on your own.

Southwest Florida:

  • Regina Sugar Barge – Off Bradenton beach on Anna Maria Island snorkel to view the Regina, a sunken ship from 1940.
  • Venice Beach – Known for finding shark teeth in the water!
  • Egmont Key – Can only be reached by boat or ferry.  This state park is known as a wildlife refuge but there is still the opportunity to snorkel in the beautiful waters.

Southeast Florida:

  • Sebastian Inlet – Snorkeling, surfing, playgrounds, biking and more.  Located in Melbourne Beach.
  • Peanut Island Snorkeling Lagoon – Camping, manatee viewing, snorkeling and swimming.
  • Detura Avenue Shipwreck Snorkel Trail – In Lauderdale, this trail is highly rated and you can swim to it from shore, about 300 feet out.
  • Biscane National Park – Close to downtown Miami.  Come here to snorkel the coral reef, boat or even camp at this park.

The Keys and beyond:

  • Dry Tortugas National Park – 19th Century Fort and snorkeling.  It can only be accessed by boat or seaplane because it lies 70 miles off the coast of Key West.
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – Located in Key Largo it is the first underwater park in the U.S.
  • Key West Snorkeling Excursions – This link will take you to a post about different snorkeling excursions in Key West.