Florida Keys snorkeling

I’m in Miami now on vacation with my dearly beloved and we’re thinking about heading to the Keys for a day of snorkeling. We would like to rent a small boat, take it out on the ocean and see as much marine life as possible.

Any recommendations on where exactly in the Keys we should go? Pennecamp? Is Key Biscayne just as nice? Can we waltz into any marina and rent a boat on a weekday? Any idea how much it would cost? Is it wise for someone with barely any boating experience to take a small boat out onto the big ocean (We would only go if the weather is nice)?

Thanks in advance!

Hi there! In the interest of full disclosure, I work for a SCUBA/snorkel shop in Key Largo, Rainbow Reef Dive Center.

To answer your questions:
Yes, you could likely rent a small boat on a weekday- the place next door to me rents for something like $250/ half- day. The only problem is that getting around in the waters can be tricky for people unfamiliar (you sure don’t want to run up on a reef or something like that.) Is there any reason you don’t just want to go on a snorkel trip? We have lots of places down here that will take you out for an average of $35/person for a 2 site trip (an hour at each site) and save you all of that hassle. Bring a small cooler and your suit/towel and you’re all set.

Pennecamp is just fine but I like the sites that the operation next to me goes to
They stick with shallower reefs, can get out of the wind if it kicks up and the people that run it are super nice.

PM me if you want more info and I’d be happy to help you out! It’s been windy for about a week now but it’s been laying down for the last day or so and it should be nice for snorkeling this week.

Thanks! I tried the rainbow reef website but i couldn’t get past the home page (using firefox).

We would rather have a more flexible schedule than a snorkel trip would provide.

I hear ya. Weird that the page won’t load- I use Firefox with no trouble on it. If it helps you any, most operations offer either 2 or 3 trips a day, which gives you a nice, long day of snorkeling. In this heat I seriously would not want to be on a boat for much more than that. If you do decide to rent, you have a few options. PM me if you’re interested and I can steer you in the right direction. Otherwise head down and see what you see. One thing to consider: With 4th of July weekend approaching, your odds of renting a boat easily will go down as the day gets closer. We’re already getting a lot of reservations, as I’m sure most people are.

We’ll be here for a couple of weeks after the 4th anyway so there’s no rush.

I didn’t consider the heat. But my wife and I spend hours in the sun already so I don’t think it will be much of an issue.

I tried loading again and it worked perfectly. Might have been my connection.