The Florida Keys usually make it on to lists of the top snorkeling destinations in the world. However, the Florida Keys are 113 miles long. So, how do you find the “best of the best” along a stretch of highway and bridges that long? This list of some of the top snorkeling spots in the Florida Keys will help get you started.
Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the best snorkeling destinations you’re ever likely to visit. You can only get to the fort by boat or seaplane. The water is crystal-clear and the fort itself offers plenty to do when you’re not paddling around. A trip out to Fort Jefferson makes a great day trip but you can also camp out on the island and enjoy some unique night snorkeling.
Four miles off of Key Colony Beach lies Coffins Patch. This stretch of reef offers some of the best snorkeling in the Keys. You’ll encounter countless tropical fish, beautiful coral formations and even a sunken Spanish ship that was part of the 1733 fleet.
Alligator Reef Lighthouse
Islamorada is the fishing capital of the Florida Keys but it’s also home to the Alligator Reef Lighthouse. The lighthouse sits in about 20 feet of water and is home to countless species of marine life, from huge barracuda to majestic rays. A three-mile boat ride will have you on the site in no time.
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary
This sanctuary, located on Big Pine Key, sits among much deeper water than the other locations on this list. At depths of up to 100 feet, snorkelers won’t likely be making any bottom dives here, but you’ll still be able to spot some pretty amazing wildlife among the steep reef walls. It’s not uncommon to find yourself swimming with giant grouper, eels and reef sharks at the same time here.
Fort Zachary Taylor
Key West—the final destination for road trippers along the famous “overseas highway.” Key West is also home to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. This is an excellent option for beginning snorkelers because you can enter the water right from the beach and see tons of fish—no boat ride needed. When you’re done snorkeling you can experience everything that Key West has to offer, from the shops to the amazing food. Embrace the conch life!