4,898 votes

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

102601 Overseas Hwy., Key Largo, Florida 33037 USA

Open Now
Wed 8a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
Add to Trip
Remove Ads

“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!  

Read More >
Add Review
Your Rating

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
May 24, 2013

Cool place to snorkel

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 287 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
Lesli Peterson

  • Blogger
  • 965 Reviews
  • 37 Helpful
January 25, 2022
Rated 5.0

The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is one of the most unique parks in the entire country! With snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, glass bottom boat tours, and more -- this place is definitely worth the visit! We think it's one of the best things to do in Key Largo.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by

  • 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.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by

  • 12 Reviews
  • 3 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.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by

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

The glass bottom boat trip is amazing

Was this helpful?

Be the first to add a review to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

102601 Overseas Hwy.
Key Largo, Florida
33037 USA


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

Problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
State park or forest
Back In RV Sites Count
Max Length
55 ft
Max Stay
Season End
Year Round
Season Start
Year Round
Sites Count
  • 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
See More Details (45)

Campground, Parking, Dining

Remove Ads

Nearby Hotels

Islamorada, Village of Islands, Florida
Islamorada, Village of Islands, Florida

Click to discover a
great deal!

Islamorada, Village of Islands, Florida
Key Largo, Florida
Tavernier, Florida

Related Trip Guides

  • Trip Guide

The best-kept secrets of Disney World

  • 9 Places
  • 01:25
  • 30 mi
  • Trip Guide

The top things to do on an I-95 road trip

  • 50 Places
  • 41:46
  • 1,983 mi
  • Trip Guide

The top things to do on an I-10 road trip

  • 55 Places
  • 56:13
  • 3,026 mi
Remove Ads