South Florida is a renowned travel destination for its world-class marine life and watersports. It is no wonder that Miami has some of the best places for snorkeling in the United States. The city has beautiful attraction sites where visitors can enjoy snorkel excursions and see diverse flora and fauna.
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Miami sits surrounded by water and has some of the most beautiful wrecks, bays, and reefs that form ideal snorkeling sites. The waters are clear turquoise blue contributing to good underwater visibility.
We have prepared for you a list of the best places for snorkeling in Miami. Some are close to the city while others are a few miles away. Either way, they are worth the time and money.
11 Places for Snorkeling in Miami
1. Biscayne National Park
Entry tickets: $99 per person
Address: 9700 SW 328th Street, Sir Lancelot Jones Way, Homestead, FL 33033
Biscayne National Park is one of the best places for snorkeling in Miami. It boasts clear turquoise blue waters and beautiful turtles that will catch your eyes first upon arrival.
The park offers half-day and full-day snorkeling trips that last about 3.5 hours. Depending on the weather, their powerboats take visitors to explore the bay, wrecks, or the reef. On this adventurous trip, you will enjoy bird-watching along the mangrove coastline.
During the snorkeling adventure, you will see a variety of sea mammals like stingrays, red and yellow coral canyons, yellow snapper, hogfish, parrotfish, colorful angelfish, and more. If lucky, you might see the friendly Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.
The tour guides are friendly and knowledgeable. They will teach you marine habitats in Biscayne National Park.
If the weather permits, you will visit a wreck. One of the most famous wrecks is The Mandalay. The Mandalay is a schooner that sank on Long Reef in 1966. You will find its remains while snorkeling at its wreckage site. You will find a lot of colored fish and other flora and fauna around it.
- Biscayne National Park offers daily half-day and full-day snorkeling trips.
- It is 49 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
2. Tarpoon Lagoon Diving Center
Entry tickets: Starting from $80 per person
Address: 300 Alton Road #110, Miami Beach, FL 33139, United States
If you are interested in marine adventures, Tarpoon Lagoon Diving Center in Miami is the place to go. It offers both snorkeling and scuba diving excursions and education. If you have never snorkeled before, do not worry. They offer lessons and diving techniques at an extra cost. But it’s all worth it since you will have the best snorkeling experience here.
Tarpoon Lagoon Diving Center boasts proficient instructors and 64 years of experience in snorkeling and scuba diving.
The excursions will allow you to visit Rainbow Reef, the Half Moon Underwater Archaeological Preserve, and Emerald Reef.
The Half Moon Underwater Archaeological Preserve is a wreckage site where a schooner named Half Moon sunk.
Apart from offering snorkeling lessons, the Center offers diving gear at a fee. If you would like to dive at night, they offer night diving lessons too.
- Snorkeling trips take place Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Check their website for confirmation before booking a trip.
- It is 23 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
3. Dry Tortugas National Park
Entry tickets: $190 for adults (17+) – $135 for children (4-16) – $180 for seniors (62+)
Address: Key West, FL 33040
Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most beautiful eco-attraction sites in the world. It is 3 hours away from Miami, but it’s worth every minute spent traveling.
It consists of seven islands and is ranked one of the best Key West snorkeling destinations.
Its waters are 5-15 feet deep. This factor makes it an ideal place for snorkeling in Miami for both pros and beginners. The shallow waters do not mean that you will not have fun.
You will come across living coral and marine life like colorful tropical fish, queen conchs, starfish, and more!
This snorkeling destination is home to vibrant coral reefs that stretch from this part of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
You will receive a complimentary mask, fins, and snorkel at Dry Tortugas National Park.
Remember to carry some snacks or lunch to keep you well fed during your excursion. If you would like to camp and enjoy snorkeling for a few days, there is a camping site in Dry Tortugas. Bring your camping gear with you.
Always check on their website for the best days to visit owing to the season, weather changes, and other factors that may arise.
- It is 3 hours and 29 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
Entry tickets: $22.95 for adults (18+) – $24.95 for children (17 and below)
Address: 102601 Overseas Highway, Key Largo FL 33037
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park opened in 1963 as the first undersea park in the United States. The park boasts a 25-mile length and a 3-mile width which spreads into the Atlantic Ocean. This famous park gets its name from devoted Everglades conservationist John D. Pennekamp.
After a boat ride, you will receive a snorkel lesson before diving into the clear water to explore the reef on your own. You can choose a solo or guided snorkeling excursion. Guided snorkeling is available at an extra cost.
The whole adventure lasts two and a half hours. The snorkeling excursion takes one and a half hours of this time.
Snorkeling gear is available for hire. Contact the facility in advance if you wish to hire their snorkeling gear.
For those who wish to enjoy a private snorkeling experience, the institution offers private snorkeling charters.
Other activities at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park are scuba diving, glass-bottom boat tours, kayak rentals, and an underwater playground.
- The facility opens daily from 8 am to sunset.
- It is 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
5. Ocean Safari Diving
Entry tickets: Check their website for the ticket prices
Address: 677 SW 1st Street, Miami, FL 33130, United States
Ocean Safari Diving is a half-day excursion that will take you on a snorkeling tour along the Great Barrier Reef, Undine Reef, and Mackay Reef.
In this excursion, you will see a variety of marine creatures. They include devil rays, turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and even you can swim with dolphins in Florida, that’s one thing the majority of foreigners love to do in Florida as it’s sounds crazy for others.
Lucky snorkelers have reported seeing Humpback whales! It’s all in the timing of the season.
Their friendly guides are known to be knowledgeable and generous with information. They will answer all your burning questions.
Each trip consists of 25 people. This number is good and manageable.
Ocean Safari Diving is renowned for offering the best scuba diving program and gear in Miami. If you are also interested in scuba diving, this is the best place to check out.
- It is 21 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
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6. South Beach Dive and Surf Center
Entry tickets: $119 per person
Address: 850 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
South Beach Dive and Surf Center offers half-day snorkel trips to wrecks and reefs that are on Key Biscayne. This single trip includes two snorkel locations, Neptune memorial Gardens and Rainbow Reef.
The institution has been offering scuba diving, surfing, and snorkeling services since 1995. It lists as one of the best places for snorkeling in Miami. This fact is partly owing to their exemplary services.
Apart from snorkeling, they also offer some scuba diving courses and excursions.
The whole excursion takes three and a half hours, including travel time to the diving spot. A snorkel ticket includes a snorkel vest, mask, fins, and a snorkel.
Children who are 6 to 15 should be in the company of an adult to be allowed to concert. 16 – 18 year-olds should also be accompanied by an adult or produce a letter signed by their parent or guardians before the excursion starts. Children under six years are not allowed to snorkel.
Anyone who wishes to snorkel at South Beach Dive and Surf Center is required to have swimming knowledge.
- Snorkel trips are available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.
- It is 30 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
7. Pompano Beach Drop Off
The Pompano Beach Drop Off is a renowned diving and snorkel place in Miami for its proximity to world-class reef dives and wrecks. It is known as the ‘Wreck Capital’ of Florida because most of its wreck dives are in Hillsboro Inlet.
The Drop Off is famous for having calm waters with little to zero currents. This factor makes it an ideal location for snorkeling in Miami.
It covers about 25 mooring buoys like Copenhagen and the Nursery. The Copenhagen Archaeological Preserve lies on the south end of the reef and is between the third and fifth buoy. Undercut holes and ledges are on the north end of the reef. The reef stretches over one mile in length.
The snorkel site is about four hundred yards from the shoreline. Its depth is between 15 – 26 feet.
It has abundant marine life and coral species.
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8. Devil’s Den Spring
Entry tickets: $15 per person on weekdays – $22 on weekends and holidays
Address: 5390 NE 180th Avenue, Williston, FL 32696
Devil’s Den is a privately owned snorkeling and scuba diving place in Miami.
It is a pre-historic site that features fossil beds that date back to thirty-three million years, crystal clear water, and antique rock formations. The rock formations have stalactites. All these factors contribute towards making Devil’s Den a unique snorkeling site.
The turquoise blue spring’s water temperature is 72 degrees all year-round. The facility runs a heated swimming pool in which you can dive right in after your snorkeling adventure to gain some heat.
You do not need to have any prior snorkeling experience to visit this unique place for snorkeling in Miami. Every snorkel session is limited to ninety minutes.
Anyone under the age of 18 years should be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Alternatively, they can be in the company of an adult authorized by their parents to be their chaperone. A parental consent form is available on the institution’s website. Kids under six years are not allowed to snorkel.
You must reserve a snorkeling trip in advance. You should bring your gear or hire from the facility at a fee.
- It opens daily. Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, and Friday to Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.
9. West Palm Beach
Address: 401 Clematis Street West Palm Beach, FL 33401
West Palm Beach is one of the most beautiful and the 3rd largest reef with shipwrecks, corals, and limestone formations in the world. It is home to several snorkeling places in Miami, including Peanut Island, Red Reef Park, and Phil Foster Park.
It also has diverse flora and fauna that you will explore during your excursion.
For a more secluded experience, you can explore Gulfstream Park and Coral Cove Park. These two beaches are less crowded and offer a similar experience.
Guided snorkel tours and private snorkel excursions are available.
- West Palm Beach is open daily for 24 hours.
- It is 1 hour 29 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
10. Blue Heron Bridge Waterway
Entry tickets: Free
Address: Blue Heron Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33404
Blue Heron Bridge Waterway is one of the most renowned snorkeling destinations among snorkelers and divers. It is under the Blue Heron Bridge.
Its water is said to be legendary. The Waterway is famously known as the best shore diving in the United States.
One of the factors that contribute to its popularity is the fact that it is free.
You will not be charged any fee to dive or snorkel. It has a diverse collection of marine mammals like sea robins, batfish, flying gurnards, dolphins, the Atlantic mimic octopus, seahorses, stargazers, and more!
The snorkeling water trail ranges between 10 – 15 feet deep.
The Blue Heron Bridge Waterway is suitable for those people who are already experts at snorkeling since it’s a public ground and does not have any official guides on site. Snorkeling lasts only an hour owing to slack high tide.
11. Peanut Island
Entry tickets: $90 for two people
Address: 6500 Peanut Island Road, Riviera Beach, FL 33404
Peanut Island is in Riviera Beach.
It receives clear turquoise blue water from the Port of Palm Beach inlet. Its clear water makes it a perfect place for snorkeling in Miami.
It is also a destination for other water activities like kayaking and paddle-boarding.
This small island is only accessible by water taxi, a private boat, or ferry.
It attracts beautiful marine creatures owing to its location at the mouth of Port of Palm Beach and its rocky shoreline. You will see colorful fish like parrotfish, sergeant majors, and angelfish, and other ocean mammals.
The Eastern shore that faces the water inlet is the best snorkeling site. This fact is owing to the rock pile structure that acts as a magnet for ocean life.
A snorkeling lagoon has been set aside along the Southern shore. It attracts manatees during the winter season.
Peanut Island is a popular destination for families with children because colorful fish and other marine life can be seen waist-deep in the water.
A snorkeling excursion also includes a self-guided kayaking tour. A ticket covers two masks, two sets of fins, a double kayak, and two snorkels.
- It is 1 hour 44 minutes away from Miami International Airport.
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