By Terry Gibson

When my sister and I were very young, my parents took us out on a glass-bottom boat tour of John Pennekamp Park, in the Florida Keys. It was the first time we saw a coral reef, and we were utterly fascinated by the millions of fish we saw swimming among the bright, branching corals.

We were already strong swimmers, and the second the boat headed back toward Key Largo we started lobbying our parents to take us out there snorkeling, which they did.

The glass-bottomed boat experience was a first impression that led me on a lifelong diving and fishing adventure. Why not share such an amazing experience this summer with your kids, and treat them with window into one of the world’s most fascinating, complex and resplendent of ecosystems? You may wind up with a marine biologist in the family.

Check out these 2.5-hour tours of John Pennekamp State Park and its legendary reefs, out of Key Largo.