Booking Widget Bar

A Body Of Water With Waves

The Florida Keys, a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off Florida's southern tip, are a paradise for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine life offer an undersea world begging to be explored. Here's a guide to the best snorkeling and diving spots in the Florida Keys.

Key Largo: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Key Largo is not just the gateway to the Florida Keys, but also the dive capital of the world. At the heart of Key Largo's underwater wealth is John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Covering approximately 70 nautical square miles, it's the first underwater park in the U.S. Divers can explore the mesmerizing coral reefs and marine life, including an encounter with the famed Christ of the Abyss statue.

Set nearby, Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo is the perfect base for your snorkeling and diving adventures in the Florida Keys. This all-suite resort offers luxury accommodations complemented by private beach access and a marina. Whether you're a seasoned diver or a snorkeling newbie, Ocean Pointe Suites ensure a seamless experience with easy access to all the prime diving spots in the Keys.

Islamorada: Alligator Reef

In Islamorada, Alligator Reef beckons divers with its vibrant marine ecosystem. Named after the USS Alligator, which ran aground here in 1822, the reef hosts a lighthouse that serves as a beacon for snorkelers and divers alike. At around 20 feet, the clear shallow waters offer excellent visibility, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling in the Florida Keys.

Marathon: Sombrero Reef

Moving on to Marathon in the Florida Keys, Sombrero Reef awaits. Protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, this reef is home to brain corals, star corals, and a plethora of tropical fish. Snorkelers will find the site easily accessible, with stunning marine life visible even in shallow waters.

Big Pine Key: Looe Key Reef

Further along the Florida Keys, Big Pine Key houses Looe Key Reef, another sanctuary zone. Known for its coral formations and diverse marine life, Looe Key Reef is often considered one of the most spectacular dive sites in the Florida Keys. From massive elkhorn corals to schools of colorful fish, the site offers a visual treat for divers and snorkelers.

Key West: Vandenberg Wreck

Down at the southernmost point of the Florida Keys is Key West, where the Vandenberg Wreck lies. This artificial reef, created by intentionally sinking the former USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg in 2009, has become a hotspot for marine life. Divers get a chance to explore the 523-foot long ship and witness how nature reclaims human-made structures over time.

Lesser-known Gems

While the mentioned sites are undoubtedly popular, part of the charm of snorkeling and diving in the Florida Keys is discovering lesser-known gems. For instance, diving at the offshore reefs around Duck Key can reveal a myriad of marine species, while the tranquil waters of Bahia Honda State Park present a fantastic snorkeling experience, particularly for beginners.

Preserving the Florida Keys

While enjoying the Florida Keys' underwater beauty, remember to respect and help preserve this delicate ecosystem. Practicing responsible tourism ensures that the vibrant reefs and abundant marine life will continue to captivate snorkelers and divers for generations to come.

After a day of exploring the underwater wonders of the Florida Keys, returning to Ocean Pointe Suites at Key Largo feels like coming home. The private beach invites for a relaxing evening stroll, and the on-site café provides the perfect place to share the day's adventures over a delicious meal. 

The Florida Keys offer a world of aquatic exploration unlike any other. Each snorkeling and diving spot presents a unique facet of the vibrant and diverse marine life that populates these waters. Whether you're after the thrill of exploring a sunken ship or the calm serenity of gliding along a coral reef, the Florida Keys are a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. And for every discovery made, countless more await in the enchanting underwater world of the Florida Keys.

related stories

February 20, 2024

A Guide to Seafood Festivals in the Florida Keys

Read More About A Guide to Seafood Festivals in the Florida Keys
February 20, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About the Florida Keys Nautical Flea Market

Read More About Everything You Need to Know About the Florida Keys Nautical Flea Market
February 02, 2024

Things to Do in Key Largo, Florida: A 2024 Guide

Read More About Things to Do in Key Largo, Florida: A 2024 Guide
November 17, 2023

Chasing Adventure: Water Sports and Activities in the Florida Keys

Read More About Chasing Adventure: Water Sports and Activities in the Florida Keys
November 17, 2023

Exploring Islamorada: The Sport Fishing Capital of the World

Read More About Exploring Islamorada: The Sport Fishing Capital of the World
November 17, 2023

Exploring the Underwater World: Key Largo Dives and Snorkeling Tours

Read More About Exploring the Underwater World: Key Largo Dives and Snorkeling Tours
October 17, 2023

Family-Friendly Fun: Kid-Friendly Activities in the Florida Keys

Read More About Family-Friendly Fun: Kid-Friendly Activities in the Florida Keys
October 17, 2023

Key West’s Famous Sunset: Where to Watch the Magic Unfold

Read More About Key West’s Famous Sunset: Where to Watch the Magic Unfold
October 16, 2023

Exploring Big Pine Key and the Lower Florida Keys: Dive into Nature and Wildlife Encounters

Read More About Exploring Big Pine Key and the Lower Florida Keys: Dive into Nature and Wildlife Encounters
September 22, 2023

Discovering Key Largo: The Best Vacation Rentals in the Florida Keys

Read More About Discovering Key Largo: The Best Vacation Rentals in the Florida Keys
September 22, 2023

Family Getaways: Top Family-Friendly Vacation Rentals in the Florida Keys

Read More About Family Getaways: Top Family-Friendly Vacation Rentals in the Florida Keys
September 22, 2023

The Advantage of Vacation Rentals Over Hotels in the Florida Keys

Read More About The Advantage of Vacation Rentals Over Hotels in the Florida Keys
September 12, 2023

Art and Culture in the Florida Keys: Museums, Galleries, and Festivals

Read More About Art and Culture in the Florida Keys: Museums, Galleries, and Festivals
September 12, 2023

Exploring Dry Tortugas National Park: A Day Trip from the Florida Keys

Read More About Exploring Dry Tortugas National Park: A Day Trip from the Florida Keys
September 12, 2023

Road Trip Itinerary: Driving the Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys

Read More About Road Trip Itinerary: Driving the Overseas Highway through the Florida Keys
August 23, 2023

A Birdwatcher's Paradise: Exploring the Avian Life of Tavernier

Read More About A Birdwatcher's Paradise: Exploring the Avian Life of Tavernier
August 23, 2023

Dive into Adventure: The Best Scuba and Snorkeling Spots in Tavernier

Read More About Dive into Adventure: The Best Scuba and Snorkeling Spots in Tavernier
August 23, 2023

Sunset Views: The Best Places to Catch a Sunset in Tavernier, Florida

Read More About Sunset Views: The Best Places to Catch a Sunset in Tavernier, Florida
August 23, 2023

Tavernier through the Seasons: What to Expect Throughout the Year

Read More About Tavernier through the Seasons: What to Expect Throughout the Year
August 15, 2023

Exploring the Florida Keys' Shipwrecks: Diving into History

Read More About Exploring the Florida Keys' Shipwrecks: Diving into History
August 15, 2023

Island Hopping by Bike: The Ultimate Guide to Cycling in the Florida Keys

Read More About Island Hopping by Bike: The Ultimate Guide to Cycling in the Florida Keys
August 15, 2023

Seaplane Sojourn: Uncovering the Hidden Beauty of the Florida Keys from the Sky

Read More About Seaplane Sojourn: Uncovering the Hidden Beauty of the Florida Keys from the Sky
August 09, 2023

Exploring the Unique Wildlife of the Florida Keys

Read More About Exploring the Unique Wildlife of the Florida Keys
August 09, 2023

Fishing in the Florida Keys: A Complete Guide for Anglers

Read More About Fishing in the Florida Keys: A Complete Guide for Anglers
August 09, 2023

Key Lime Pie and More: Discovering the Local Cuisine of the Florida Keys

Read More About Key Lime Pie and More: Discovering the Local Cuisine of the Florida Keys
August 01, 2023

Best Time to Visit the Florida Keys: Weather and Seasonal Highlights

Read More About Best Time to Visit the Florida Keys: Weather and Seasonal Highlights
August 01, 2023

Exploring the Florida Keys by Kayak: Scenic Paddling Routes

Read More About Exploring the Florida Keys by Kayak: Scenic Paddling Routes
August 01, 2023

Romantic Getaways: Planning a Couples' Retreat in the Florida Keys

Read More About Romantic Getaways: Planning a Couples' Retreat in the Florida Keys
August 01, 2023

Snorkeling and Diving Spots You Can't Miss in the Florida Keys

Read More About Snorkeling and Diving Spots You Can't Miss in the Florida Keys
August 01, 2023

The Tropical Tapestry of the Florida Keys: Unfolding the Top 10 Island Gems

Read More About The Tropical Tapestry of the Florida Keys: Unfolding the Top 10 Island Gems