Siesta Key is the perfect place to dive into the tropical waters of the Gulf Coast and enjoy what lies under the surface. Visitors who come to the area and locals love Siesta Key snorkeling for the beautiful marine life and underwater exploration opportunities. Unlike diving, no certification is required before jumping into the water. The gear is less expensive and more accessible to people from all over the world. Check out some tips to make Siesta Key snorkeling the best experience that will bring you back for more.
One of the biggest challenges of going somewhere on holiday is finding the right equipment. For snorkeling, the gear is pretty easy and inexpensive. To gear up for Siesta Key snorkeling, it won’t take a large investment. Snorkeling equipment can either be rented or purchased. A diver down flag is recommended to let people know someone is in the area to avoid congestion and bumping into too many snorkelers or divers in one area. Sports rental companies nearby, like Siesta Key Sports Rentals, offer great prices on island gear needed for a fun time.
Siesta Key snorkeling is one of the best in the area. Check out two of the favorite spots for checking out marine life in Siesta Key:
- Point of Rocks: a prime spot at the south end of Crescent Beach. Easy to hang out in high tide when it is filled with tropical fish and other animals. Dolphins and manatees may also be spotted above (or below) water. Point of Rocks was created from limestone formations and is widely known as a great area for beginners on up to experienced divers. See crustaceans, snook, and other marine life. Visit early in the morning when visibility is up to 20 feet in some areas. Park at Beach Access 12, a short hike south of Point of Rocks. Take a trolley or other transportation to avoid parking snags
- Turtle Beach: south of Point of Rocks, this amazing place to snorkel offers free public parking, picnic areas, showers, and a boat launch. Check out the many shells on the beach before or after a dive. Be sure to look for shark’s teeth along the way. Turtle Beach is located off Midnight Pass Road with ample parking.
Several tour companies offer short and long excursions for snorkeling, diving, water sports and more. Guided tours offer the ideal way to explore the Siesta Key underwater world and find the best (least crowded) spots to hang out. Snorkeling tour operators provide the gear and accommodate families with young children up to a certain age. Check with them for restrictions.
There are not too many basic rules for snorkeling in and around Siesta Key. The biggest thing is to leave nesting turtles alone as they are endangered. If those are encountered, let them be. While in the water, the biggest thing to remember is to secure a dive flag. Anyone scuba diving, skin diving, snorkeling, or underwater spearfishing must display a diver-down flag to give boaters a warning as to who is in the water. A diver may not surface more than 25 feet from the flag. No certification is required for snorkeling.