Tag Archives: Key Largo

John Pennekamp State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The idea of a state park that is completely submerged struck us as both different and cool. When we heard that John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, FL was the first undersea park created in the U.S., we put it on our list as a must-see destination. When combined with the adjacent Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the park encompasses 178 square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps. These areas protect and preserve the only living coral reef in the continental U.S.

Our original intention was to spend the day snorkeling, but the water and air temperature was a bit too cold. So we opted for the next best thing, a glass bottom boat ride. The 2 ½ hour tour passed over a number of shallow reefs teeming with wildlife, none of which allowed me to successfully photograph them. It was a worthwhile excursion, but next time we’ll come a little later in the year so we can explore these underwater treasures with our faces in the water.

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