Enjoy our list of free snorkeling spots in Florida! I recently posted a list of all the springs located in northern and central Florida. Unfortunately, if you live or are visiting south Florida, a drive to the springs is going to be a long one! However, the water in the southern part of the state is so clear and so blue! Instead of the springs, considering snorkeling, or just swimming in some of these great and budget friendly spots. Always go with a buddy and bring a dive flag just in case you end up heading out deeper than expected. If you are looking for true dive locations (i.e. shipwrecks, etc.), this list probably isn’t going to be more you.
Some locations may require an early start to get parking on the weekends, so please check with each municipality about parking considerations. The table of contents below will link you to different areas of Florida – use this! There is a lot to just scroll through.
At the top under the table of contents is an interactive map of ALL the cheap and free snorkeling spots in Florida. All of these locations are under $10. Some may require an early start to get parking on the weekends, so please check with each municipality about parking considerations. Also, the best time for snorkel visibility is to snorkel at “slack tide” – about 1 hour before high tide. The table of contents below will link you to different areas of Florida – use this!
Map of Budget Friendly and Free Snorkeling Spots in Florida
The panhandle area on my list includes everything west of Lake City. It includes the major areas of Tallahassee and Pensacola, as well as all the smaller towns along the Emerald Coast on the Gulf of Mexico. The snorkeling in this area will mostly consist of artificial reefs.
Pensacola Beach Area
- Park West – 1390 Fort Pickens Rd, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561 (Sound side)
- Navarre Beach – 8740 Gulf Blvd, Navarre, FL 32566
- Perdio Key Snorkel Reef – 13555 Sandy Key Dr., Pensacola, FL 32507 – (Gulf Side)
- Gulf Island National Seashore – $25 for a vehicle for a 7 day pass. Fort Pickens Jetties – 1400 Fort Pickens Road Pensacola Beach, FL 32561. The jetties are actually on the bay side of the island off the northwest corner of the Fort Pickens seawall, and just west of the Fort Pickens fishing pier.
Panama City Area
- St. Andrew’s State Park Jetty – 4607 State Park Ln, Panama City, FL 32408- This is a great place to snorkel where the water is clear and emerald green. The jetty area has a tidal pool and is open to fisherman, so snorkel with caution. It is best to snorkel at the slack tide (an hour or so before high tide.)
- Noreigo Point – Norriego Point, Destin, FL 32541. Has a tidepool where kids can play.
- Destin Inlet Jetty – Jetty East, Destin, FL 32541 – Requires a 1/2 a mile walk on the beach.
- Henderson Beach State Park – $6 per vehicle – 17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy, Destin, FL 32541
In the central Florida section, you’ll find free snorkeling spots located in all the areas on the east coast that are north of Jupiter – there aren’t too many in this area because the water just isn’t as clear as it is further south on the east coast.
Daytona Beach Area
- Smyrna Dunes Park & Dog Beach, $10 entry per vehicle or $20 annual pass – 2995 N Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. This park has a boardwalk, a beach, and an inlet access. When the tide is incoming, the water is clear enough for some shallow snorkeling.
- Ponce Inlet Dog Beach, $10 entry per vehicle or $20 annual pass – Ponce Inlet Dog Beach Ponce Inlet FL, Florida A1A, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. This area is a big dog beach. There are some shallow areas where the water is clear for snorkeling.
- Sebastian Inlet State Park, $8 a vehicle – 9700 S Hwy A1A, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951. Snorkel in the tide pool area, not in the channel.
- Pepper Beach – 3375 N Hwy A1A, Fort Pierce, FL 34949. You may want to bring a dive flag, the reef is off-shore here.
- Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park, $6 a car – 905 Shorewinds Dr., Fort Pierce, FL 34949. Go to the “beach” side and snorkel near the jetty. Visibility can be questionable. Best time is slack tide.
Stuart/Port St. Lucie
- Bathtub Reef Beach – 1585 SE MacArthur Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996. Check conditions. It is closed as of summer 2023.
Enjoy all these great budget friendly and free snorkeling spots in Florida on the southern end! This area includes Jupiter, West Palm, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami. You will find some GREAT spots here to snorkel. The water is beautiful and blue. Some of these places are super crowded on the weekends, so please make alternate plans just in case you can’t find a parking spot.
- Dubois Park – 19075 Dubois Rd, Jupiter, FL 33477. This is an inlet with a lifeguard when school is out. Great for kids.
- Cato’s Bridge- 19075 Dubois Rd, Jupiter, FL 33477. Park for free at the Jupiter Lighthouse parking. Snorkel under the bridge.
- Coral Cove Park -19450 County Hwy 707, Tequesta, FL 33469. A cool beach with rocks and snorkel spots.
- Blowing Rock Beach, optional $2 per person, parking is free -574 S Beach Rd, Hobe Sound, FL 33455. You can snorkel here in the rocks when the waves are calm.
- Blue Heron Bridge/Phil Foster Park – 900 Blue Heron Blvd, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. Get here early and follow the snorkel trail under the bridge.
- Peanut Island* – 200 E 13th St, Riviera Beach, FL 33404. *This one does have a fee, but I had to include it! There is a ferry you can take over $18 for adults, $9 for kids. The park is free and you can bring your dog for free as well. Snorkeling on the island is excellent.
- McArthur State Park, $5 per vehicle – 10900 Jack Nicklaus Dr., North Palm Beach, FL 33408. This park as a rock reef, about a 50 yard swim from the coastline.
- Ocean Reef Park/Singer Island – 3860 N Ocean Dr., Riviera Beach, FL 33404. Head to the left towards the end of the rocks.
- Gulfstream Park – 4489 N Ocean Blvd, Delray Beach, FL 33483. There are a handful of shallow reefs off the shore here. Great for families.
- Red Reef Park – 1400 N Ocean Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432. Park across the street, because there is a $35 fee to park in the park. Snorkel between the buoys on the beach.
- Deerfield Beach Pier/Turtle Reef $3-$4 an hour -200 NE 21st Ave, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. This spot is more for shore diving than snorkeling. Turtle Reef is about 500 feet off shore, and you can swim out there from the beach close to the pier. There is diving on the north and the south side of the pier.
- South Inlet Park, $3-$4 an hour – 1100 S Ocean Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432. Small snorkeling area within swimming distance of the beach. Make sure to go when the water isn’t too choppy.
- South of Commercial Pier, free – Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, FL 33308. There is a snorkel trail here for beginners that runs along the pier.
- South Pointe Park Pier & Jetty, free – 1 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Snorkel on the beach side of the pier near the rocks.
- Bill Baggs State Park, $8 per vehicle- 1200 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149. Snorkel in the shallow mangrove areas here or If you head about 100ft offshore from the Key Biscayne Beach Club, there is an artificial reef offshore.
- Crandon Park Beach, – 6747 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne, FL 33149. Also on Key Biscayne, you can snorkel here during slack tide.
- Haulover Inlet Jetty, $5 parking weekdays, $7 weekends – 13401 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33154. Snorkel on either side of the inlet here. The other side of the inlet is Bal Harbor Jetty – $1.50 an hour for parking.
- Homestead Bayfront Park, $7 per vehicle – 9698 SW 328th St, Homestead, FL 33033. Snorkel in the tidal pool at this lifeguarded area.
- Founder’s Park, $8 adult, $5 kids – 87000 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036. Snorkel right from the shore by swimming out to the rocks and looking for wildlife.
- John Pennenkamp State Park – $8 per vehicle – Mile Marker 102.5 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037. This spot has got to be one of the BEST to snorkel without a boat in the keys. You can also rent snorkel gear here for $3 for a mask and $4 for fins.
- Sombrero Beach, free, parking is $5 for the first two hours, and $2 per hour after – Sombrero Beach, Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, FL 33050. Arrive here early as the parking fills up. Easy snorkeling here when the water is clear.
- Zachary Taylor Beach, $7-10 a vehicle – 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040. Nice place to snorkel among the rocks if it isn’t too windy. Wind will obscure the visibility. They also rent snorkel gear at the park.
- Long Key State Park, $4-8 depending on number of people – 67400 Overseas Hwy, Layton, FL 33001. Snorkel by the shore, or if you are up for a swim, there is a reef off-shore that runs parallel to the campground.
- Bahia Honda State Park, $8 per vehicle -36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key FL 33043. Snorkel here on the bay side, at the wall towards the end of the beach.
These are the best free snorkeling spots in Florida on the central to southern parts of the Gulf coast! The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are calmer than the Atlantic side. You aren’t going to find a ton of reefs here, and the water can be murky. Plan to snorkel on a sunny day to improve your chances of water clarity.
North of Tampa
- Robert K Rees Memorial Park, $2 parking fee – 3503 Green Key Rd, New Port Richey, FL 34652. The water is fairly shallow here (3′-5′ deep) so you can snorkel out a little ways into the Gulf to see fish and other creatures.
- Robert J Strickland Memorial Park, – 6345 Clark St, Hudson, FL 34667. This place is most known for snorkeling for scallops during scallop season.
- Fred Howard Park, $5 entry fee – 1700 Sunset Dr., Tarpon Springs, FL 34689. Snorkel and look for critters in the grass beds here.
- Fort Desoto Park, $5 entry fee per vehicle, and bring $2 cash for tolls- 3500 Pinellas Bayway South, Tierra Verde, Florida 33715. Snorkel the north beach area of the park. You can often find live sand dollars here and sometimes manatees swimming in the water.
Bradenton & Sarasota
- Ana Maria Island Beach, free parking, $1.50 per person toll to go over the bridge – 101 Elm Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216.There are several different spots available to snorkel here. Take an in-depth look at these sites on this travel website.
- Point of Rocks at Crescent Beach at Siesta Key, free – 7132 Point of Rocks Cir, Sarasota, FL 34242. Visit point of rocks at low tide to see the most critters. Parking at access 12 fills up very fast, so expect to do some walking to get here if arriving later in the day.
- Venice Beach, $9-15 for parking – 101 The Esplanade S, Venice, FL 34285. The main attraction here for snorkeling and beach walk is to look for looking for fossils and shark teeth. If you’re up for a swim, the visibility in the water improved about 1/4 mile off-shore.
- Venice at Caspersen Beach, free parking – 4100 Harbor Dr, Venice, FL 34285. Plan to snorkel in the rock reef here right off the beach.
Ft. Myers Area
Please be aware that the Ft. Myer’s and Naples area were affected by hurricane Ian in 2022. Please check website and call before heading on a trip out that way.
- Estero Bay Access Points
- Lover’s Key State Park, $8 per vehicle – 8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach FL 33931
- Lover’s Key State Park Beach, $8 per vehicle – Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931. Go through Big Carlos Pass (under the bridge) during an incoming tide. Look out for people fishing!
- Bonita Springs Dog Beach, 8800 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931. Try the east side of the road near the bridge.
- Sanibel Island, parking $5 an hour, and must be paid for through their mobile site. There are no parking stations at the beaches. Although Sanibel is known for shelling, you can snorkel at the following beaches:
- Bowman’s Beach – 1700 Bowmans Beach Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957.
- Blind Pass Beach – 6491-6499 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957
- Lighthouse Beach Park – 110 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
- Turner Beach – 17200 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924
- Clam Pass Park, $10 per vehicle for parking -5267 Starfish Ave, North Naples, FL 34103. Snorkel in the narrow channels off the gulf at this park.
- Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park, $6 per vehicle – 11135 Gulfshore Drive, Naples FL 34108. Entrance to this park is limited due to damage from hurricanes (as of summer 2023). There is a reef along the beach here where you can snorkel and scuba dive.
- Tigertail Beach, $10 a day for parking -430 Hernando Dr, Marco Island, FL 34145. You can snorkel in the tidal lagoon here and see small crabs, fish, etc.
That’s a wrap for all the budget friendly snorkeling spots in Florida (besides the Florida Springs). If you’re looking for snorkeling in the north & central parts of Florida, check out our list of budget friendly and free Florida Springs. And, as always, if you know of a great spot that didn’t make the list, please feel free to get in touch!