There is excellent snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas - but that's a day trip from Key West on a boat. Also Bahia Honda has good snorkelling - but that's 35 miles up the overseas highway. There are many boat operators who will take you from Key West out to the coral reefs for half a day's snorkelling.
But where is the best snorkelling from the shore in Key West?
I've reported before on Fort Zach beach itself - which is by far the best on the island.
Here's a video I took in November 2012 to set the scene:
Today I tried snorkelling for the first time here. Here are some pics of the beach today (November 2012):
|It's November so not that busy. Also it's Tuesday and only about 10.30am - the beach did get busier, but not that busy today. That's the great thing about midweek in November - nice and quiet!|
|The beach at Fort Zach is 20% sand and 80% coral which makes walking and getting into the sea a tricky and sometimes painful affair!|
|My snorkel amongst the coral at Fort Zach beach.|
|Ready to snorkel.|
|Go! Heads down, looking.|
This area of the beach (see pic below), swimming right up within 1 foot of the rocks, is where I found the most fish.
You can hire a snorkel and mask from the same beach shack that hires out the deck chairs, right on the beach.
|Best snorkelling rocks on Fort Zach beach|
Full review and loads of great pictures of Fort Zach beach - click here.
Guide to Key West best beach.