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Cannon Beach

Florida

TripAdvisor
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Underwater Heaven

Known as the premiere spot for snorkeling and scuba diving in the Florida Keys, Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a protected marine area and the first underwater park in the United States.

Located within the park’s verdant grounds is Cannon Beach, named for the two 17th century cannons that mark the waterfront. But you’ll have to wade out a hundred yards or so from shore to see the best historical gem in this area — the remnants of a Spanish shipwreck resting peacefully beneath the surface.

Family Favorite

If you’re traveling with kids, you couldn’t ask for better water. It’s warm, shallow and lacks the strong waves that make playing in the water dangerous for little ones. Families come to this park to enjoy a day of recreation in the sun, made easier with picnic tables, barbecue grills, restrooms and changing rooms.

Exploring Offshore

On-site equipment rentals facilitate canoeing or kayaking excursions, and tour operators offer glass-bottom boat tours, as well as trips out to the Florida Reef, the third largest in the world and a major draw to Key Largo.

After exploring marine life at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, see even more at nearby Molasses Reef, home to many fish species, such as parrotfish, sergeant majors and yellowtail snapper. Travelers have even reported seeing turtles and sharks swimming nearby.

The park closes at 5 p.m., and that’s a good time to head to dinner. Restaurants in and around Key Largo focus on fresh seafood, like grouper or snapper, shrimp and conch fritters, as well as the Florida Keys’ own famous dessert, Key lime pie.

Cannon Beach at a Glance

City:Key Largo

Country or State:Florida

Access:By car

Best time to visit:March to May: best weather and rates

High Season:December to February

Low Season:March to November

Beach Hours:8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Facilities:

  • Restaurants along the Overseas Highway
  • Public restrooms

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

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