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Top Spots To Snorkel For Free

South Florida's beaches are great but some off the most beautiful sites at them are offshore under the water. You don't have to wear scuba gear to visit some of the best reefs and ledges South Florida has to offer. Snorkeling is fun because you just need to be a confident swimmer and have only the basics for taking a look at the underwater world. Most good snorkeling locations are in less than 20 feet of water. So just grab you mask, fins, snorkel, and of course your dive flag, and visit some of our top picks in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
Coral Reef
(Source: AP)

Pompano Beach Dropoff

Directly off the Pompano Beach Club Recreation Center
100 Briny Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Located about a half mile south of the Pompano Pier, this snorkeling spot features flat rock masses, some 100 feet wide, with all kinds of corals, seawhips and sponges. Some of the rock pieces have crumbled over time, creating holes and caves that have become homes to small marine life. The site is about 350 yards offshore and the depth varies from 6 to 22 feet.

Reef Fish
(Source: AP)

Vista Park Reef

Directly off Vista Park
Just south of Oakland Park Blvd in N. Ft. Lauderdale

Located about 75 yards offshore, this a very wide reef with rocks and blocks which make great hiding holes for lobster. To find it, swim out from the park's beach access. The reef has lots of soft corals and you usually see black margate, spadefish, a variety of snapper, damselfish and grunts. The reef is about 100 yards wide and depth varies from 10 to 18 feet.

Reef Ledge
(Source: AP)

Hollywood North Beach Park

A1A at Sheridan Street

Starting at about 175 yards offshore there are a series of two to four foot ledges. However, it is possible to miss the ledges on the swim out because they are separated by a sand patches. If you begin your swim out from the lifeguard tower near the beach entrance you should swim right over them. The marine life on these ledges is amazing. You'll see everything; a variety of tropical fish, barracudas, tarpon, snook and even nurse sharks. Depth varies between 13 and 20 feet.

Grunts On Reef
(Source: AP)

Yankee Clipper Rocks

East of the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel (formerly the Yankee Clipper Hotel)
1140 Seabreeze Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

This is a huge rocky area with lots of ledges, holes and blocks full of soft corals and seawhips. There is public parking at the south end of the public beach near the hotel and rocky area begins about 75 feet from shore. You must bring a dive flag to this location or else the lifeguards won't let you swim out. While lobster is rare in this area, there are lots of tropicals, worms and other invertebrates. Depth usually ranges from 6 to 14 feet.


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