What We Know About the Best Snorkeling in Florida
Florida state is located at the Southeast end of the USA. The state is an extremely popular tourist destination beloved for nice sunny weather all year round and dozens of great beaches.
Florida snorkeling offers serene clean blue waters and lots of interesting things to explore nearby the shore. Big variety of sponges, corals, and sea fans are home to schools of rainbow tropical fish, crabs, rays and shells. Florida is an excellent place to encounter dolphins and manatees. Florida coral reef begins from around Miami and runs South along the Florida Keys.
The Best Places To Snorkel In Florida
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach welcomes visitors with silky white quartz sand and clear emerald green waters. This Gulf beach is an incredible place to combine family rest and snorkeling. The rocky jetty near St. Andrews State Park provides easy and comfortable snorkeling. The jetty may be promptly found, just follow the wooden crossovers from the parking to the seaside, it will be in the West.The best snorkeling is at slack tide. The jetty’s West side is well protected from currents and is good for snorkeling with children.
Egmont Key is a nice spot for snorkeling in South Florida. The key lies in between Anna Maria Island and Fort Desoto County Park at Tampa Bay. Egmont key is reachable by boat only. You can hop onto one of excursion boats at Saint Petersburg. Egmont Key is famous for submerged ruins of Fort Dade which attract abundant marine life and ensure wonderful snorkeling. The best visibility is in May & June.
Regina sugar barge
Regina sugar barge went down 150 feet offshore from Anna Maria Island’s Bradenton Beach in 1940 because of a heavy storm. The vessel with length over 200 feet rests on the seabed under just 20 feet of water. This shipwreck can be easily found as it’s pointed by a buoy. The water at this site is calm and the visibility usually is great.
Point-of-Rocks is placed on the South side of Siesta Key’s Crescent Beach (a little walk South from Old Stickney Point Road). Crescent Beach has beautiful white sand. Snorkeling at this point is decent, visibility usually is poor but you can encounter little and medium fish, sometimes large snook, various crustaceans and crabs, red boring sponge. Possible to encounter dolphins and during summertime - manatees.
Among places to snorkel in Florida, Venice Beach is famous as the one where you can find shark teeth underwater. To get such a trophy head to Venice Beach. Other snorkeling conditions here are middle level, the water usually is rather cloudy. The sand on Venice Beach is dark (almost black).
Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park offers the best snorkeling in Florida being a stunning place to explore Florida coral reef. Over 175,000 acres of park waters are home to abundant pelagic life, lush soft & hard corals, exuberant seagrass beds and mangrove forests. Snorkeling here is quite similar to Florida Keys snorkeling. The coral reefs are reachable by boat only, the trip takes about 1 hour.
Sebastian Inlet presents one of the best snorkeling in Florida for experienced snorkelers. Rock jetties are habitat for diverse marine life including quite big fish. This is the spot to meet dolphins and manatees. The current is strong, so beginners and kids should not snorkel along the rocky edge by exploring the sheltered lagoon. A walk through Sebastian Inlet State Park, one of Florida’s top-rated parks, will be a great bonus to beach rest and snorkeling.
The following interesting Florida snorkeling spot is Bathtub Reef located in the similarly-named park on Hutchinson Island’s South coast nearby Stuart. The reef is popular as it is made by the tubeworms and its rocks look like honeycomb. Water is well protected from waves by Bathtub Reef hence the site is good for snorkeling with kids.
Red Reef Park
Red Reef Park public beach placed in Boca Raton provides a well-equipped facilities, however, an admission fee is applied. The rock reef lies just nearby the shoreline and offers a lovely snorkeling at high tide. The Red Reef is good for snorkeling with kids as the deep is up to 6 feet only.
Datura Avenue Snorkel Trail
Datura Avenue Snorkel Trail or Lauderdale-by-the-Sea presents one of the best snorkeling in Florida. Placed in a short drive North from Fort Lauderdale, one block South from Anglin's Pier. The depth varies from 12 up to 18 feet. While snorkeling Lauderdale-by-the-Sea you can relish a plethora of fish and rays even nearby the coastline, possible to see Nurse Shark and big Tarpon fish.
The site is also highly recommended for diving in Florida. The dive spot is an artificial shipwreck placed 200 feet offshore with replica ballast piles, cannons and a big anchor.
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park
John U. Lloyd Beach State Park is listed amidst the best places to snorkel in Florida. Actually snorkeling all along the coastline South from Port Everglades Channel is pretty fine. The park is at the Northern end of North Ocean Boulevard, North from Dania Beach. The public beach has full amenities, the entrance fee is applied. Rock jetties protect the beach hence, the water is serene. The rocky reef lies parallel to the coastline 75-100 yards offshore and the average depth is 20 feet. Another artificial rocky reef is placed at the park’s North end around 600 feet South from the jetties. The average deep of the site is 15 feet.
You can try diving in Florida in this park as well. A fine diving spot is located South from Dania pier nearby the first parking lot. The second dive site is in several hundred yards South from the jetties.
Dania and Hollywood Beaches
Dania and Hollywood Beaches are excellent Florida snorkeling sites for advanced swimmers. The rocky ledges which are habitat to marine life situated 100-200 yards offshore. Alternatively, you can snorkel Dania Beach Erojacks at the beach’s Southern end. Concrete sections placed underwater parallel to the pier’s Northside attract pelagic life. The depth is 10-20 feet.
Peanut Island lies in the Lake Worth Inlet opposite Riviera Beach Marina. The square of this man-made islet is 80 acre. The island provides wonderful facilities for beach rest and is a nice location to spend holidays with a family. Sheltered intercoastal waters are suitable for snorkeling with children. Except shoals of small and medium size fish, you can see manatees which come to enjoy inner warmer waters. Get to Peanut Island by boat or a water taxi.
Florida’s nickname, Sunshine State, says lots about the local weather. It is sunny during the whole year, still summertime is warmer and more humid. Summer is featured by an average air temperature +27C and frequent evening heavy showers. Winter is mild, the average air temperature +16,5C. The warmest water temperature is in July - September and in average is +29C, the freshest one is within January - March and in average is +23,5C. The best time for Florida beach rest and snorkeling is summer and September. In winter, the waters may be quite cold, especially to the North from Cape Canaveral.
Florida’s Main Airports
Florida has lots of international and domestic airports which provide flights all over the world. The busiest Florida’s airports are Miami International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, Orlando International, and Tampa International.