There’s a lot to see and do here. With extensive mangrove forest and seagrass fields, you can also see a lot of shipwrecks! Fourteen of them are nationally recognized historical sites!
If you snorkel along the sanctuary’s Shipwreck Trail, you can see nine historic ships buried just a few miles offshore. Their stories are incredible: why they were traveling here and exactly what difficulties they faced navigating these waters.
The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary does not host any snorkeling or diving tours. Instead, they recommend booking such trips with Blue Star operations, so as to protect the sanctity of the area.
This is because the sanctuary is covered in Special-use Research Only Areas. No snorkeling or diving is allowed within them. Set aside for research purposes only, it is paramount you avoid them!
Also of interest is lobster season! If you’re looking for lobsters, head to the sanctuary from August 6 through March 31. For a sure thing, sport lobster season takes place the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July.