Where to snorkel in Destin-Fort Walton Beach
Have you gone snorkeling yet? There’s nothing quite like the sight of a shimmering school of fish as they whiz by at breathtaking speed, deftly skimming around any obstacle — including you. Enjoy the surprise reveal of a stingray emerging from the white sandy bottom of the Gulf, where it has been lying in wait.
The waters of the Gulf of Mexico are so clear, it’s not unusual to spot crab, stingray, jellyfish, and large schools of fish from any beach access. One of Destin’s most popular snorkeling spots, Norriego Point, is free to access. Located at the end of Holiday Isle, this nine-acre park overlooks the Destin East Pass and provides shallow tide pools and beach areas that are ideal for all-ages snorkeling.
If you want to go further offshore, or visit several different spots, then a guided snorkeling tour is for you!
Here are a few of our favorites:
With a name like that, you know these folks take snorkeling seriously. Destin Snorkel offers a two-stop snorkeling tour that combines snorkeling in the Choctawhatchee Bay with a dolphin tour before heading over to explore one of Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s most popular snorkeling destinations, the Destin Jetties. This artificial reef was created using boulders barged from Kentucky to help keep the East Pass open to the Gulf. It’s now home to seahorses, shrimp, crabs, sea turtles, large schools of fish and more.
Destin Snorkel provides all the snorkeling equipment you need, plus free use of single and double kayaks while at the Jetties.
Snorkeling with Cattywampus
Cattywampus prides itself on the eco-cruises it offers off the shores of Destin-Fort Walton Beach and provides masks and snorkels at no additional fee. You’ll cruise aboard a power catamaran on a three-hour adventure that anchors over a sandbar or beach, so your group can explore. Later in the day, there is an option to take a snorkel, dolphin, and sunset cruise. This adventure-packed cruise gives you plenty of time to snorkel and dolphin watch, plus gives you a gorgeous view of our spectacular Gulf sunset.
Smile N’ Wave Catamaran
Captain Pam welcomes up to six passengers at a time on the beautiful Smile N’ Wave sailing catamaran. All snorkeling equipment is provided, including fins. Snorkeling tours are booked by the hour, giving charter guests the flexibility to add on to their experiences. Since the tours are smaller, Captain Pam is able to share her knowledge of Destin’s history and can take you to some of the best snorkeling spots, including the East Pass Jetties.
DIY Snorkeling with Island Watersports
Are you ready to navigate the waters of Destin-Fort Walton Beach yourself? Island Watersports Company offers pontoon and double fun pontoon rentals. The double fun pontoons have two water slides attached. Now that’s a memorable way to hit the water for your snorkeling adventure! Snorkel along the beach, and maybe stop to grab lunch at one of Destin’s waterfront restaurants. You get to set the pace when you’re driving the boat.
If you choose a tour group, a pontoon rental or you opt to DIY your snorkeling adventure at a local beach access or park you’re sure to see lots of sea life and create memories that will last a lifetime in the waters of Destin-Fort Walton Beach.