John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Renowned for being the country’s first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses an impressive 70 nautical square miles. While many visitors view the park’s colorful coral reefs and teeming marine life on a glass-bottom boat tour, one can get an even closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling.
Canoeing and kayaking through the park’s waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas.
Visitors can also enjoy walking on short trails through tropical hammocks, picnicking or swimming at the beach. The visitor center features several large saltwater aquariums filled with sea creatures, and nature videos are shown in its theater. Full-facility and youth/group campsites are available.
The Florida Keys is home to some of the best fishing in the world. Here in Key Largo your fishing choices will range from trolling the Gulf Stream for Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna. If Deep Sea fishing isn’t what you’re looking for, maybe a stop on our many reefs for some bottom fishing. Here you may pick up a Grouper, Yellowtail Snapper, or maybe even some Mangrove Snapper. Or, maybe your fancy is inshore fishing the Florida Everglades. Here you have the opportunity to catch some Sea Trout, Snook, and maybe even a Tarpon. So whatever your fishing desire is, here in Key Largo you will have many choices. Whether bringing your own boat, or chartering with one of our local Captains, you are sure to make some great memories.
There are many excellent diving choices here in Key Largo. If you are looking to dive a wreck, there are a number to choose; the Spiegel Grove, the USCG Duane, the USCG Bibb, or the Benwood. These wrecks will not disappoint. If your not into the deep dive of one of our wrecks, the reefs offer some great shallow dives. Be it the Christ of the Abyss at Grecian Rocks, Molasses Reef, or Carysfort Reef Lighthouse, you will see abundant and diverse marine life. As we have many diving options in Key Largo there are just as many Dive Operators here in Key Largo.
Scuba diving is not the only way to enjoy your underwater adventures. For those that are not certified to Scuba Dive, grab your mask & fins and jump in. You can experience some of the same adventures those Scuba Divers will find. Those same reefs, Christ of the Abyss, Molasses Reef and Carysfort Reef Lighthouse welcome snorkelers to enjoy their underwater world. As with Scuba Diving, there many local operators that provide snorkel trips to these great sites. You can find a local operator for both small and large groups.
You will enjoy your boating experience in the Florida Keys. But everyone must be aware of the challenges a boater must watch out for. While the crystal clear water is inviting, it can also be deceiving. Whether you bring your own boat, or rent one, to safely operate a boat you must stay aware of your environment. The use of local charts will help a boater familiarize themselves with the local boating hazards. Stay safe.