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Snorkeling – Explore on your own

Looking for a family outing that’s great for all ages? Grab a snorkel!

Explore one of our artificial reefs (built to enhance and protect the marine environment) or take a walk down to the East Pass Jetty. Either way, get ready for a fun family outing where the crystal-clear water makes it easy to see redfish, crabs and maybe even a sea turtle!

If you’re snorkeling with younger kids or beginner swimmers, the tide pools at Norriego Point and the East Pass Jetty offer shallow, calm waters. Search for hermit crabs along the rocks and watch the charter boats return back to the harbor in the afternoon.

For more experienced swimmers, two of our favorite artificial reefs are located at James Lee Park and John Beasley Park. Both reefs are located close to shore (west of the pavilion for John Beasley Park). The parks are free to enter and have a big beach pavilion with picnic tables and restrooms. We recommend bringing a flotation device (like a boogieboard) so you have something to hold on to if you need a quick break.

Tip from our locals:

You can access the East Pass Jetty from the O’Steen Public Beach Access on Holiday Isle. Look for signage at the entry of the beach access that includes a map and how to navigate to the reef. Plan your snorkel trip around an incoming to high tide for the best water clarity.

Wear comfortable shoes, it’s a bit of a walk (but worth it!) across the sand to the jetty. We recommend walking along the waterline for an easier walk.

Find where to go snorkeling