Florida provides a remarkable setting for snorkelers at every level. Florida water deliver an exciting challenge for the season snorkeler and affords the luxury of peaceful waters for those looking for tranquility. The clarity in the water makes it an ideal learning spot for beginner snorkelers as well, as they are less likely to become bored or frustrated.Beginners snorkelers should take note that it is critical to get the proper equipment like a mask and a good set of fins before heading out snorkeling.
The tropical climate and breathe taking colors of the Florida waters, provide a wonderful environment for both the marine life and the snorkelers alike. The snorkeling geared infrastructure is like none other in world, with the multitude of businesses that allow access to the best dive and snorkeling equipment on the planet.
Florida has some of the world’s best instructors and consultants on the subject matter of snorkeling. Experiencing what the “Sunshine State” has to offer in the way of snorkeling just makes good sense. These are some of our favorite spots to venture “under the sea”.
Snorkeling St. Andrews State Park Jetty – Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach is affectionately nicknamed as “The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches”. It is no surprise that one of our top five snorkeling destinations would include one of their sugar sand beaches. The sugar sand transitions divinely into the crystal-clear emerald green waters that Florida is known for.
The clear waters are optimal conditions for first-rate snorkeling. The state park facilities are well kept making it a convenient family fun adventure. This inlet provides two jetties (one on the east side and one on the west side). Both jetties are excellent barriers from the currents, making them ideal snorkeling locations.
The west side jetty is much more child-friendly because provides a stronger shelter from the currents. There is also a small pool for the children to play in on the northern end of the jetty. Be aware that this sheltered area is also attractive to fishermen. The premier snorkeling remains on the east side jetty, though you must be prepared to battle the higher currents. Snorkeling is safer and more desired during times of slack tide.
Snorkeling Point-of-Rocks, Siesta Key, Florida
Point-of-Rocks, located on Crescent Beach in Siesta Key is a unique snorkeling adventure. The gorgeous limestone rocks makes for an intriguing trip. The viability is best early in the morning prior to the ferocious waves that often erupt the sandy floor. You will enjoy the great views of diverse, shook, and dolphins. If you would like to see some manatees, plan your trip for the summer, as they typically make their debut around that time. Be sure to check out the interesting types of algae that call this area home.
Snorkeling Bathtub Reef, Stuart, Florida
Near Stuart Florida, on the southern end of Hitchinson Island, the beautiful Bathtub Reef Park can be found. A reef created of Saballeriid (Honeycomb worms), offers a unique underwater snorkeling experience for the entire family. Saballeriids constructed this brilliant reef by fusing fragments of shells with bits of sand.
High tide is the best time to take on this sensational snorkeling adventure. During high tide the influx of water completely drowns the reef, creating the best possible view of the marine life. The natural reef obstructs strong waves, making the snorkeling safe for children as well.
There has been ongoing construction to the park due to hurricane damage, so there may be no available restroom facilities. Check ahead of time to confirm the status so that you can prepare accordingly.
Snorkeling Sebastian Inlet
Snorkeling at Sebastian Inlet State Park, will make for one of the finest experiences in the water. This body of water has a compressed rock structure, and is surrounded by beaches that make up some of the most well-known surfing spots in Florida.
The snorkeling is best on the rock jetty, as it provides an ideal environment to observe a vibrant marine life. Due to the “jagged” nature of these rocks, it is highly recommended that beginners and inexperienced swimmer avoid these areas. Sebastian Inlet State Park does have a lagoon area that is geared toward the beginners and those that may be inexperienced swimmers, like children.
There is a strong current at the inlet, so it is recommended to climb out towards the end of the jetty (rocks formations) and swim with the current. The inexperienced swimmer may have problems trying to swim into the current and should prepare to wear a life jacket and stay near a group. Various species of marine life have been observed, including dolphins.
Snorkeling Biscayne National Park
Biscayne National Park allows snorkelers easy access to an exceptional ocean, fun for visitors, in the party hopping Miami area. A multifaceted coral system spans an underwater area that is nearly 180,000 acres. Along with the extraordinary coral systems, there are also deep emerald green sea grass beds and mangroves trees that are “sheltered” by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The water at this park is generally shallow throughout the entire year. This shallow water allows you to observe fish with ease. The best time to experience Biscayne National Park is when the water is tranquil, as it provides the snorkeler with the opportunity to observe the ocean life.