Snorkeling is fun, it keeps you physically fit and is a safe water activity pretty much any age group can enjoy.
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Growing up in Florida, my wife and I have been blessed by a having warm, temperate crystal clear ocean right on our doorstep. So we are going to be reviewing and giving you some great places to go snorkeling if you ever come to Florida on a vacation.
We will be laying out our top 9 places to snorkel in Florida in 2020 and beyond. Please read on below.
First off – What is snorkeling?
Snorkeling is basically swimming through the water with your face looking beneath you while you are equipped with a swimming mask and a snorkel that lets you breathe while keeping your head submerged.
The mask gives you a clear vision of the water and sea life beneath while the snorkel which is a hollow piece of tubbing with a mouthpiece at the end allows you to breath underwater, as the tube is long enough to poke out of the water and intake fresh air for you to breath.
Snorkeling is very easy and anyone can do it. It’s a joy and should be experienced by everyone at least once.
The good thing about snorkeling is that, unlike diving, you don’t need to be strong and physically in shape. Barrier reefs, islands, warm and temperate seas, and beaches are some of the best places to start snorkeling.
Recently, many other aquatic ecosystems such as mangroves, lagoons, and rocky areas have attracted nature lovers to go and explore them.
- 1 First off – What is snorkeling?
- 2 Why snorkeling is so calming?
- 3 How to have safe snorkeling experience?
- 4 Best Place for Snorkeling in the U.S.
- 5 Florida! Best of the Best in the U.S.
- 5.1 1. Key West
- 5.2 2. Florida Keys Snorkeling
- 5.3 3. Biscayne National Park Snorkeling
- 5.4 4. Three Sisters Springs Snorkeling
- 5.5 5. Devil’s Den, Williston Snorkeling
- 5.6 6. Crystal River Snorkeling
- 5.7 7. Bahia Honda State Park Snorkeling
- 5.8 8. Peanut Island, Riviera Beach Snorkeling
- 5.9 9. Ginnie Springs Snorkeling
- 6 Snorkeling in Florida Conclusion
Why snorkeling is so calming?
We mentioned earlier that everyone gets relaxed near water. So, snorkeling is ever more relaxing! Besides, many believe snorkeling is not just a hobby anymore, but it has become a meditation technique for people who suffer from different illnesses.
So, let’s see where the healing power of snorkeling is coming from.
- Are you worried about being in shape? Have you got tired of boring usual working out secessions at the gym?
If yes! Snorkeling is your solution to experience something new and useful for your body. First, you are exposed to constant pressure from the water.
- As a result, all parts of your body start struggling to dominate water and move forward.
Second, the energy needed to snorkel for just 30 minutes is around 250-300 calories per hour.
What do you want more! It is exciting, not boring at all, and as efficient as working out very hard!
- If you are suffering from major and minor conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart failure, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, snorkeling will be a fantastic exercise to energize your entire cardiovascular system.
- Controlling mouth breathing is one of the basic techniques in many meditations such as Yoga.
Snorkeling regulates your breath and releases endorphins. Consequently, you get calmer and more self-confident. Also, you will get rid of all those stress and anxiety.
- In addition, boosting people’s creativity, generating a sense of awe, feelings of weightless calm, and slowing down your brainwaves are other benefits of snorkeling.
How to have safe snorkeling experience?
Just like any other activity, you should be prepared before snorkeling. There is the equipment you need to buy.
In addition, there are several safety instructions that you should follow accurately. Otherwise, your holiday might end very badly. Here are five steps for you to start snorkeling as safe as possible:
- You might have bought very expensive and professional equipment (mask, snorkel, and fins) and that’s great.
However, I’m afraid it’s not enough! You should be used to them. Before snorkeling, please try wearing them. Make sure there is no fracture on your mask. Clean the glasses and check if you can see around you clearly.
Be careful, you should not tighten your mask buckles, otherwise, your vision gets disorientated. Also, try breathing when you are not underwater, right? Take this very first step very seriously.
- Even when you are sure of your equipment, you should not snorkel where you don’t have any control over it.
Choose a safe place and put your mask into the water. The technique you should learn is how to blow the water out of the mask valve. This could happen anytime! Don’t swallow the water, otherwise, you put yourself in a very bad situation.
Although your mask is fitted, The water might go into it. In that case, don’t get stressed and simply put your head out of the water and lift the mask and let the water goes out.
- Floating is the next step for you. When you get used to keeping your head underwater without any problems, now it’s time to learn how to float and breathe through your mask.
- The next step is just pure enjoyment.
You should try to keep your body in a horizontal position and move forward and enjoy the underwater world.
These mentioned steps are critical and must be done. However, there are other minor issues that should be taken seriously:
- Many experts recommend not to snorkel alone! So, it would be much more relaxing when you snorkel with a friend, right?
Then you aren’t worried about unwanted accidents.
- When you are snorkeling, you get extremely excited and want to explore more.
But be careful, don’t let this excitement distracts you. For example, always mind you surrounding and try to stay close to the shore/reef.
Best Place for Snorkeling in the U.S.
The U.S. is considered as one of the most exciting destinations when it comes to snorkeling.
You might wonder why?! First, the U.S. has more than 95 miles of coastline, stretching from San Diego’s sea caves to the Florida mangroves.
Tropical fishes, forests of giant kelp, and dolphin pods are some of the most interesting animals that thrive in American beaches.
Ok! You might not like these mentioned sites. Maybe, you like to visit the U.S. and experience snorkeling at the same time.
If so, I have good news for you. There are many places in the U.S., in which you can enjoy relaxing and clean beaches.
Many of these sites are designed for snorkeling too. For example, Maui in Haleakala Volcano & beaches, O’ahu in Honolulu, Waikiki Beach & Pearl Harbor, Key West in Duval Street, and Mallory Square & Hemingway are some of these places.
In addition to water-based activities, there are many museums, lighthouses, and memorials to watch.
Florida! Best of the Best in the U.S.
Florida has always been in the center of attention for tourists because of many reasons.
Florida is a state placed in the southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico.
Florida greatly depends on the tourism industry with more nearly two million people employed in it.
Now, one of the pillars of the tourism industry is definitely their beaches that harbors snorkeling maniac.
Have you got interested enough to check out these nice places in Florida? If yes! I’m going to review some of these fantastic places in terms of the price, location, and activities provided in each site. Let begin!
1. Key West
Key West is an island located at 24°33′55″N 81°46′33″W in the Straits of Florida. Snorkeling is very exciting as long as you can enjoy other activities too.
Key West is one of the best options for you! Here are the reasons. There are several other touristic attractions in Key West, including the Ernest Hemingway Home, Southernmost Point of the Continental US, and Mallory Square!
They are great after you snorkeled and enjoyed the beaches. This site has also several beaches such as Smathers, Higgs, Dog, and Rest beaches, ready for you to jump and snorkel.
Traveling from London to this place costs £276 euros. Also, you should pay something like £300 euros to book a room. I know it’s a bit expensive, but it’s worth it.
2. Florida Keys Snorkeling
Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. This is my favorite place in Florida because it has everything I expect to experience while I’m traveling.
Snorkeling in these sites is extremely enjoyable since the coral reef are very diverse with different tropical fishes and other animals.
You can snorkel in John Pennekamp coral reef state and molasses reef while enjoying from Dolphins Plus Bayside.
There is also a theater of the Sea there! You can swim with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, stingrays, and nurse sharks.
John Pennekamp coral reef state is approximately 25 miles in length and extends 3 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. Also, Molasses reef is now part of a Sanctuary Preservation Area.
I leave you with one of the comments from a person who has visited the sites:
“Spent a whole day here and had a great time. We added the shark and dolphin experience. Beautiful landscaping and very clean and maintained well. Enjoyed the 30-minute shows and how you could join in, in between extra experiences”.
This site is also expensive since you should book a £415 plane ticket from London and renting a room costs £150 per day.
3. Biscayne National Park Snorkeling
They call this site a watery wonderland. This place is unique for one very important feature.
Many other places for snorkeling require a boat to take you to where the depth is fine for snorkeling.
However, in Biscayne National Park you don’t need to have any boats. You can snorkel directly from the white-sand beach.
Also, you can see a historic lighthouse near the beach which would be an excellent shot for your Instagram posts.
It is also possible to explore the park’s mangrove-fringed shorelines and shallow bay waters by canoeing and kayaking. The water and sky are so clear that they call the experience “paddle through the sky!”.
4. Three Sisters Springs Snorkeling
This site is part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, 601 Three Sisters Springs Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429, United States.
It provides an opportunity for you to enjoy shuttling, walking, and cycling. You should know that people can’t get into the water from the refuge due to erosion.
Interestingly, it has one of the most crystal clear water. It is so clear that you can see the amazing wildlife from the surface.
Also, there is a nice boardwalk mounted around the springs that allow you to have a nice shot of the surrounding.
There are also 18 restaurants within 0.3 miles and 13 other attractions for you to visit. I found more than 100 reviews on tripadvisor.com. There were mainly positive! Like this one: “Very enjoyable leisurely cruise. Check-in was handled very well. The guide was knowledgeable. Even though it was not manatee season we did see a few.”
5. Devil’s Den, Williston Snorkeling
Wow! This is my favorite spot for snorkeling. It reminds me of those underground hidden cities foul of mysteries.
It has amazing underwater cave systems! They are decorated with excellent lighting which makes you start diving and going deeper and deeper.
This site which is located in 5390 NE 180 Ave, Williston, FL 32696, United States, motivates your sense of curiosity as one of the leading SCUBA diving training and recreational facility.
Scuba diving and snorkeling equipment can be easily rented. Besides, heated Swimming Pool, more than 30 Picnic Tables, Charcoal Grills, and five Cabanas are in your vicinity for relaxing.
6. Crystal River Snorkeling
This site is placed in Crystal River city in the western part of Florida.
You can enjoy water adventure, do outdoor adventure, and learn about Art & Culture in Florida. Like everywhere else, it is also possible for you to buy exquisite souvenirs to have this nice experience forever with you.
Regarding water adventures, there are many diverse incredible springs, bays, and lakes in the area.
This diversity is very interesting as you can make yourself busy with different water-based activities such as meeting a manatee, scalloping, fishing, kayaking & paddle-boarding, and Scuba diving.
7. Bahia Honda State Park Snorkeling
You can experience the breathtaking views offered by the Florida Keys! It is placed in 36850 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, United States.
According to bahiahondapark.com, the park includes offshore which is the best place for snorkelers.
You can rent a kayak and join snorkeling tours to enjoy Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. Don’t worry about the internet connection, since there is free 24 hours Wi-Fi available at concession building.
Coral reefs in this site are populated with Elkhorn and gigantic Star coral which make your snorkeling experience the best one you have ever experienced.
The price is not also very much since the tour price for adult and children are $29.95 and $24.95, respectively.
If you don’t have snorkeling equipment, don’t worry! You can rent them at a reasonable price.
Another good thing about this site is that you can make a reservation online. World-class beaches are another feature provided by this site. As an example, Calusa Beach near Bahia Honda bridge and Sandspur Beach are two of the most relaxing beaches in the world.
8. Peanut Island, Riviera Beach Snorkeling
This site is an island in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States.
Like many other beaches in Florida, it has snorkeling tours for tourists. Snorkel tour happens close to Golf Stream. I reviewed the comments from the tourist.
Many say they have seen thousands of tropical fish. You should note that the site is near public transportation. Also, service animals are allowed.
There are too many positive reviews on the Internet, making everyone sure that this is a place to visit for sure.
9. Ginnie Springs Snorkeling
If you don’t worry about the price and want to experience more private places, I suggest you try Ginnie Springs.
This private park is located in Gilchrist County about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northwest of High Springs, Florida, USA. Diving, swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking are all available for you in Sante Fe River.
A user-friendly website advertises this amazing place. General, dive, and camp prices are not very expensive, even though it is private property.
Snorkeling in Florida Conclusion
In this essay, we explored what snorkeling is. It is one of the best water-based activities for everybody.
It is not only very exciting but also good for your health. However, there are many issues that you should notice before snorkeling.
First, you need to buy the equipment.
Then, you must learn how to do it. I know, it is not very complicated, but there are several major and minor issues that everyone should consider.
Next, where to go? Where are the best sites for snorkeling in the world? We introduced them and highlighted what they offer.
Finally, we talked about the best places for snorkeling in the U.S. and then focused on Florida as one of the best sites in this country. We highlighted what they offer and what other activities are available for you to explore.
I hope you enjoyed this article and see you soon in the next post! ; )
Welcome to our Sea Scooter Fun blog. Our passion is the ocean and we live for our ultimate hobby which is getting out on the ocean with our snorkels and sea scooters. Come join the fun 🙂