Best Snorkeling Florida Keys
If you are looking for a nice sailing trip, bike or car trip with lots of snorkeling, fishing and great food, head down to the Florida Keys. The string of islands run from the furthest key, Key West to Fort Kent connecting the 127 mile overseas highway in which there are many original bridges that remain as pedestrian fishing piers.
The best part of the Florida Keys is there are so many accessible points of entry from the shore that makes this so inexpensive and easy. If you want to make day trips out of Miami or Tampa you can it just may take a little longer but still have a great day. If you are stopping off at say Biscayne Bay or right down to Key West or Key Largo there are places to stay and do excursions into the Caribbean.
Biscayne Bay has 2 great locations for shore snorkels including Convoy Point. Key Largo, most snorkelers head to Cannon Beach and has a shipwreck. Long Key at Mile 67.5 on the overseas highway has great shallow reefs ideal for snorkelers. Make sure when you are snorkeling from the shore that you have a "Swim Buddy" buoy, visible snorkel vest or something that makes you visible to other snorkelers or boaters. Take your gear down there and there is nothing short of great places to snorkel.
There are also lots of great snorkel and dive shops if you want to tour around but I will mention a few that have had great reviews and I have been to!
We will start at the top and work our way down to the very end point of Continental U.S. Quite close to Miami and not fully on open ocean on both sides but at Convoy Point you will find rocky coral waters and make sure you bring your own equipment because there are not rentals in the park. Also it is a bit rocky so make sure you have some water shoes.
If you are looking to head out on a boat check out Miami Ocean Rafting. They depart daily from 10 am and 2 pm for convenience. They go in 3 hour long tours and cost is $99.00 per person and a minimum age of 8.
1574 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
They also offer private charters for big and small groups. Call for more information.
You can also rent jet skis and they offer parasailing.
Once in Key Largo (an hour from Miami) you can still head off the shore at any one of the beaches along the way but I recommend Cannon Beach because about a hundred feet off the shore is the 1715 Spanish Shipwreck. Make sure you a good swimmer or have a snorkel vest with a "swim buddy" so you are visible. The visibility out to the wreck is descent but not as good as most spots. The shipwreck is very cool and I highly recommend checking this one out.
If you are looking for something off shore to get away from the crowds, check out Sun Divers Snorkeling Tours. They offer 3 trips daily heading out at 9 am, noon, and 3 pm. Each tour lasts 2.5 hours on their vessel named "Sundiver III" through John Pennekamp State Park which is great for everyone including first timers and veterans.
Adult prices start from $36.95 and children 11 and under are $26.95 but if you click on their website you can save money if you present the coupon.
Gear rental can get quite pricy and you can get a great set for about the same price as renting so lick here to check out some great deals!
102840 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, Florida 33037
From Miami it is around 100 miles taking roughly 2 hours depending on traffic. At mile 67.5 on the Overseas Highway has phenomenal flat shallow waters and you can snorkel right from the shore. There is a campground in the area that offers showers and restrooms to clean up for an easier drive back to your hotel or where ever you may be heading!
If you are looking for somewhere to stay I would recommend Lime Tree Resort which has 2 beautiful beaches that you can snorkel right off of.
Mile Marker 68.5 Long Key,
A Deep Blue Dive Center
If you are into heading out on the ocean from a boat, a couple miles down the way there is "A Deep Blue Dive Center." They depart at 8 am and 12:30 for 3.5 hours each. From around $38.00 you can head out to see Coffins Patch and Sombrero Key finding spectacular coral reef and a plethora of marine life.
400 Sadowski Causeway
Key Colony Beach,
So you made it to the end of the keys on your amazing holiday (or maybe you moved down which may be a better option). About 160 miles or 4 hour drive (roughly) from Miami some may say the best or equally good snorkeling and diving. The southernmost point of the United States, 90 miles from Cuba, and pristine for snorkeling and diving.
One of my favorite spots is the Bahia State Park which is just south of seven mile bridge. It is shallow and beautiful so it is perfect for the whole family. You will see lots of:
and much, much more...
There is magnificent coral, living sponges, and crustaceans are everywhere. There is nothing short of species and coral to look at. At Fort Zachery Taylor Historic State Park, this region is where the Atlantic Ocean meets up with the Gulf of Mexico and has just as much marine life as Bahia but it is neat looking out to know Cuba is actually so close!
Sebago Key West
Sebago Key West is a great option to get off the shore away from the tourists to a more secluded area for snorkeling. You will head out on the Sebago's Marquesa which is a 69' catamaran featuring 2300 square foot deck, fresh water rinsing station and bathrooms. They offer:
Morning Tours from $38.00 leaving at 9:00 am for 3.5 hours.
Children are $27.50 from 6-11 years old.
Afternoon Tours from $45.00 and leaving at 1 pm for 3.5 hours.
Children are $27.50 from 6-11 years old.
There are use snorkel equipment but like always you never know what you will get, so I recommend bringing your own gear. You get complimentary soft drinks and filtered water. Complimentary beer or wine after snorkeling and there is a cash bar for cocktails and beer.
205 Elizabeth Street, Unit 1 Key West, FL 33040