Destination

Depth

Description

5 to 15 ft

Explore Cannon beach for historical artifacts or take a boat tour to Key Largo’s inner reefs for some of the best snorkeling in the Florida Keys.

3 to 14 ft

This man-made island in the heart of the Port of Palm Beach offers easy entry to its beautiful rocky reefs.

3 to 10 ft

With a protected cove for beginners and a rocky jetty for the more experienced and adventurous snorkelers, this park has a little something for everybody.

5 to 15 ft

Add a little diversity to your snorkeling trip by experiencing one of Florida’s most beautiful freshwater springs.

5 to 12 ft

This state park offers easy access to some of the best shore snorkeling in Palm Beach, Florida.

6 to 10 ft

Follow the artificial reef as it winds below the Blue Heron Bridge and see if you can spot each of the 300 different marine organisms found here!

4 to 10 ft

Little known by tourists, Coral Cove offers great snorkeling without the crowds.

4 to 20 ft

Providing access to both the Atlantic Ocean and a protected bay, this state park offers some of the best snorkeling near Miami, Florida.

12 to 15 ft

Take the shuttle from Marathon Florida to Pigeon Key to enjoy some history and one of the best places to snorkel in the keys.

5 to 12 ft

Sheltering one-sixth of Florida’s manatee population, the warm Three Sisters Springs is the only place in Florida where one can legally snorkel with these gentle giants.

Boasting the country’s second longest coastline and year-round warm temperatures, snorkeling in Florida offers some of the nation’s best!  Many places to snorkel in Florida are easily accessible from shore and provide diverse habitats and wildlife experiences.  To maximize your water time, we’ve compiled the10 best Florida snorkeling sites for you, including both marine and freshwater options.  If wondering where to snorkel in Florida, look no further!

LOCATION

Key Largo
Florida Keys

DIFFICULTY

Beginner to Advanced

DEPTH

5 to 15 feet (1 to 5 meters)

florida dive sites

Accessibility

The guided snorkel tours are ideal for beginners, keeping to the inner reef, and shallows. Shore diving is more advanced and is only advisable in good conditions. The tours are open from 8 am to sunset, 365 days a year.  Although some seagrass beds and rocky reefs are accessible from Cannon Beach, boat tours are recommended to access reef snorkeling.  Boat tours leave at  9am, 10:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm, 4:30pm and last approximately 2.5 hours.  Adults are $29.94 and children under 19 are $24.95.  Rental gear is also available here. Admittance to the state park is also required.  Vehicles with 2-8 people are $8, single-passenger vehicles are $4 and pedestrians/bicyclists are $2.  The entrance fee plus an additional 50 cents per person is required for admission.

Editor’s Tip

You do not have to take your tour through the concession at the park. Depending on what you’re looking for, private charters can be a great alternative. Private charters offer smaller groups, more flexible and personalized tours, and more variety as to where you can snorkel. Large tour groups are dangerous for the reef and can be a dampener on your adventure.

Sealife & Sightings

The bronze “Christ of the Abyss” statue stands 9 feet tall and is a popular underwater attraction of the inner reefs.  Also keep an eye out for endangered elkhorn and staghorn corals, brain corals, rays, barracuda, and schools of colorful reef fish – Read more.

snorkeling in florida

Why here?

Home to some of the most pristine coral reefs in Florida, John Pennekamp offers one of the best places to snorkel in Key Largo.

Important Considerations

To ensure a spot on the snorkel tour, reservations are recommended. Please note that not all snorkel tours visit the “Christ of the Abyss” statue, especially during peak season, holidays, and rough seas.  If determined to visit the attraction, verify with your snorkel charter or book a private tour.

LOCATION

Riviera Beach
Palm Beach County

DIFFICULTY

Beginner

DEPTH

3 to 14 feet (1 to 4 meters)

Accessibility

Peanut Island offers easy entry due to gently sloping sandy beaches. The lagoon also boasts supporting swim platforms and ladders, making the site good fun for beginners. Peanut Island is accessible by the Peanut Island Shuttle which sells round trip tickets for $12.  The shuttle runs every 20 minutes, 7 days a week.  Boat slips are also available free of charge on a first-come, first serve basis for private boats and kayaks or paddle boards are welcome. More details from the park’s board can be found here.

Sealife & Sightings

Likely to see manatees, rays, tropical reef fish, and even small sharks if lucky!

best florida snorkeling

Why here?

Rocky shores provide some of the most accessible, best places to snorkel in Florida.

Important Considerations

The last shuttle to Peanut Island leaves at 3:30 pm with no return till the following day.  Plan for an early day as the last return shuttle leaves Peanut Island at 3 pm, although camping is available if interested.

LOCATION

Melbourne Beach
Indian River County

DIFFICULTY

Beginner to Advanced

DEPTH

10 feet (3 meters)

Accessibility

The Cove and Sebastian South are sheltered, shallow, and ideal for novices. Both locations are easily accessible along a sandy beach. The 10 foot shallows are, however, dependent on the tides. North Rocks and North Jetty offer access to deeper waters. The North Rocks and North Jetty can be accessed at your own risk through the park or along the A1A bridge. Snorkeling outside of the sheltered lagoon should only be attempted by advanced snorkelers. The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and charges $8 for vehicles with 2-8 people are, $4 for single-passenger vehicles $2 for pedestrians/bicyclists – Source Information.

Sealife & Sightings

Rocks surrounding the cove house juvenile tropical species such as snapper, silver jack, and sheepshead. The occasional manatee has even been spotted here.

best places to snorkel in florida

Why here?

Safe and accessible snorkeling near Orlando, great for newcomers but fun for advanced snorkelers as well.

Important Considerations

Exercise caution outside of the lagoon and snorkel during high tide for the best visibility. All divers and snorkelers must remain within 100 feet of a dive flag.

LOCATION

Devil’s Spring System
High Springs

DIFFICULTY

Beginner

DEPTH

5 to 15 feet (1 to 5 meters)

devils den florida

Accessibility

Although the caves reach significant depths, the pools accessible to snorkelers do not. Snorkelers have unhindered access to the Springs. The site opens at 8 am daily. Entrance is $14.02 for adults and $3.73 for children ages 6-17. Children 5 or under are free – Source information.

Sealife & Sightings

Freshwater species including gar, bass, mullet, catfish, and turtles.

snorkeling in florida near orlando

Why here?

Some of the best freshwater snorkeling Florida, year-round 72 degree temperatures while boasting “visibility forever”.

Important Considerations

Fed by the Santa Fe River, the Devils Spring System typically clears in the summer and early fall. Please be aware that penetration is only for trained cave divers and absolutely no freediving is allowed within this site.

LOCATION

MacArthur Beach
North Palm Beach

DIFFICULTY

Weather dependent

DEPTH

5 to 12 feet (1 to 4 meters)

Accessibility

Please take note that this snorkeling adventure is entirely weather dependent. MacArthur State Park can be fantastic for beginners on a calm day, but it is only advisable to advanced snorkelers in rougher conditions. The park is opens from 8 am to sunset, 365 days a year. State park admission fees of $5 for vehicles with 2-8 people, $4 for single-passenger vehicles, or $2 for pedestrians/bicyclists apply – Source Information.

Sealife & Sightings

The rocky reef here is built mainly on tubeworms and provides home to a combination of Caribbean and Atlantic tropical fish species, small invertebrates, and sea turtles.

best beach snorkeling in florida

Why here?

Easy access to one of the best snorkeling spots in Florida.

Important Considerations

The reef here is located in the break zone and can be dangerous under poor conditions.

LOCATION

Blue Heron Bridge
Palm Beach County State Park

DIFFICULTY

Beginner to Advanced

DEPTH

6 to 12 feet (2 to 4 meters)

Accessibility

Open sunrise-sunset with no entrance fee.  Please see marked signs for the snorkel trail entrance, in front of the lifeguard stand – More logistics and info can be found here.

Sealife & Sightings

Squid, octopus, spotted rays, and starfish are regularly seen along with seahorse. pipefish, spotted eagle rays, and banded coral shrimp. Also enjoy the colorful schools of tropical fish swimming amongst the submerged structures and shark sculptures that make up the artificial reef.

Why here?

The unique snorkel trail follows the artificial reef that sits below Blue Heron Bridge. Made of cinder block reef modules, piles of limestone rock, and shark sculptures, the 15 boulders marking the snorkel trail provide habitat to hundreds of species.

Important Considerations

Snorkeling during an incoming tide will provide the best water clarity. Be aware of strong current near the end of the snorkel trail.

LOCATION

Tequesta
Palm Beach County

DIFFICULTY

Intermediate to Advanced

DEPTH

4 to 10 feet (1 to 3 meters)

Accessibility

Open sunrise to sunset with no entrance fees. The rocky reef can be accessed from shore and is found 50 to 200 feet off the shore.

Sealife & Sightings

Rocky reef with tropical fish, purple eel, nurse sharks, loggerhead turtles, or barracuda.

snorkeling in florida near orlando

Why here?

Coral Cove is a bit of hidden gem to tourists but is well known with the locals for some of the best snorkeling in Florida for beginners. Enjoy the snorkeling here without the crowds of tourists.

Important Considerations

Please bring a dive flag and exercise caution as boats anchor here.

LOCATION

Big Pine Key
Florida Keys

DIFFICULTY

Beginner to Advanced

DEPTH

4 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters)
On the Atlantic side
Deeper water in Bahia Honda channel (More info)

snorkeling spots in florida

Accessibility

The channel is recommended for advanced snorkelers only. The park is open from 8 am to sundown and charges $8 for vehicles with 2-8 people, $4 for single-passenger vehicles $2 for pedestrians/bicyclists. Source information here. Snorkeling can be accessed in the bay or in the Atlantic, both with gently sloping sandy beaches that make entry a breeze – More information can be found here.

Sealife & Sightings

Seagrass and rocky reefs support hard and soft corals, sponges, sea turtles, octopus, stingray, and barracuda.  Look for mating pairs of grey angelfish and the bright blue and yellow sergeant majors that frequent the reef.

key west snorkeling spots

Why here?

One of the best places to snorkel from Miami, Bahia Honda offers diverse habitat which houses hundreds of species.

Important Considerations

Check the conditions and tides before snorkeling in the Bahia Honda channel.

LOCATION

Pigeon Key
Florida Keys

DIFFICULTY

Beginner

DEPTH

8 to 15 feet ( 2 to 5 meters)

Accessibility

To reach Pigeon Key, catch the ferry from Marathon. The ferry costs $12 and leaves at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm. Tours last 2.5 hours and the shuttle runs 365 days a year – Source information here.

On Pigeon Key, A dock located below the old seven-mile bridge offers easy access to reef snorkeling or enter along the island’s numerous gently sloping beaches.

Sealife & Sightings

Rocky reefs support eel and schools of tropical fish. Many fish hide by the dock which is a popular snorkeling location.

key west dive sites

Why here?

Pigeon Key is one of the best places to snorkel in the keys and is also listed on the National Historic Register.

Important Considerations

Gear is not available for rent, so please make sure to bring your own along with a dive flag. For further tips, take a look at this quality report.

LOCATION

Crystal River
Gulf of Mexico

DIFFICULTY

Beginner

DEPTH

5 to 12 feet (1 to 4 meters)

Accessibility

To snorkel at the Three Sisters Springs, you must book a tour.

Sealife & Sightings

Manatees, manatees, and more manatees! Also, freshwater fish and turtle species.

scuba diving in florida for beginners

Why here?

Enjoy the only legal snorkeling with manatees in Florida! This site offers great snorkeling in Florida near Orlando for only a short hour and a half drive and is a great addition to any family vacation.

Important Considerations

Manatees enjoy the warm spring waters mostly during the winter months, with an average of 200 to 300 manatees congregating in the springs between November and March.

Snorkeling in Florida is naturally seasonal, but Florida has a ton of other fun to offer! So if you are on the lookout for an epic Floridian adventure of a different nature, be sure to check this guide out.

To make the most of your experience snorkeling in Florida, please dive responsibly.  Conditions in Florida can change quickly and frequently.  Before making plans, contact individual sites for conditions, closures, or other important information.  Please exercise caution – the use of a dive flag is always recommended, and often required, in many locations.  Always snorkel with a buddy and remember to never touch or harass marine life.  Take only pictures and leave only bubbles.

best snorkeling in florida keys

If you enjoyed this article, but are only looking at snorkeling in the Florida Keys, take a look through our expert guide. We also have a host of comprehensive snorkeling gear reviews from lightweight BCDs to Underwater Scooters, and a whole lot more!

As always, we create our content with you – our fellow divers – in mind. So, how’d we do? Was this informative? Do you think our rankings are out of whack? Or perhaps you just have a few golden nugget tips you’d like to share with our happy ocean-loving community? We’d love to hear from you below.

Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one – Keep Diving Blue!

Laura Foley

Laura is a product expert, a degreed marine scientist, and an oceanography teacher originally from San Diego, California. Since earning her instructor rank in 2010, Laura has certified hundreds of divers through PADI and the Handicapped Scuba Association. An avid traveler, Laura's most memorable excursions include swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines, cave diving in Mexico, and snorkeling between tectonic plates in Iceland. Her key interests are hiking, kayaking, taking photos, and plotting her next great adventure.

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