Located in Florida Keys, the snorkeling in Key West offers over ten good snorkel dive spots. The best Key West snorkeling based on popularity are considered to be Key West Marine Park, Looe Key, Dry Tortugas, Marquesas Keys, and Cottrell Key. For a detailed dive site description and printable snorkel dive map, just select a Key West snorkeling dive below.
On Key West, there is good snorkeling to be found at the Key West Marine Park. The marine park is maintained by the Reef Relief non-profit organization based in Key West. You may encounter yellow butterflyfish, nurse sharks, grunts, hogfish, damselfish, wrasse, porcupine fish, trunkfish, parrotfish and the occasional spotted eagle ray. The 40 acre Key West Marine Park has a hard-bottom coral community extending 600 feet offshore on the south side of Key West from Higgs Beach to South Beach. It is a designated swimming-only zone marked by buoys.
West of Key West, the snorkeling at Dry Tortugas is popular with tourists coming from Key West by ferry and seaplane. The main landing point in the Dry Tortugas archipelago is Garden Key, which is the site of old Fort Jefferson. Within the expansive sand flats surrounding the islands, there are old coral reefs, rocks and artificial reefs that provide habitat to colonies of typical reef fish. There are plenty of sea fans, sea rods and christmas tree worms along with some small brain corals. Most snorkelers only experience the snorkeling dive sites surrounding Garden Key, but there is also some interesting snorkeling off nearby Bird Key and also Loggerhead Key. While originally known for isolated coral head formations, much of the coral growth has been impacted by storms and climate change.
West of Key West and just west of Dry Tortugas, the snorkeling at Loggerhead Key is known for its coral reefs. This archipelago is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. In addition, off the southwest side of Loggerhead Key, there is good snorkeling on the shallow Windjammer wreck (aka Avanti or French Wreck) in 18 foot deep waters. The wreck is covered in star coral and brain coral.