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Destin, Florida is a popular vacation destination known for its beautiful beaches and clear, turquoise waters. Snorkeling is a great way to explore the underwater world and discover the diverse marine life that calls the Gulf of Mexico home. If you’re planning a trip to Destin and want to experience the beauty of the underwater world, here are some top spots to consider for snorkeling:

Snorkeling in The Destin Jetties

Snorkeling in Destin Florida

The Destin Jetties are a fantastic spot for both fishing and snorkeling or diving. The waters here are teeming with vibrant fish, crabs, sea turtles, and even octopuses. You may also spot dolphins playing in the waves. The shallow water at the Jetties, which ranges from 30 to 60 feet in depth, makes it an excellent location for snorkeling. The clear water and good visibility, which can reach up to 50 feet on a good day, add to the appeal of this spot. Additionally, the lack of strong currents during high tide makes it safer for snorkelers, as they don’t have to worry about being pulled into the East Pass boat traffic. If you’re a fan of collecting shells, you’ll find that the Jetties are an even better spot for hunting for souvenirs than the beach. To access the snorkeling spot, it is easiest to park at the end of Holiday Isle and enter through the O’Steen Public Beach Access.

Destin Snorkeling for Children at Norriego Point

Snorkeling in Destin Florida

Located near the Destin Jetties, this small peninsula offers its own unique snorkeling spot. The soft sand at the edges of the peninsula creates an interesting habitat that attracts a variety of sea life. This area is known for its calm waters, making it a good choice for snorkelers families with children or those who prefer light swimming while snorkeling. Not to mention, this area is protected from boats and fishermen. Make sure to bring your snorkel gear and a waterproof camera, and head to Norriego Point for a memorable day of snorkeling and family photos in this beautiful location.

Destin Snorkeling for Seasoned Swimmers

The SWARA Reefs

For those who are looking for an adventure or are excellent swimmers, the SWARA reefs are an option to consider. The South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) has developed and maintains an extensive artificial reef system that offers access to a thriving marine ecosystem for divers, snorkelers, fishermen, and researchers. Four of the SWARA reefs were designed specifically for snorkeling, and they can be accessed by kayak, paddleboard, or other flotation devices from a distance of around 250-300 yards from shore. These reefs are highly recommended for snorkeling enthusiasts.

1.Dolphin Reef

This Miramar Beach reef is a stunning spot for snorkeling and is located just off the shore of Pompano Joe’s restaurant. The easiest way to access the reef is via the westernmost staircase of the Miramar Beach Regional Beach Access. After a day of snorkeling, you can refuel with a meal at Pompano Joe’s.

2. Turtle Reef

Located off the shore of Grayton Beach State Park, this beautiful reef is home to over 80 species of marine life. Grayton Beach is known for its breathtaking beauty and is ranked among the most beautiful beaches in the United States. The reef is situated about 783 feet from the shore.

3. Seahorse Reef

The Seahorse-shaped Reef, located off the shore of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, is just ten miles east of Destin. This reef is situated approximately 715 feet from the shore and has a depth range of 13-18 feet. It offers a unique and beautiful location for snorkeling and exploring the marine life in the area.

3. Grouper Reef

Snorkeling in Destin Florida

The Grouper reef, located in Inlet Beach, is situated about 970 feet from the shore off the Inlet Beach Regional Beach Access. It was installed in the summer of 2017 and consists of 94 individual EcoSystems Reefs arranged in the shape of one of the region’s most popular sport fish. Snorkelers can enjoy exploring this unique and vibrant reef and all the marine life it has to offer.

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