Snorkeling is one of the most popular water sport activities in Florida. The calm and soothing waters of the Atlantic Ocean allow you to have a wonderful experience and explore the fascinating sea life. In this article, we’ll review some of the best snorkeling spots in Florida that you should definitely consider visiting as they guarantee fun to both the beginners and the experienced divers. Don't forget your snorkeling gear, for some serious fun in the water - I also rated the best full face snorkeling masks available - check out the list.
Best Spots to Snorkel in Florida
Cannon Beach, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Here at Cannon beach, snorkeling is truly worth the trip because you will be able to see a variety of fascinating creatures such as a barracuda or a tarpon. Moreover, to make it more jaw dropping, about 100 feet from the beach are remnants of an early Spanish shipwreck which is where fish congregate.
This interesting island offers a unique experience where you can see plenty of colorful fish. But that’s not all - if you appreciate history, the most stunning view Pigeon Key provides is the remnants of the railroad tracks’ construction from a long time ago. However, there is an admission fee to snorkel at Pigeon Key, so do take note of that.
Indian Key Historic State Park
If you are a snorkeling enthusiast, you will absolutely love this place. You can easily reach this island if you rent a kayak or a canoe and you can enjoy the marine life found here between the coral rocks.
Point-of-Rocks, Siesta Key
The limestone formations you will find here at Siesta Key are likely to amaze you. Snorkeling here, you will see plenty of medium-sized fish as well as hermit crabs and red boring sponge.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
You can reach the beach by walking or taking a tram over the saltwater lagoon; the large rock formations attract all sorts of sea creatures such as sea turtles and stingrays which makes this place great to explore in.
Coral Cove Park, Jupiter
The natural limestone formations here at the beach of Coral Cove Park attract plenty of sea life, which makes this place perfect for snorkeling.
Peanut Island, Riviera Beach
This man-made island is a great place to snorkel and see lots of colorful fish as well as other creatures that are attracted to the rocky shoreline. You can even see small sharks as well as rays and manatees.
Bathtub Reef Park, Hutchinson Island
This snorkeling spot is ideal for both children and adults alike as it is protected from the waves. The unusual reef here attracts plenty of marine life and creates a perfect home for them, making it a perfect place to just watch and appreciate the sea life.
The reef was created by “honeycomb” worms which form porous rocks and ledges by cementing together sand and little pieces of shell.
Many people think of snorkeling as a rather simple activity, but there is more to it. While it can give you hours of fun, it is actually more interesting if you learn how to do it in an effortless way. Here are a few things you should consider first:
Basic swimming skills are necessary if you wish to try out snorkeling obviously, so if you don’t know how to swim, take swimming lessons or practice freestyle swimming first.
However, swimming is not the only thing you should practice - swimming with fins should be learned as well as this might be difficult for you if you are a beginner. If you are not used to them, you may experience cramping up, that is why it’s important to master it.
Learn How to Relax
If you are a beginner, one of the most important things is to learn how to relax in the water to avoid panicking. However, if you do feel panicked at some point, lift up your head and float on your back.
Snorkeling can be such an enjoyable and relaxing activity, but it’s not all fun and games. It is important to be prepared before you snorkel and consider safety tips to ensure that you will have fun and not risk your life at any point.
Don’t Snorkel Alone
It is smart to always go snorkeling with someone instead of being alone, especially if you are new to this activity. Although it is a rather safe activity, the open ocean is unpredictable, so you should always have someone next to you in case you need help.
Get To Know Your Surrounding
Before you go snorkeling to your desired area, try to gather the basic information about the place first. Informing yourself on the possible riptides or strong currents is recommended, so that snorkeling will be more fun and relaxing.
Consider Ocean Snorkeling Conditions
Being aware of the ocean snorkeling conditions is essential for your safety when snorkeling, as well. Before you go and snorkel, try to determine the size of the waves as well as the ocean currents and the wind beforehand.
Know When You Should Stay at Home
It is important to know which situations are favorable to snorkel in, so you can decide if you should just make other plans or stay at home instead. If you went to a party the night before and drank lots of alcohol, it is best if you don’t go snorkeling. This also applies for if you have a cold and are not feeling your best.
Best Time to Snorkel
When you are deciding on the best time for snorkeling, consider several things - the time of the day is equally important as water movement and the sunlight. The bottom composition or water clarity is crucial when determining the ideal time for snorkeling since the clarity of the water can be affected by mud, sand and coral vegetation.
The best part of the day to go snorkeling is high slack tide, or the time when the tide ends and the low tide begins. Moreover, a cloudless day at noon would be perfect for this fun activity, as well. It is important to avoid snorkeling on a cloudy day as this can significantly affect your visibility.
The movement of the water can affect visibility, as well, depending on whether the waves are gentle or crashing over the shoreline, so this is something you should pay attention to.
Lastly, algae blooms can block sunlight as they cover the surface of the water, so avoid snorkeling in this period. Fortunately, algae blooms are usually short-lived, so you will be able to snorkel again once they’re gone.
Snorkeling is a rewarding and relaxing activity that individuals of all ages can enjoy. It is usually safe and if you make sure to choose the right place and time to go snorkeling, you can have an amazing experience.