Snorkeling in Palm Beach

Snorkeling Sites

With 47 miles of beachfront, any day out on the water means it’s snorkeling time. You can go snorkeling at all our beaches, but we’ve created a list of the most beautiful places to start exploring.

When it comes to snorkeling, the star of the show is Phil Foster Park in Rivera Beach, an 800-foot-long tract of artificial reef made with 600 tons of rock boulders. It’s all part of The Palm Beaches’ Snorkeling Trail, directly under Blue Heron Bridge where the water is unbelievably clear. Snorkelers can take off from the swimming area to do the Snorkel Trail. The depth around Blue Heron Bridge goes from 4 feet at the entry point out to 20 feet near the boat wrecks. The Snorkel Trail ranges from 10 to 15 feet. Phil Foster is also a terrific spot to do watersports in The Palm Beaches or relax on the small beach.
 
 

Phil Foster Park
Courtesy of Live Free Diving

Look up from the water to see Peanut Island. It’s across from Phil Foster Park and has an incredible history, including crazy Cold War presidential bunkers and a long-time Coast Guard base. Nowadays, you’ll find a surprising snorkeling lagoon. Don’t be alarmed if a sea cow goes by you, a manatee that is. These easy-going giants are attracted to warm water during the winter months, and quite a few can be seen from viewing spots at Manatee Lagoon.
 

Peanut island
Courtesy of Live Free Diving

Ocean Reef Park sits on Singer Island. Its beach is well-known for having first-rate water conditions, so the snorkeling is excellent. The park is also perfect for a sunrise walk or run. There is plenty of sand on the wide beach to relax and enjoy the scenery. Up in the park area there is a picnic pavilion as well as grills and single picnic tables.

A little further up on A1A, exploring John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is a must. With big rock outcroppings forming a reef right at the water’s edge, find great sights without needing a boat or long swim. Also from MacArthur, make time to canoe or kayak Lake Worth Lagoon — it’s amazing.
 

John D MacArthur State Park

 

The South Inlet Park in Boca Raton has a superb natural reef about 175 feet off the beach. Those inlet rock barriers attract unique sea life easily seen while snorkeling. The reef starts in and around the park’s jetty but be careful of passing boats. Snorkeling enthusiasts can take a break from swimming by picking a good, soft spot of sand.

Just up the road from South Inlet is the Red Reef Park. The park has an artificial reef resting close to shore, a fine opportunity for beginners and kids alike. A renovated boardwalk offers a pavilion, benches, and a beautiful view of the ocean. There is also a 9-hole golf course beside the ocean and the Gumbo Limbo Center for nature lovers.
 

Red Reef Park

 

Ocean Inlet Park, near the mouth of the Boynton Beach Inlet, presents excellent snorkeling around various rock piles. This is also an excellent spot for boaters and jet skiers to dart to the ocean or Intracoastal Waterway with a jetty and marina access open 24 hours. The jetty is also the perfect place to see the moon hovering high above the ocean or cast your line and fish day or night.

When it comes to wrecks, there's one about 500 feet off Delray Beach Municipal Beach. The S.S. Inchulva went down in a storm back in 1903, and the nearly-400-foot freighter rests only about 20 feet down. Delray Beach Municipal Beach is right off Atlantic Avenue, which has blocks upon blocks of al fresco bistros, cool pubs, and unique shops.

A little more off the beaten path up north, Coral Cove Park is a not-to-be-missed beach. If you enjoy a quieter beach that attracts smaller crowds but still want the benefit of great snorkeling and paddleboarding, this is the place. Right at the shore to several hundred yards out - just look for the darker shapes in the water - it is the rocks around which the fish swim. This is a The Palm Beaches must-see.
 

Coral Cove Park

 

Gulfstream Park in the town of Gulf Stream also offers you smaller crowds, as well as many colorful schools of fish, including nurse sharks, reef fish, and stingrays swimming around. The beach has a playground and a picnic area.

Splash down into the waves right from the sand or take a boat tour and drop in.

 

Underwater shots
Snorkeling in Palm Beach
Snorkeling underwater
Ship Wreck Palm Beach
fish in clear water
Seahorse
Stingray

Images courtesy of @maxblakesberg and @narcosis27