The allure of the crystal sands and beautiful waters of the Gulf draw visitors and locals to its shores. One of the biggest draws is snorkeling just under the surface. What lies beneath are some of the best underwater experiences anywhere in Florida. Come learn about how to make the most of your experience snorkeling in Sarasota, Florida.
One way to get started is to find the best place in Sarasota to snorkel. Look no further than the beautiful Siesta Key. Crescent Beach in Siesta Key, south of Siesta Key Public Beach, has just the spot. Aptly named Point of Rocks, it is a picturesque space to enjoy snorkeling in Florida’s Gulf waters. The largest rock formation of its kind on Florida’s Gulf Coast, it is a great place for beginners to snorkel with shallow, clear water most of the year. Some other key elements are the formation of limestone rocks just above the surface. Be sure to check out coral formations and marine life in this area.
Helpful hint: don’t touch coral formations as they are living organisms and susceptible to damage from human activities
Anna Maria Island
Don’t miss out on some of the best snorkeling at Anna Maria Island’s Bradenton Beach. Check out the 90-foot freighter that sank in 1940 called the USS Regina. This region is a great spot to look for hidden treasures under the surface and is inviting for learners of all ages.
Once you suss out where to snorkel, it is time to dive into the water. Be cautious about where, when, and how you snorkel. The best bet is to practice awareness. Be sure of where you are snorkeling and that it is not in the way of speed boats, skis, watercraft, or other human activities. Some other things to watch for:
- Bring brightly colored clothing to wear
- Use dive flags when snorkeling to help people above the surface see your location
- Don’t snorkel alone (bring a friend and let people know where you’re going)
- Use protective gear with long sleeves and long pant legs or bring high SPF waterproof sunblock. Sun’s rays are hot when snorkeling, especially on the back, neck, and head
- Bring plenty of water and stay hydrated before and after snorkeling
- Be cautious to avoid coral and snorkel away from it at a distance. It may be sharp or stinging so don’t touch it
- Wear protective gloves in the water
Look for tours that take people out if you’re not sure where to go. They can take you to out-of-the-way places for beginners on up to experts as well as use boats to find spots not next to common (or busy) shores. Be diligent about your surroundings as far as marine life and human activity. Watch for lots of boats or watercraft and take note of the weather, tide, and shore reports that day before heading out. Know the area and common marine life to avoid coming into contact (hopefully) with any animals that may be dangerous.
The biggest tip is just to have fun out there. Don’t let other people’s thoughts on an area deter you from heading out, but be sure to listen to warnings from lifeguards or residents who may know the area better. Check-in with buddies and friends snorkeling with you and always have a safety plan in place. Have fun snorkeling in Sarasota, Florida, and exploring all it has to offer.