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A Day at the John Pennekamp State Park.

Ready for the glass bottom boat rides, kayaking, snorkeling, camping, some fishing and beach time?

Getting to the John Pennekamp State Park early in the morning on any day of the year is always better.

The park opens as early as 8:00 am and it's fully operational until sundown, all 365 days of the year. In the early morning is quiet, almost empty. This is a good time to explore the areas and get familiar with the environment as well as to get the best parking spaces in the park.

The entrance to the park is at the Mile Marker 102.5 of US 1 in the Key Largo's main sectio

It's a flat rate admission fee of $8:00 per vehicle that you pay at the entrance when arriving to the base camp of the park. RV's and campers pay a different rate.

Look for the big sign where the entrance is in Key Largo. *Photo to the rigth.

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Big sign at the entrance to the  State Park in Key Largo.
Sign at the entrance to the John Pennekamp State Park.

The entrance to the park is at the Mile Marker 102.5 of US 1 in the Key Largo's main section.

It's a flat rate admission fee of $8:00 per vehicle that you pay at the entrance when arriving to the base camp of the park. RV's and campers pay a different rate.

Look for the big sign where the entrance is in Key Largo.

The John Pennekamp State Park in the early morning.

The John Pennekamp Park in the quietness of a Florida Keys early morning.

As the day progresses an affluence of visitors of all ages and from every place imaginable started to arrive...Canada, Europe, Asia, Japan...The last time that I visited the park a bus full of students from a junior high school in lost Angeles, California were there.

People at Canon Beach, wich is located inside of the park.

Dozens of children and families are swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and participating in just about any of the activities that this recreational facility has to offer.


The John Pennekamp State Park has a treasure to offer...The coral reefs!

This is the first underwater park in the U.S, and is also located in the one and only coral reef barrier in North America. "The Great Florida Coral Reef Barrier" Where else can we go to admire such a thing?

Glass bottom boats, snorkeling, or scuba diving tours are the way to explore these coral formations. From the park you can take a boat tour to the best dive sites in the underwater park. The tours are guided by the tour captain and its crew experts on the field, and they know where the best diving locations are in this vast area of the Upper Florida Keys.

The best coral formations in the Great Florida Coral Reef Barrier are said to be at this Underwater Park. Well preserved and with swarms of tropical fish.

So the main attraction to the park are these corals and the abundant sea life that inhabits in this underwater forest.

In addition, you probably know by now that Key Largo is considered as the Diving Capital of the World by many! Diving in Key Largo?

The coral reef s at the John Pennecamp Underwater State Park.
The coral reefs near Key Largo.

The best coral formations in the Great Florida Coral Reef Barrier are said to be at this Underwater Park. Well preserved and with swarms of tropical fish.

So the main attraction to the park are these corals and the abundant sea life that inhabits in this underwater forest.

In addition, you probably know by now that Key Largo is considered as the Diving Capital of the World by many! Diving in Key Largo?

Located on the Dry Rocks Reef and near Key Largo is the statue of Jesus of the Deep or the "Christ of the Deep" (a bronze 9 feet toll sculpture of Jesus Christ under 25" of water)...This is one of the most visited underwater sites in the world!

Esculpture of the Jesus of the Deep or Christ of the Abyss under water at the coral reefs near the park.

The Christ of the Deep is located at the Dry Rock Reef, in Key Largo.


Scuba diving enthusiasts either begginers or advance might like to check at the PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Scuba Shop located at the head quarters of the park.

They offer courses from the Introduction to Scuba Diving Resort Course to the more Advance Open Water Training Course and Certification.

Getting active at the base camp of the Pennekamp's park.

Kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing and bicycling are other ways of getting the feeling of adventure and get active, while exploring the water ways surrounded by mangroves where the white heron, the egret, pelicans and other wild birds of the tropical nature inhabit.

These waters have abundant Tarpon, Snook, Redfish, Snapper, Trout, and Bonefish. So anglers come to these flats and shallow waters to have a great fishing experience.

*Our video: Snorkeling the Cannon Beach's Spanish Wreck, A FloridaKeysXperienceImage on Youtube.

Cannon Beach is the famous beach in one of the two beaches of the park where the remains of an earlier 17th century Spanish shipwreck is sunk at approximately 100 feet offshore.

The camp site at John Pennekamp.

The camp site of the John Pennekamp State Park.

The park has one of the best camp sites of the Florida Keys,with capacity for big rigs, RVs, and tents with picnic areas, showers and bathrooms.

What am i missing about the John Pennekamp State Park on this review?

Well, remember to follow the rules of the park while you are having a good time here.

Keep yourself informed about the weather, the rain could ruin your day...and i will see you around the Florida Keys any time soon!


Riding my bicycle around the park.

What am i missing about the John Pennekamp State Park on this review?

Well, remember to follow the rules of the park while you are having a good time here.

Keep yourself informed about the weather, the rain could ruin your day...and i will see you around the Florida Keys any time soon!


John D Pennekamp.

Miami Herald newspaper editor, daily columnist and passionate conservationist, he leaded the campaign in the struggle to save and  establish the Everglades as a National Park in 1947.
The 75 mile coral reef offshore underwater park in Key Largo was named after him.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in January of 1897 and died in 1978.

John D Pennekamp.

Miami Herald newspaper editor, daily columnist and passionate conservationist, he leaded the campaign in the struggle to save and  establish the Everglades as a National Park in 1947.
The 75 mile coral reef offshore underwater park in Key Largo was named after him.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in January of 1897 and died in 1978.

To contact the park directly call 305 451 1202  John Pennekamp State Park Information






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Favorite Pages:

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Dolphin Encounters.

Families on vacation in the Florida Keys.

Family Vacations.

Paddling, canoeing or kayaking in Florida Keys.

Paddling Around.

The Key West Historic Light House and other Museums and Landmarks.

Historic Sites.

This is Canon Beach, in the  John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo.

John Pennekamp.

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Beaches in Key West.

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Hotels in Key Largo.

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