John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Cabins

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
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Visit Undersea Playground John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Covering 70 square nautical miles of coral reefs and mangrove swamps just north of Key Largo in Florida, John Pennekamp State Park is truly unique. This isn't a park offering extensive hiking or rock climbing, and rustic John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park cabins in the woods are hard to come by. Rather, it's a subtropical natural paradise complete with turtles, colorful fish, and sharks.

Best Hiking Trails in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Although most of the park is underwater, that doesn't mean there are no opportunities for exploration on foot. The park offers three separate nature trails with different natural environments. There are also kayak trails for those who prefer to do their exploration by boat.

  • 1. Mangrove Trail

    This short walk is entirely on boardwalk, making it the perfect choice for families with small children, or the less mobile. The trail ends at an observation tower, so if you've got the energy, climb the steps for great views across the ocean and mangrove swamps.

  • 2. Wild Tamarind Trail

    This trail showcases the area's tropical hardwood trees, and allows visitors to walk through the forest and see them close up. There are information boards along the route, should you want to learn more about the trees and wildlife.

  • 3. Grove Trail

    This trail starts at the visitor center and leads through some tropical fruit tree plantations, similar to the trees planted by the first European settlers in this area of Florida.

Great Places to Stay Near John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

House ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida, United States
from $135
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4.0
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Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida, United States
from $66
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Condo ∙ 4 guests
Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida, United States
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Hotels.com
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Best Family Activities in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

If you're planning to bring the family to the Florida Keys, then booking John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park hotels gives the opportunity to fully explore this area. Bring the snorkeling gear and plenty of sunscreen, and see what amazing things you can discover on the bottom of the ocean.

  • 1. Camping

    Although there are no John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park cabins, you can camp at the park, under canvas, or in your RV. There are 47 spots, with showers and picnic areas for campers.

  • 2. Aquarium

    Located in the Visitor Center, the Park's 30,000 gallon saltwater aquarium is home to all sorts of interesting creatures which make their home in the waters of the Keys. There are smaller tanks, too, and lots of information about life in the ocean.

  • 3. Diving and snorkeling

    There are many boat trips out from the visitor center onto the reef, where all you need to do is float on the surface to watch the rich marine life on the coral. More challenging diving is also available for those with scuba experience.

  • 4. Glass bottom boat

    The ideal option for people who want to see marine life without getting wet, regular trips run from the visitor center, accompanied by expert local guides.

Top Lodging Near John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Apartment ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida, United States
from $103
Airbnb
5.0
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Apartment ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida, United States
from $93
Airbnb
5.0
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House ∙ 5 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Key Largo, Monroe County, Florida, United States
from $226
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5.0
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