This summer we camped in our RV at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and it was one of our best camping trips to date. We were very surprised how nice the campgrounds are at John Pennekamp. There are 47 full hookup sites that are very well maintain. The park amenities include fishing, swimming, picnicking, and a visitor center which includes an aquarium. We were in walking distance to Cannon Beach, the marina, aquarium, dive shop, and kayak rentals. There are also several hotels in the area.
John Pennekamp is one of the true treasures in the Florida Keys. John Pennekamp is located in Key Largo which is known as the dive capital of the world. John Pennekamp is the first underwater park in the United States. The park spans 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and seagrass beds. The parks extends 3 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and has protected living coral reefs.
There many activities to choose from at the park. They offer snorkeling tours, scuba tours, glass bottom boat tours, boat rentals, and kayak & paddle board rentals. We tried to fit as many activities as we could into our four day trip. We swam and snorkeled at Cannon Beach, fished in the designated areas, rode our bikes, rented paddle boards, kayaked, and took a snorkeling tour.
The highlight of our trip was our snorkeling tour. We brought our own snorkeling gear, but they do offer rental equipment at the concession stand. Our Captain took us to Key Largo Dry Rocks Reef which home to The Christ of the Abyss statue. Dry Rocks Reef is one of the many reefs at John Pennekamp. Depending on the water conditions the captain will decide which reef to go to. We were so lucky the conditions were perfect that we were able to go to Dry Rocks. This reef is so majestic and tranquil. The coral reef itself is so impressive. We saw many types of fish that included parrotfish, barracuda, damselfish, and snapper just to name a few. We also saw lobster, brain coral, string rays, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. The most impressive site was the Christ of the Abyss statue. It really was an amazing site. My son and husband both dived down to touch the statue. By far this was one of the most memorable and amazing things we have done as a family. We had such a wonderful and adventure filled stay at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
I highly recommend putting John Pennekamp on your bucket list. Contact me Tonyav@travelwiththemagic.com and let me help plan your bucket list vacation.