John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is located at Mile Marker 102.5 Overseas Highway,
Key Largo, FL 33037.


Nirvana for snorkeling and swimming at the country’s first undersea park. While the park's colorful coral reefs are the shining stars of the show here, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is also home to two manmade beaches, each with its own distinct personality. Embark on a snorkeling expedition to find artifacts from an early Spanish shipwreck just 100 feet offshore at Cannon Beach; and swim or soak up the sun under the palms at Far Beach, with a wheelchair accessible shoreline.

See, feel

Aptly named for the cannons perched on its sands, Cannon Beach promises soft, fine sand and shallow water without big waves, making it ideal for small children or timid swimmers. The bottom is rocky, so water shoes are recommended. The crystalline waters are perfect for wade-in snorkeling, brimming with colorful tropical fish, crabs and shrimp. Venture out 100 feet to explore the Spanish shipwreck.

Tiny tots and weak swimmers will appreciate scenic Far Beach’s placid waters. The sand is soft, but water shoes are a good idea due to the rocky bottom offshore. This small beach is popular, so arrive early.

On or near the beach

Gasp at the glory of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park’s vividly-hued coral reefs, teeming with marine life, on a glass-bottom boat tour—or get an even closer look by scuba diving or snorkeling. Activities and adventures include canoeing and kayaking; fishing; hiking on short trails; picnicking; and checking out the 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium and nature videos at the Visitor Center. To immerse yourself in nature, reserve a campsite and fall asleep under the stars.


Far Beach is accessible by Mobi-mat, and a beach wheelchair is available upon request at the visitor center and the aquarium building.

In addition, the following amenities are wheelchair-friendly: the glass bottom boat, the Spirit of Pennekamp; the snorkeling vessel, the Encounter; the dock for rental kayaks and canoes; and the playground area. The restrooms, picnic pavilions, tables and benches are accessible, as are the campsites. Large-print formats for Florida Park Service publications and other literature are available upon request.

You’ll find assisted listening devices in the visitor center and aquarium auditorium.


Facilities include picnic tables; grills; pavilions; a dive shop; an amphitheater; boat ramp; canoe/kayak launch; concession and restaurant; camping; a playground; restrooms; outdoor showers and a visitor center.


There are no lifeguards; swim at your own risk.


With 351 parking spots, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park usually has adequate parking, but it can fill during weekends and holidays, usually in early afternoon. If this happens, the park will close temporarily but will reopen as soon as spaces become available. Parking is included with the park entrance fee.

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