Southeast of Pensacola, the snorkeling at Pensacola Beach Gulf Snorkel Reef offers the chance to explore a large offshore artificial reef. The Pensacola Beach Gulf Snorkel Reef (aka Park East Snorkel Reef) was installed by the Escambia County Marine Resources Division about 500 feet offshore in 2011. This close to shore reef is located about 1.4 miles to the east of the Portofino Resort. During an artificial reef snorkeling dive off Pensacola, you may encounter a large quantity of marine life. To find the artificial reef, there are orange-tipped, range finding poles placed into the sand at the eaternmost tip of Park East, and just snorkel straight out. The water depth varys from 12 to 14 feet deep and the tops of the reefs are 6 to 9 feet below the surface. To reach the snorkeling off the panhandle of Florida by air, you will need to fly into either Destin Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) or Northwest Florida Beaches Airport (ECP) north of Panama City.
Note: a diver-down flag is highly recommended. It is actually required by Florida Law.
Overall, Pensacola Beach Gulf Snorkel Reef is the 1st most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in Florida Panhandle.