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Best Place to Snorkel or Scuba Dive in Navarre, FL

Published on May 19, 2019 by espaid

Fishing. Beach combing. Kayaking. Paddle Boarding. Kite Surfing. Biking. The list of outdoor activities is extensive in Navarre, FL - there’s so much to do in this area of the Panhandle! Add snorkeling to your list.

Navarre Beach, just five miles west of our vacation rentals - The Palm Breeze Beach House and The Seahorse Retreat - is home to the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary, which has created several artificial reefs in the Santa Rosa Sound and Gulf that are teeming with sea life.

Cross the bridge to Navarre Beach and take a left. There you’ll find three sites to snorkel, and they’re free and open from sunrise to sunset. Just bring your own fins and snorkel mast (you can purchase them at Walmart).

The West Sound Side site is the largest of the reefs - almost a football field long. It is more conducive for diving. It is 700 feet from shore and consists of 77 structures spaced 10 feet apart in 20 feet of water.

The East Sound Side reef is the smallest site but is the most accessible and is good for snorkeling. It is 150 feet from shore with 28 structures placed 10 feet apart in 12 feet of water.

The Gulf site is south of the Sea Oat pavilion. Follow the boardwalk to the beach and head 100 feet east. Two PVC posts mark the site, which is 340 feet south of the mean tide line - immediately beyond the second sandbar.

There are no fees to enter the park, hours are sunrise to sunset.
Paved parking, restrooms, and fresh water showers are available at each pavilion.

Get ready to encounter sea turtles, octopuses, coral, jellyfish, urchins, rays, and colorful fish. The reefs are easy to navigate and are excellent starter locations for new snorkelers and divers.

Be sure to visit the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, which is a hands-on marine and environmental education center, with a touch tank, wet lab, and deep sea exhibit and a great place to take kids.

For more photos, video and other information about snorkeling and diving Navarre Beach visit the Snorkel Navarre Beach website.

Meet The Author
We have been hosting guests since 2003 when we bought our first place on Folly Beach, near Charleston, SC. It was something we kind of fell into. One day our friends mentioned a place they bought on Folly and invited us to stay. We headed there during a cold weekend in February and were wowed by the funky island and the amazing view of the river and marsh. The price was low and we decided to buy one as well and rent it out. We have added two more places in the Florida Panhandle and have not looked back.
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