North of West Palm Beach and southeast of Stuart, the snorkeling at Bathtub Reef is popular for its calm waters perfect for beginner snorkelers. The semi-barrier reef is located about 100 feet offshore in 2 to 15 feet deep water and results in calm in-shore water. You may encounter crab, grouper, angelfish and parrotfish. Beginner snorkelers really enjoy the water around the rock formations, while experienced snorkellers perfer the east ocean side of the offshore reef where the water is deeper.
Bathtub Reef is a worm reef formed over many years by Sabellariid worms creating tubelike homes forming the reef. By the way, some divers think that the best time of day for snorkeling at Bathtub Reef is at high tide.
To reach the Bathtub Reef snorkeling from US95, use Exit #62. Head east on SR714 to Stuart. Turn right on Ocean Boulevard. Turn right on MacArthur Boulevard. It is located at the southernmost public beach on Hutchinson Island in Martin County at 1585 SE MacArthur Blvd in Stuart. The rustic sand parking lots fill up early, especially on the weekends. There is limited parking on the weekends, so make sure to arrive early.
To reach the snorkeling in southeast Florida by air, there are several options. The most popular option is to fly into Miami International Airport (MIA), which is served by all major US and international airlines. Also nearby, a potentially lower cost option is to fly into Ft Lauderdale airport (FLL). From either of these airports, you can rent a car to drive to the dive site, but watch out for automated cash-less toll highways along the way.
Overall, Bathtub Reef is the 7th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 24 snorkeling dives in Florida Southeast.