John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

4.2
#1 of 15 in Parks in Key Largo
Must see · State Park · Nature / Park
Create an itinerary including John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida State Park located on Key Largo in Florida. It includes approximately 70 nautical square miles (240 km²) of adjacent Atlantic Ocean waters. The park is approximately 25 miles in length and extends 3 miles into the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first underwater park in the United States. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1972. The primary attractions of the park are the coral reefs (such as Molasses Reef) and their associated marine life.

In Fiscal Year 2004 the park had more than a million visitors, making it the most popular park in the Florida State Parks system. The Florida Keys and the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast are the only living coral reef formations in the continental United States.

It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and many more Key Largo attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Key Largo online holiday planner.
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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6,928 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • As an outdoor enthusiast, I have to disagree with the previous review I saw upon taking the time to write this. I put this place on the top of my list for places to visit and camp. We stayed over in.....  more
    As an outdoor enthusiast, I have to disagree with the previous review I saw upon taking the time to write this. I put this place on the top of my list for places to visit and camp. We stayed over in.....  more »
  • The staff was great but the boat itself was not. The viewing windows were so small I could barely see anything. Getting inside the area where we had to sit to look down at the windows was very... 
    The staff was great but the boat itself was not. The viewing windows were so small I could barely see anything. Getting inside the area where we had to sit to look down at the windows was very...  more »
Google
  • We did the coral reef snorkeling tour and had an amazing time! It was my husband and I first time snorkeling and we booked the 10:30 tour. The conditions were 2ft waves and recommended experiences snorkelers. Both of us can swim well so we decided to give it a try. It also looked like it was going to rain on shore but once you get to the reef it was really sunny! We had captain Rob and first mate jimmy who were great answering questions and making jokes! We went with the 1/2 wetsuit, and the dry snorkels. Very happy with paying to rent the wetsuit as I got in the water much quicker! And I think it is worth paying extra for the dry snorkel especially if there is wavy conditions! We saw lots of tropical fish, it seemed like most were hanging around the coral rocks. We ended up seeing a Caribbean reef squid which was pretty neat! Really recommend this tour, it is well organized and set up well. A few recommendations: bring cash to tip your captain and first mate and we went during the week and definitely didn’t need to arrive 1.5 hours early for our 10:30 tour, but maybe we just went on a really slow day, so call ahead of time.
  • Highly recommend doing the snorkeling tour! First of all it’s the cheapest I could find especially if you bring your own gear but that’s not why this place deserves five stars. It deserves five stars because what an incredible experience was. Super friendly staff very knowledgeable who are there to have a good time just as much as you. They taught my girlfriend and I the ropes and sent us off and what we saw was absolutely spectacular. On the boat ride out we saw dolphins and even a sea turtle and during our dive countless fish in the reefs. Can’t recommend enough! Definitely formed a new hobby for us in the future, we rented gear but bought personal masks from their shop shortly after departing the boat. A must for Key Largo or any trip to the Keys!

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