Miami is known for its pristine beaches and amazing nightlife, but what many people don’t know is that it’s also a great place to go snorkeling.
Because Miami is surrounded by water, there are plenty of places to go snorkeling. You can rent gear at many beaches or scuba dive shops along the shore.
If you’re looking for coral reefs, shipwrecks, or sea turtles, there are plenty of spots near Miami where you can explore the underwater world.
So, let’s skip right to all the fun! Here are some of the best places to snorkel in Miami.
Best Places to Snorkel Near Miami
Snorkeling is a great way to explore the underwater world and view some amazing marine life. Are you ready for some of the best snorkeling spots in Miami?
I’ve compiled a list of fantastic places that will delight any snorkel enthusiast. So, grab your gear and let’s dive into my favorite snorkeling spots in Miami!
Biscayne National Park
9700 SW 328th Street Sir Lancelot Jones Way Homestead, FL 33033
Biscayne National Park is one of the few places where you may see a variety of tropical fish, including sharks and moray eels, all within sight of Miami. The park is home to a wide range of animals and plants, including more than 500 species of fish.
One of the best ways to explore the Biscayne National Park is taking a snorkeling eco-adventure with the Biscayne National Park Institute. Go snorkeling at a shipwreck on the Maritime Heritage Trail and witness the vibrant coral reefs full of life.
While sailing on beautiful Biscayne Bay, cruise over to Boca Chita Key and lighthouse. If time permits, visiting the Jones Lagoon is a rare treat for the paddleboarders who long to see the dolphins, rays, and sea turtles that swim here.
Dry Tortugas National Park
40001 SR-9336 Homestead, FL 33034
West of Key West, the Dry Tortugas National Park is best known for its group of seven small islands, including Garden Key, which is home to Fort Jefferson. The area was once a strategic military location and is now protected as a national park.
The best way to explore the Dry Tortugas National Park is by snorkeling around the Garden Key moat.
The crystal clear water and abundance of marine life make it a snorkeler’s paradise. You can see everything from colorful coral reefs to schools of fish, lobsters, sponges, sea stars, and anemones.
To go snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas, you’ll first arrive by ferry or seaplane. There are a few options to get you to the Dry Tortugas National Park, so you can explore this beautiful park the way you want.
West Palm Beach
401 Clematis Street West Palm Beach, FL 33401
West Palm Beach is a city located in Palm Beach County, Florida. It’s best known for its beautiful beaches and as a great place to snorkel.
The best snorkeling spot in West Palm Beach is the Phil Foster Snorkel Trail, which offers great visibility and plenty of fish to see.
The trail is located in Phil Foster Park and runs parallel to the beach. If you’re lucky, you may see sea turtles, manatees, octopi, seahorses, and spotted eagle rays.
Be sure to explore the nearby reefs, as well. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, Gulfstream Beach Park, Ocean Inlet Park, and Coral Cove Park are teeming with marine life.
If you’re looking for a snorkeling adventure, consider taking a tour with Visit Palm Beach. They offer a variety of snorkeling tours that will take you to some of the best spots in the area.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a 1,098-acre park located in Key Largo, Florida. The park was established in 1963 and is best known for its coral reef ecosystem. It is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States.
The best way to explore the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is by snorkeling. The park offers a variety of snorkeling tours that will take you through the best parts of the coral reef. You’ll see a variety of fish, coral, and other marine life.
During my last visit here, I was able to see a green moray eel, parrotfish, anemones, and plenty of other fish. If you’re looking for an adventure, consider snorkeling in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
Devil’s Den Spring
5390 NE 180th Ave, Williston, FL 32696
Devil’s Den is a little-known gem in northern Florida. This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime snorkeling experience in Florida. With crystal clear spring water and 72-degree water temperatures year-round.
It’s a unique snorkeling destination in Florida since it’s a prehistoric dry cave with an underwater freshwater spring. Discover millions of years old stalactites and fossil beds as you swim through.
At the University of Florida’s Natural History Museum, you can see some of the fossils discovered at this location.
Want to go on a night dive? They also have that available. Diving and snorkeling gear is available for rentals.
Pompano Beach Drop Off
101 N. Riverside Dr.Suite 111 Pompano Beach, FL 33062
The Pompano Beach Drop Off is a great place for snorkeling in South Florida. This spot offers beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean and a variety of fish to see. It is one of the longer swims from the shore, but it’s worth it.
The best time to go snorkeling is during the winter when the water is clear and the weather is cooler. The drop-off is located in a protected area, so the water is usually calm and the visibility is good.
The shoreline is parallel to the reef. Staghorn coral may be observed growing on the leeward side of the reef as it slopes to the west. For a wonderful scenic tour, start along the eastern slope. The western holes and ledges are worth a try if you’re lobster fishing.
You’ll find a variety of fish here, including parrotfish, sergeant majors, jacks, damselfish, and more. If you’re looking for a great snorkeling spot in Miami, be sure to check out the Pompano Beach Drop Off.
6500 Peanut Island Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33404
If you’re looking for a fun day trip, consider visiting Peanut Island. This island is located in the middle of Palm Beach and offers beautiful views and a variety of activities to do.
The best way to explore the island is by renting a kayak or paddleboard. Be sure to stop by the beach and take a swim. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming. You may even see some dolphins playing in the waves.
Snorkeling is a popular activity on the island, and you’ll find plenty of fish to see. There’s even a small coral reef located near the shore. You can reach this reef from the beach and snorkel the shallow waters for a view of schools of fish and sea turtles.
The island’s rocky coast and position along the bay attract a variety of vibrantly colored fish and other species. Parrotfish, angelfish, stingrays, manatees, and little sharks are the most frequently sighted.
Blue Heron Bridge Waterway
This my favorite places to snorkel. It is considered to be one of the best places to snorkel in Miami. Yes, it’s that good!
Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach offers one of the most spectacular snorkeling and diving locations in The Palm Beaches. Its aqua-blue transparent water is brimming with exotic species and reefs.
The Underwater Snorkel Trail is the real deal, so don’t pass up the chance to see it. Many ocean species have made these man-made reefs their home.
You can find lobster, eels, octopuses, and rays hiding in the coral. Schools of colorful fish swarm around the structures.
I’ve seen a wide range of sea creatures on previous snorkeling expeditions! Pufferfish, starfish, eagle stingrays, tropical fish, manatees, sea turtles, angelfishes, and seahorses are some of the creatures I’ve seen.
Vista Park Reef
1706 NE 19th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Vista Park Reef is one of those secret spots that locals love. The reef is 100 yards long and it is so big you might not see everything in one day.
The coral reef is about 1,000 feet from the shore in Fort Lauderdale and can be reached by swimming straight out to it.
Because of its depth (8-20 ft.), snorkelers particularly enjoy exploring the reef around here. The slack tide provides the clearest water and the reef has areas of coral, sea fans, and fish.
The coral, rocks, and crevices create a beautiful landscape that is perfect for hiding a variety of marine life. You might see snapper, lobster, angelfish, nurse sharks, parrotfish, and stingrays among the reef.
Hollywood North Beach Park
3601 N Ocean Dr, Hollywood, FL 33019
Hollywood North Beach Park is a beautiful park located on the Atlantic coast. This park has it all: a well-maintained beach, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a fishing pier.
The best part about this park? The snorkeling! The park is located on a wide and sandy beach that slopes gently into the water. There are no rocks or coral to worry about, so it’s perfect for beginners.
The wrecks of Tenneco Towers, a well-known scuba diving destination in Hollywood Beach, are located just off the boardwalk.
These wrecks are a popular spot for snorkelers and are home to a variety of fish. You can find schools of fish, barracuda, eels, and more swimming around the wreckage.
Drift diving is also popular here, with tour companies often taking groups of snorkelers to the best spots. Drift diving allows for more time to see the marine life and explore the wreckage.