For those of you not from the US, Florida is located in the southeastern part of the United States, near the Gulf of Mexico. Florida is the third most populated state in America, with around 20 million individuals.
The coastline of Florida is full of incredible wild and marine life. Dolphins, whales, manatees, turtles, and more can be seen in a typical trip to the sea. The climate in the area is affected heavily by the fact that it has no locations distant from the ocean. Lower portions of the state are mostly tropical.
As you might imagine there is excellent snorkeling and scuba diving here. While I was there I found out a new type of snorkeling mask called a “full face snorkel mask“. This new style mask covers your whole face and is incredibly comfortable to wear compared to a standard snorkel mask.
In Southern Florida is the Siesta Key – an island full of great beaches for snorkeling! Crescent Beach is known as one of the greatest snorkeling spots in the area. At Point of Rocks, a location at the southern end of Crescent Beach, there is a great deal of stunning coral. As well, there is an abundance of marine life. This location is breathtaking and clean.
At John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you can find an extraordinary variety of coral reef species, and nearly 700 different types of fish. The great variety of the location allows for the perfect diving experience. Beneath the water’s surface you can find sponges, corals, hydroids, and more – all in incredibly different colors, shapes, and sizes. As well, there are shipwrecks to be seen down below. The best diving is deep, around 100 feet or so so you need to be an advanced open water certified to go there. I would also recommend the use of a dive computer. If you don’t have one, you can see some good diving computers here.
St. Andrews State Park Jetty
Located in Panama City Beach, this inlet is the ideal snorkeling location. At low tide, this area is ideal for families, as younger children are able to handle the area. In the warmer months of the year, the water is ideal for snorkeling, as it is not quite as cold as it tends to be in later months. The visibility is approximated around 20 feet, and there are many varieties of fish to be seen. For the kids, there are plenty of fish and hermit crabs.
This area is home to the sea cow – an endangered species that can grow as large as 10 feet and 1,000 pounds. Near manatees is a snorkeling-only location, as divers are prohibited around the manatees. Manatees are to be treated with the utmost compassion, thus leaving no room for harassment. For divers, there are freshwater springs available. There are different species of wildlife to be scene, including tarpon and redfish.
West Palm Beach
At West Palm Beach, get ready to dive with sea turtles. The water is usually warm and clear, the coral is breathtaking, and the marine life is flourishing. The many fish in this area leaves room for incredible interactive experiences. Drift diving is the way of the water in this area, letting beauty pass by left and right. This is the way of whale migration, making the path of travel an intriguing natural experience as well.