Florida Tourist Attractions – John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
If you make sure to stop in Key Largo, make sure it’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (305-451-1202; MM 102/5 Oceanside, Key Largo; 1/2 person $ 3.50 / 6, per additional person 50 cents; 8 a.m.-sunset), the first underwater park in the US Its astonishing geography covers 75 square miles of ocean with living coral reefs, plus 170 acres of land with walking trails including the Wild Tamarind Nature Trail. The area is home to air plants, gumbo-limbo, wild bamboo, Jamaican dogwood, crab, and wild tramarind.
However, the best feature is the full program of ranger-led activities, however, it is the full program of ranger-led activities, with a myriad of options when it comes to exploring the Florida reef. You can take a glass bottom boat or a snorkeling-sailing tour; take snorkeling trips or diving excursions; or rent canoes or kayaks (305-451-1621) to travel through a 3-mile network of canoe trails. You can also rent motor boats.
In addition to the swirl of natural coral life below, interested divers can catch a glimpse of Cristo del Abismo, an 8 1/2 foot. Bronze sculpture of 4,000 jumps of Jesus – a copy of a similar sculpture off the coast of Genoa, Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea. And if getting in or out of the water isn’t for you, try what’s in the visitor center, which has an excellent 30,000-gallon aquarium showcasing live coral, tropical fish, and plant life, plus a theater that shows continuous videos. of the nature. .
The park offers an excellent ranger-led program that includes nature walks through mangroves and wooden hammocks, a bonfire program, and a series of lectures. Plus, you don’t even have to leave at closing time if you choose to camp in tents or caravans (800,326,3521), but be sure to book, as all 47 sites fill up quickly.