Just a short drive from Miami is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park with America’s only living coral reef. It is celebrating its 50th anniversary and its success in protecting and conserving its natural resources. This is the jewel of the Florida Keys because of its live coral reef.
When you visit the sanctuary you visit America’s first underwater preserve. The live coral reef and abundance of sea life is truly breathtaking and unique. When you ride in the boat with the glass bottom, you can see the coral reef up close and admire its beauty and many guests go snorkeling in Key Largo because of this spectacular coral reef.
Attractions of the Greenery and Animal Life
When you visit the marine sanctuary you will get to explore the nature trails with the lush greenery, walk the beautiful sandy beaches, and admire and learn about the abundant wildlife that inhabit the state park. The beautiful blue water gives you the perfect window to view the fish and coral reef in its natural habitat.
You get to scuba dive with the fish and get up close and personal with the only live coral reef in America along with all the beautiful fish. There is a rainbow of life under the water waiting for you to explore it. The beauty and peace felt when faced with such a unique and majestic sight is truly unlike anything you will ever experience. There is the beauty and peace felt when in paradise and then there’s the beauty and peace you feel when in a totally different world, away from the world and sound of land life.
Video of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
The Christ of the Abyss
Below 25 feet of turquoise water stands a nine foot bronze statue of the Christ of the Abyss, an exact replica of which rests in the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded by living coral reef formations and highlights the miracle of America’s only living coral reef. When you scuba dive you can get up close and see the entire ecosystem that has grown onto the statue. The beauty of the adaptation of the organism is truly breathtaking.
Miles of Beauty and Paradise
The sanctuary covers 2800 square nautical miles of the waters throughout the Florida Bay, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean. There are coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangrove swamps that adorn the sanctuary waters. There is an infinite amount of wildlife that coexist and live in this giant span of water. The fish, birds, marine life, and land animals that grow and inhabit the lush greenery and water are numberless and beautiful.
The sanctuary is open year around and offers the visitors an experience unlike any other. The park has two man made beaches, kayaking and boat rentals, nature trails and 47 camping sites. You get a chance to experience the park on many different levels and in so many different ways you don’t miss a thing. You get to experience the nature and wildlife of so many different environments there is no park that can match the beauty and intimacy you experience at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. That is why the Florida Keys are so famous because it has has two world famous attractions like snorkeling and swimming with the dolphins in Key Largo. This is a combination that many guests enjoy when coming to the Florida Keys and hopefully the same can be said for you when you plan your next vacation to Florida.