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Snorkeling the Florida Keys in March

San Antonio
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Snorkeling the Florida Keys in March

Family of four heading (mom, dad, two boys- ages 7&11) to the Keys for some spring break fun. We are planning on snorkeling a bunch while we are there.

Some questions:

We are thinking about three days in Key Largo and three days in the Lower Keys, with a day for my Hemingway pilgrmage and bumming aroung Key West. Sound good? We are hoping to get lots of water time in without paying for charters the whole time. I see that Bahia Honda has a good beach access for snorkeling- any others?

Also what about lodging along the way? While we don't want to be in the crowds, we also are looking for some decent and cheao hotel rooms. Key Largo seems to be big enough to offer some variety, as does Key West. Thoughts?

And finally what about wetsuits? I would love to not have to buy suits for my kids when I know thay will grow out of them in five minutes.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Lancaster, PA
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1. Re: Snorkeling the Florida Keys in March

No need for wetsuits in FL waters, but DO bring the sunscreen!

John Penennkamp SP (Key Largo) is good snorkeling & Bahia Honda SP is probably the best beach in all the keys, but presently dirty & the water is still somewhat murky from the storms.

Looie Key is the best (that's where the divers go) for outstanding snorkeling. Also heard its good at Dry Tortugas.

If you don't want to pay for charters you can go snorkeling around the rocks at Fort Zack but the water is always kinda rough (not safe for small kids) but great shells here.

Have fun

New Jersey
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for Key West
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2. Re: Snorkeling the Florida Keys in March

I want to just throw out two things. If you stop in Islmorada there is an intersting place called the World Wide Sportsman which has a sister ship of Hemingway's Pilar on display. You can take a look...


And secondly, IMO the best snorkeling trip in Key West is the Sebago Island T'ing which is probably more expensive than you wanted. But it includes a decent breakfast (no coffee) a snorkeling trip, a very good lunch, and then a kayak trip around, and sometimes through, a mangrove island. Then all of the beer or wine you want. They do a great job and if you just spend a day in Key West, you will probably spend a similar amount of money anyway. You can save by booking on-line or at least a day in advance. They are here...



North Saint Paul...
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3. Re: Snorkeling the Florida Keys in March

My husband and I have been to the Keys 3 different times now. Twice we stayed in Marathon and once in Key Largo. I don't know a lot about the lodging in Largo since we stayed at friends condo. However, in Marathon our favorite place to stay is the White Sands Inn (www.whitesandsinn.com). It is a small family owned place with great rooms and rates. For snorkeling in Key Largo, check out Key's Diver's (www.keysdivers.com). They have a 3 stop snorkel tour that is great. I also like the Looe Key trip that leaves from Bahia Honda State Park. In regards to KW, you are not going to find any cheap hotel rooms there in March. Also, be aware that the town is full of drunken, half naked coeds during spring break time. I tend to think that KW is kind of raunchy for small children and I wouldn't take mine. Sombrero Beach in Marathon is a lovely beach and a great place to spend the day. Also, there are places that rent bikes and you can go on kayak trips. We did one in Key Largo with Florida Bay Outfitters and it was great fun. As far as wetsuits, if you go on the charter snokel trips, they always offer shorty wet suit rental for just a few dollars. Water temps in March are usually in the mid 70's but can feel chilly if you are in for any length of time. I bought long sleeved, long legged lycra outfits (called dive skins) for my husband and myself and it helps. However, last March when we were there the water temp was in the low 70's one day and I had to end going with the shorty wetsuit to be comfortable.

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4. Re: Snorkeling the Florida Keys in March

The weather in the Keys in March is always a crapshoot. You can get really lucky and have great weather, or it can be chilly and not much fun. All of FL, including the Keys, is plagued by the dreaded East wind in the winter, and it can make snorkling kind of miserable. And I agree with the poster who pointed out that Key West, especially for Spring Break, can be inappropriate for youngsters. The advice for Largo and Marathon seems solid.