You’ll want to bring your bathing suit if you’re visiting John Pennekamp State Park -- seeing as most of the park is underwater. Yep, the colorful coral reefs right off the Key Largo coast are the main draw here; don some scuba gear and hop on a boat for a four-hour scuba diving tour if you want the best up-close and personal views. Diving not your thing? No problem; park concessions also runs snorkeling tours -- you can even purchase snorkel gear at the park shop. For those of you adverse to getting wet under any conditions, the park’s still got you covered. Glass-bottom boat tours depart daily, so you can view the freaky underwater flora and fauna without ever putting on a fin. Back on land, you can hike among the mangroves or set out a towel and soak up some sun on one of the park’s two beaches. After a day of diving, snorkeling, or boating, you’ve earned some relaxing beach time.
Most of this park consists of water and coral reefs. Boat rides can be purchased to take you out to the reefs for snorkeling. It also has two lovely beaches for swimming and mangrove canals for paddling.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was the first undersea park in the United States, and encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. Located in the Florida Keys, the park's upland areas offer visitors a unique experience in the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks.