John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Description

Here’s a state park with a twist: Most of it is underwater. It starts a foot off shore, flows outward 3 miles into the Florida Straits, and encompasses the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States and roughly 200 islands and islets. Nearby dive shops can get you ready to discover this underwater world. It’s said there are 55 varieties of coral and 500 species of fish, ranging from blue-striped grunts to green moray eels. Shipwrecks here date from as far back as the 1600s.

Non-divers will also find plenty to do. There’s a 30,000-gallon aquarium to explore and four types of boat tours, including one aboard glass-bottom vessels that let you stay high and dry while viewing the reefs. You can also rent a canoe or kayak or simply park yourself by the lagoon and enjoy the calm waters and sunshine. Campsites are available, and RVs are welcome. Nearly 50 sites have full hookups; each site has a picnic table and grill. If you stay here (or anywhere in the Keys), bring a telescope or binoculars to watch the night sky. It’s clearer here than nearly anywhere else in Florida.

Address

102601 Overseas Hwy.
MM 102.5 (Oceanside)
Key Largo, Florida 33037

Lat/Long

25.12705000, -80.40872000

Open Hours

Daily 8 am--sunset.
Visit Website
(305) 451-1202

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