John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a Florida State Park located on Key Largo in Florida, and includes approximately 70 nautical square miles (240 km²) of adjacent Atlantic Ocean waters. It was the first underwater park in the United States. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1972. The primary attractions of the park are the coral reefs (such as Molasses Reef) and their associated marine life.It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and many more Key Largo attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's Key Largo online holiday planner .
In Fiscal Year 2004 the park had more than a million visitors, making it the most popular park in the Florida State Parks system. The Florida Keys and the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast are the only living coral reef formations in the continental United States.
Plans to designate the reefs off Key Largo for a park started in the 1930s. The state-sanctioned, Everglades National Park Commission proposed a national park for the Everglades, including the reefs off Key Largo. Opposition from property owners, outdoors men, and Monroe County Commissioners stopped the plan. When Everglades National Park was created in 1947, the boundaries did not include Key Largo or any of the reefs.
Tours to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Reviews
There wasn't much to do besides snorkel/scuba/boat. They had a beach area but it wasn't very nice. They did have a trail to walk but we had small children and the signs said beware of gators so we opt... more »
We came to the park twice during our visit. Would be nice if they posted activity availability at the gate so you don’t waste money paying to go in only to have to make reservations for another day. W... more »
Went for half a day trip from Miami. Easy to get to, plenty of parking. Snorkelling trip cancelled as too windy but went for a kayak around the mangroves. Beautiful, peaceful setting, no motor boats for the majority of the route. One hour was plenty but I'd imagine more time would be fun (take plenty of water and sunscreen!) Not much in the way of food options due to recent hurricane damage but plenty of other options available down the road towards Key Largo itself but bear this is mind as you may not be readmitted if it's busy.
I really enjoy this park every time I come. Great amenities and awesome reefs nearby. The boat ramps are very nice and easy to get in and out of, and there is always ample parking close by. The mangrove forest is simply beautiful. If you haven't experienced it, get your kayak or jet ski here for a great time.
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