Best Snorkeling Spots in Florida - Everything You Need to Know

by GUILLAUME GEORGES on March 22, 2023

Florida Fort Meyer Beach

Welcome to the Sunshine State, where snorkeling is a year-round activity thanks to Florida's warm waters and subtropical climate. With the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean surrounding the state, Florida is a snorkeler's paradise. Whether you're an experienced snorkeler or just starting, Florida's numerous snorkeling spots and diverse marine life offer something for everyone.

One of the things that make Florida's snorkeling spots so unique is the variety of environments to explore. You can explore underwater caves and swim in natural springs, all while encountering Florida's diverse marine life. The underwater world is a magical place, and Florida is a perfect place to experience it.

Whether you're a seasoned snorkeler or a newbie, Florida's snorkeling spots will leave you in awe. Get ready to dive into some of the most breathtaking underwater worlds in the Sunshine State as we take a journey through the best places to snorkel in Florida!

You should also check our 15 Best Snorkeling Destinations In The World.


Snorkeling in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is a chain of islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern coast of Florida. From Key Largo in the north to Key West in the south, the islands are renowned for their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and abundant marine life. Snorkeling is a popular activity in the Florida Keys, and for a good reason. The coral reefs surrounding the islands are home to a vast variety of marine creatures, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and even sharks. The water's clarity is exceptional, which makes it easy to spot marine life from the surface, and the warm waters make snorkeling enjoyable year-round. Learn more about the Best Snorkeling Places in the Florida Keys.

Snorkeling at Tampa

Tampa Bay

Nestled along Florida's Gulf Coast, Tampa is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. From the world-famous Busch Gardens amusement park to the historic Ybor City district, there's no shortage of things to do in this vibrant city. But did you know that Tampa is also a fantastic destination for snorkeling?

Located just a short drive from Tampa, the crystal-clear waters of Egmont Key State Park offer snorkelers the chance to explore vibrant coral formations and encounter a variety of marine life. With its shallow reefs and calm waters, Egmont Key is an excellent spot for beginners and experienced snorkelers alike. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, colorful tropical fish, and even dolphins as you explore this stunning underwater world.

If you're looking for a more guided experience, local companies offer snorkeling tours of Egmont Key, providing you with all the necessary equipment and a knowledgeable guide. And after a day of snorkeling, you can unwind at one of Tampa's many excellent restaurants, sampling fresh seafood and other local delights. Learn more about the Best Spots to Snorkel at Tampa.

Snorkeling In The Springs Near Orlando

Blue Spring State Park

The springs around Orlando are some of the most beautiful and unique snorkeling spots in Florida. With their crystal-clear waters and lush underwater landscapes, these springs provide an unforgettable snorkeling experience. You'll be surrounded by a rainbow of colors as you encounter freshwater fish, turtles, and even manatees in their natural habitat. The water is so clear that you can see up to 100 feet ahead, making for an incredibly immersive experience.

There are several springs around Orlando that are perfect for snorkeling, including Rock Springs, Kelly Park, and Blue Spring State Park. These springs offer a range of depths and underwater landscapes, so you can choose the snorkeling spot that best suits your skill level and interests. And if you're lucky, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of an alligator or two!

Learn more about the Best Snorkeling Spots Near Orlando.

Snorkeling in Miami

Miami Key Biscayne

Miami is not only famous for its sunny beaches, but also for its incredible snorkeling opportunities. If you're looking for an adventure in the turquoise waters of Miami, you're in luck! There are plenty of amazing spots to explore the colorful underwater world, including Key Biscayne, the Florida Keys, and Biscayne National Park. Dive deeper and discover The Best Snorkeling Spots in Miami.

The crystal-clear waters in these areas offer a breathtaking view of the underwater world, where you can observe an abundance of marine life. From vibrant tropical fish to graceful sea turtles, there is no shortage of things to see! And if you're up for a more thrilling experience, you can even explore some of the shipwrecks located in the area.

While some of these snorkeling areas may require a boat or guided tour to reach, it's definitely worth it. Just make sure to plan ahead and book your tour or rental equipment in advance. And always remember to follow safe snorkeling practices, such as avoiding touching or disturbing the wildlife and wearing appropriate gear.


Snorkeling in Destin

Destin Harbor

Destin is the perfect place to explore the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico's underwater world. With its crystal-clear emerald waters, pristine white sand beaches, and vibrant marine life, snorkeling in Destin is an experience you won't forget. The East Jetties and Destin Harbor are two popular spots for snorkeling enthusiasts. The East Jetties offer a unique snorkeling experience, where you can spot schools of fish and even sea turtles. On the other hand, Destin Harbor is a great place to see rays, crabs, and other marine creatures. If you're looking for a more guided experience, there are several local companies that offer snorkeling tours and equipment rentals, making it easy to plan your snorkeling adventure in Destin.

Learn more about Snorkeling In Destin.

Snorkeling at the Shipwrecks Off the Coast of Key Largo

Off the coast of Key Largo, the SS Copenhagen is a wreck that lies in shallow waters and is suitable for snorkeling. The ship sank in 1900 and is now home to a variety of marine life, including colorful fish and coral. It's located in relatively shallow water, making it accessible to snorkelers of all skill levels. The wreck is also home to a variety of marine life, including colorful fish and coral.

To get to the SS Copenhagen, you'll need to go to Key Largo, which is located in the upper Florida Keys. The wreck is located about six miles off the coast of Key Largo and can be accessed by boat. There are several tour operators in the area that offer snorkeling trips to the SS Copenhagen and other nearby wrecks.

When snorkeling at the SS Copenhagen, it's important to follow safe snorkeling practices and take steps to protect the marine environment. This includes not touching or standing on the coral, avoiding contact with any marine life, and not taking anything from the wreck as a souvenir.

It's also a good idea to wear a wetsuit, as the water can be cool, even in the summer months.

When is the Hurricane Season In Florida?

The hurricane season in Florida typically runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the peak of the season occurring from mid-August to late October.

For snorkelers who are planning a trip to Florida during hurricane season, it's important to monitor weather forecasts and stay informed about any potential storms or hurricanes that may be approaching the area. If there is a storm or hurricane warning, it's best to avoid going snorkeling until the weather conditions improve.

It's also a good idea to choose a snorkeling location that is sheltered from the wind and waves, such as a protected bay or cove. The Crystal River is home to numerous springs, such as Three Sisters Springs and King's Bay, where you can snorkel among manatees and a variety of fish. The water in these springs is typically calm and clear, making for excellent visibility and a peaceful snorkeling experience.