4.5
4,879 votes

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

102601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo, Florida 33037 USA

1
Video
Open Now
Mon 8a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
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“under the sea!”

Welcome to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park The first undersea park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. While the mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks in the park's upland areas offer visitors a unique experience, it is the coral reefs and their associated marine life that bring most visitors to the park. Many enjoy the view of the reef from a glass-bottom boat tour, but visitors can get a closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling.  Canoeing and kayaking through the park's waters are popular activities; fishing is permitted in designated areas. Visitors can enjoy walking on short trails, picnicking, or swimming at the beach. The Visitor Center has a 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature videos are shown in its theater. Full-facility and Youth/Group campsites are available. Beach wheelchairs are available without cost. Free 24 hour WI-FI at Concession Building and Dive Shop Building. In 1962, the Underwater Society of America was given a Christ of the Deep statue. It was on display at Chicago's Navy Pier for a little bit, and then it was sent to Florida to be sunk in the reef. You can spot it while snorkeling in the reef, or get more up close to it by scuba diving down-- just make sure not to touch it, no matter how tempting it may be, because that can seriously hurt the fragile coral that the statue has supported. Otherwise, enjoy snorkeling through the holy waters!  

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Reviewed by
stephanie.neimiller

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
May 24, 2013

Cool place to snorkel

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greek_nomad

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 274 Helpful
September 11, 2014
Rated 4.0

As soon as we heard about the John Pennekamp State Park's coral reefs, we immediately bought diving suits from the shop located at the Park and dived to see it ourselves. The experience is just one in a million. You get to see a great variety of sea creatures. (colorful fish)

The staff that guide and help you snorkel were very helpful. We had a great time while the sea was calm, then we got informed that the sea will become aggressive so we had to end it fast.

Very good experience.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
DCaisse

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
May 25, 2018
Rated 3.0

Water clarity for snorkeling from shore was pretty bad but when good, abundant sea life to be seen. Will be back to go diving in future and managed to see two sharks and spotted rays while snorkeling on Molasses Reef. Two thumbs up for Ocean Divers team that took us out.

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Reviewed by
WendyHaroBonilla

  • 12 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 19, 2016
Rated 4.0

Nice family park, I just found the staff running the concession stands a bit rude and unhelpful. The Rangers were much more helpful. It's best to bring water shoes if you plan to just do swimming or snorkeling at the park.

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Reviewed by
GaetanLacasse

  • 7 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
March 25, 2016
Rated 5.0

The glass bottom boat trip is amazing

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John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

102601 Overseas Hwy.
Key Largo, Florida
33037 USA

Hours

Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Affiliation
State park or forest
Back In RV Sites Count
22
Max Length
55 ft
Max Stay
14
Season End
Year Round
Season Start
Year Round
Sites Count
42
  • Paved Sites
  • Fifty Amp
  • Full Hookup
  • Rec Facilities
  • Tent Sites
  • Dump Station
  • Big Rigs
  • Back In RV Sites
  • Firewood
  • Group Tent Sites
  • Laundry
  • Potable Water
  • Reservations
  • Sewer Hookup
  • Showers
  • Sites
  • Standard Tent Sites
  • Vehicle Wash Permitted
  • Water Hookup
  • Outdoor Seating
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Campground, Parking, Dining

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