check out A Deep Blue Dive for a snorkel trip. Located in Key Colony Beach/Marathon - they often go to Coffins Patch, which is one of my favorite places to snorkel.
Do you know where you are staying yet? When our kids were young we used to snorkel around our hotel where ever we were staying. Near the Reef Resort in Marathon (located on the gulf side) there is a rocky area with lots of small creatures and sponges. Off shore from there is a lot of rocks to find a few things hiding.
On the gulf side you will find some fish around the docks, pilings and shore line. Just not lots of beautiful tropicals like you see at the reef. If you are able to do so a snorkel trip is well worth it. The Atlantic side gets more wave action so unless you find some type of patch reef near shore you really won't see much as there are few places for fish to hide or corals to attach themselves.
Don't know if you've already gone but I would second the suggestions made above. There are some mangroves close to shore that can be entertaining if you don't need to see a lot of coral. Just be careful it's not near a channel boats use. Another option that I have done is to find a "Borrow Pit," basically a hole in the ground they took building material from, that then filled with saltwater, fish, etc. I know it sounds strange but can be great on a rainy day or for a change of pace and you'll see anything from an old VW bug with some resident snappers to a 4 foot barracuda cruising around. Just make sure it's not trespassing and that you can remember where you climbed in to get out. They are not deep, maybe 20-30 feet but like a quarry the walls can be sheer(ish)
We are planning to stay at Marathon, do the dive/snorkle boats leave from there? Would people laugh at me if I wore a snorkle vest as I'm not a strong confident swimmer? Is snorkling or diving a must do trip when visiting the Keys? Thanks
Yes, many boats go out of here. Marathon has some beautiful spots on the reef here. No one will laugh at you, in fact, the boats require you wear a vest. If the weather is good, I highly recommend a snorkel trip.
Boats leave from various places in the Keys including Marathon.
There's no issue wearing a snorkel vest - some of the boats will ask people to wear them for safety reasons. Some of the reefs are shallow and you could stand up - but don't stand on the Coral!
Wearing a wetsuit or shorty also helps as it adds buoyancy - but that depends how warm the water it is, which is seasonal.
A must do? Certainly worth trying and many of the local activities are water orientated.
We'll laugh at you for other things, but not for being safe in the water. Nothing screws up the snorkle boat captains afternoon more than a passenger drowning.
Seriously, if you don't get out on the water, you'll miss SO much of what the keys are about.
Excellent, I'll pack my vest and snorkle. I'm not packing a wetsuits, could prob pick up a cheap one in walmart I guess or rent one.
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