John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo: Hours, Address, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Reviews: 4.5/5

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
4.5
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
About
A beautiful state park that features land and undersea adventures.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and nearby attractions

Popular mentions

4.5
6,928 reviews
Excellent
3,991
Very good
1,832
Average
732
Poor
246
Terrible
127

Maria H
4 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
As an outdoor enthusiast, I have to disagree with the previous review I saw upon taking the time to write this. I put this place on the top of my list for places to visit and camp. We stayed over in a beautiful campsite and enjoyed the glass bottom boat on out first day after a tiny bit of snorkeling. Lindsay the reef spacialist gave us an amazing perspective of the natural wildlife that thrive on Molassas Reef. Maria and Brice were so helpful and accommodating as well. We observed an abundance of species in which I had never seen in their natural habitat. The crews enthusiasm and passion for the reef made it so special. The entire park staff was incredibly hospital and was the opitomy of the the Keys was of thinking. Mary was so nice while we were launching our kayak and gave us lots of tips to enjoy the scenery on the water. Snorkeling by the beaches was our way of getting ready to take the snorkelers tour next time we are here bc we already reserved another spot at the campground for October. Thanks to the entire staff of the park for all the smiles and helpful tips! See yall in October for another once in a lifetime opportunity to see the only living coral reef in the continental U.S. Highly recommended we saw Loggerheads mating at sea, nurse sharks, parrot fish, barracuda, fan coral, the list goes on and on.
Written 21 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pamela W
Kentucky3 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
The staff was great but the boat itself was not. The viewing windows were so small I could barely see anything. Getting inside the area where we had to sit to look down at the windows was very uncomfortable. I would never do this tour again and it made us decide not to do the snorkeling tour
Written 18 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chi C
San Francisco, CA35 contributions
May 2022
This is a 2-fer for snorkeling:

1. John Pennenkamp Snorkel Tour (on the Scuba Xpress) -- Best snorkel tour we did in the Florida Keys! The very funny Captain Travis and beautiful Katie took great care of everyone on the boat. They gave a thorough safety briefing and even gave some TLC to those who had never snorkeled before. We've been on other snorkel boats in the Keys and let's just say many just want you to pay and get on the boat. This was different - they care about the people on board and about the ocean (we stopped to pick up a deflated helium balloon in the ocean). Don't miss it. A 30 min boat ride to get to the reef and 1 h in the water. Booking is online from the official State Park website - don't get discouraged - they open new spots around noon the day before, weather permitting. Tip: google wind conditions in Key Largo before booking your trip - wind of no more than 2-3 mph will result in the best conditions

2. John Pennenkamp Shore Snorkeling. There's not much to see but if you go to the east side (drive over the wooden bridge, park, walk over to the beach further away from the showers), in the shallow water you will find many schools of small, colourful fish. If you swim further (towards to the buoy line), in the sea grass you will find hidden Caribbean lobster, a few fish, and blue crab. BTW, there's nothing to see from Cannon Beach (except a great barracuda that likes hanging out in 1' water - not dangerous).
Written 15 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marie
New York City, NY3 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
We had a wonderful time! Beautiful grinds, wonderful glass bottom boat trip. Lovely. Little beaches! We rented beach chairs - anything you need to enjoy quiet water sports is here.

Highly recommend.
Written 12 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Todd D
1 contribution
May 2022 • Couples
We are camping at the campground at John Pennekamp and decided to do the snorkel tour offered at john Pennekamp on Monday, 5/9. By boat, we went out about 3 miles to the coral reef and snorkeled for about an hour and a half. The tour guides -Mazz and Chris-were great. They were very engaging and even had extra gear if you have any issues with yours. I somehow lost my snorkel and they gave me another one. My husbands snorkel did not have a clip and they took care of him as well. The water was choppy and rough the day we went, but we were still able to see lots of fish and beautiful ocean plants on the coral. I did get quite tired and exhausted swimming in the rough waters (a storm was brewing nearby) but I still saw barracuda, parrot fish, yellow tail snapper, hogfish, just to name a few. There were LOTS of fish. A couple of folks saw some nurse shark. The price was very reasonable. I would definitely do this again!
Written 11 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Clay S
2 contributions
Mar 2022
As an educator and advisor for a science honorary from Martins Ferry High who has been coming to Florida with a group of students for 27 years I have to say this is an excellent park to picnic, swim ,snorkel or sea kayak in. This year we had a group of 15 students who attended the trip ( we have had up to 50 ). We went snorkeling on the reef and did some from the shore. We have been coming to Pennekamp for over 20 years and the students love it. And as chaperones, it is quiet, not crowded and easy to walk to all the areas of the park. If you are ever in the keys this is a must stop and enjoy.
Written 11 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DutchLace
Holland, MI572 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
Too windy to snorkel, but we didnt make reservations (would recommend). Nice small swimming area. Small indoor aquarium is nice and educational. Picnic areas nice. Walking trails adequately marked.
Written 6 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jen4h2o
141 contributions
Apr 2022
Had a great time kayaking in the mangroves! And found a few lovely (live) mollusks at the beach to photograph!
Written 5 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Benjamin Beaudoin
Malaga, Spain2 contributions
May 2022 • Friends
No beaches. Expensive.
Went there with friends and not advised that it would be gravel and mangrove.
10$ for 3 people. We stayed 15’ then headed to Miami
Written 1 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Meredith L
Madison, WI12 contributions
Apr 2022
We did a snorkel trip to the Grecian Rocks in mid-April. For the cost, I think it's an excellent value - they take you out a few miles, turn you loose for a solid 90 minutes, and then take you back. It had been windy weather and they had to cancel trips the day before due to the swells, so be aware that your plans may change as the weather dictates. Our group was not able to go to the area with the Christ of the Abyss, which some folks on our tour were disappointed by, but with recent wind it was not safe to snorkel there. So approach this tour with an open mind! This was my first reef snorkel, and although visibility wasn't the best we still saw a ton of cool fish and wildlife. The crew was friendly and helpful. We had a fantastic time. We were there as a couple but there were several families with kids as well. Once you spread out a bit it was easier not to bump into each other.

Be prepared to pay a fee at the park entrance (they take credit cards), which is good for the day. There seemed to be a lot of folks kayaking and using SUPs as well as beach goers, so there is enough to do here to make a day of it!
Written 20 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 6,231
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 8:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 7 John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park tours on Tripadvisor

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: See all John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park experiences on Tripadvisor