Whether you’re in your backyard pool or an exotic location – everyone loves strapping on a mask and goggles and seeing what’s underneath the blue waves. That’s no different in Key West, where the marine life teems around every corner, and there’s a 100% chance you’ll see something amazing.
We’ve narrowed down the top 5 snorkeling areas in Key West. Plan a day trip, or take a guided tour, to any of these famous spots for an unforgettable day in the Florida Keys.
Top Florida Keys Snorkeling Areas
Fort Zachary Taylor has remained Key West’s most popular snorkeling spot for years. The crystal waters give way to abundant marine life under the waves. It’s an ideal spot for beginners, where the sea is like glass and there’s plenty to look at just off shore. The park also has plenty of other activities like natural trails and guided tours of the fort.
How about spending an afternoon in the country’s first underwater park? If that sounds like your type of snorkel, check out John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which spans a whopping 70 nautical square miles. Wow! Cannon Beach provides easy swim-out access to a visible shipwreck, but offshore snorkeling tours are the way to see the coral reefs and vibrant sea life.
The best reef within the Keys is Sombrero Reef. It’s a shallow area (at most 30 feet deep, at it’s shallowest – 2 feet) and spans 30 acres. Tropical fish float by in abundant schools while the bright coral is just begging to be explored by your snorkel crew.
Key Largo Dry Rocks is world-famous thanks to the Christ of the Abyss statue which sunk to the bottom of the sea in 1965. This statue of Jesus Christ is nine-feet tall with arms outstretched towards the surface. It’s an unbelievable sight, and we highly recommend taking a pilgrimage to this spot for a snorkel trip. You’ll be stunned at the tropical fish swimming around this incredible statue.
Looe Key Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA) is located approximately 5.5 nautical miles south of Ramrod Key and about eight nautical miles southwest of Bahia Honda State Park. A diversity of fish congregate here – parrots and surgeonfish on the north side; barracudas and jacks on top of the reef; grunts, butterflyfish, and angelfish on the reef crest.