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Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

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Address: Waters Surrounding the Florida Keys, FL 33040
Phone Number:
+1 305-809-4750

If you're in the waters of the Florida Keys, chances are you are in the...

If you're in the waters of the Florida Keys, chances are you are in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. This sanctuary protects 2,900 square nautical miles of waters surrounding the Florida Keys and supports one of the most diverse assemblages of underwater plants and animals in North America. Although best known for is coral reefs, the shallow nearshore waters contain interconnecting marine habitats that include fringing mangroves, seagrass meadows, hardbottom regions, patch reefs, and bank reefs. This complex marine ecosystem is the foundation for the tourism and commercial fishing-based economies that are so important to the State of Florida. Visitors to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary can enjoy recreational activities including diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing in appropriate zones.

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Fabulous waters with lots of Turtles and Manatee

I love boating in this area. We always see many sea turtles and, if lucky, manatee. I keep snorkel, mask and fins in the boat so I can jump in to swim with the turtles - keeping... read more

Reviewed 1 March 2017
Auburn, Alabama

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13 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 11: English reviews
Auburn, Alabama
Level Contributor
113 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2017

I love boating in this area. We always see many sea turtles and, if lucky, manatee. I keep snorkel, mask and fins in the boat so I can jump in to swim with the turtles - keeping my distance. Such a serene place with stunning views underwater.

Thank kaymcclain3
Herndon, Virginia
Level Contributor
132 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2017

We were on a boat and visited Elliot Key and Boca Chita. You can camp on either though they are primative. You can also get there by boat from the park headquarters on the mainland. I think it is worth the trip .

Thank Drjack183
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,892 reviews
578 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 482 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2016

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is actually a 2,800 square nautical mile area surrounding the Florida Keys and reaching in to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Bay. It was established as a sanctuary in 1990. It includes the Florida Reef which is the only coral reef in North America and is the 3rd largest... More 

1 Thank Allen21096
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2015 via mobile

We stumbled upon this little gem by accident. Once inside we absolutely had a 'whale' of a time! The staff engaged with my children giving them activities to do. There were education films to watch, things to read, things to do and loads to learn. The staff were very helpful with questions and answered well. A lovely way to learn... More 

1 Thank Estelle B
Denham Springs, Louisiana
Level Contributor
783 reviews
329 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 341 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2014 via mobile

What a great place to sea kayak!!! It's a beautiful pristine wilderness to enjoy with crystal clear water. Shark nursery in the mangroves. Great place for picnicking on many of the islands. Several concessionaires in the area, but Capt. Markus is the best. Great way to spend a day enjoying the natural environment.

3 Thank LSUTraveller
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

Good times! wonderful weather, beautiful attractions. a lot of things to see and a lot of things to do!

Thank Caoimhin F
Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2013

We just happened upon this wonderful facility while we were looking for the Fort Zachary State Park. It is a free attraction and is well worth the time to go through this . The short film about the Keys' waterways is beautiful and full of information. The displays about the plants and the animals, as well as the large aquariums... More 

4 Thank BalancePoint
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2012

Sail in to your favorite island in the afternoon, and watch the sunset with your friends while sipping on your favorite drink of choice. Wait for the tide to drop and get marooned at a sandbar in the Gulf of Mexico for a true experience with yourself. Fall asleep to the sounds of small crashing waves and the sight of... More 

1 Thank oshkh
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
223 reviews
131 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2012

The Keys are a long strip that goes south from Miami. Key West is at the end of the road, and is th Southernmost point of the US. It is worth the trip, as you will find a vibrant fun town, that likes to party and watch the awesome sunsets. I recommend the Grand Hotel. This is a tiny hotel... More 

4 Thank TheUBoatcommander
Estero, Florida
Level Contributor
139 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2011

A simply must visit if you are in the keys. After all, it has had many famous people fall in love with it. Ernest Hemingway, Harry Truman and Jimmy Buffet to name a couple. Great little shops, many many wonderful restaurants and an island dedicated to marine life and tales from the past Parking can be a problem, but look... More 

2 Thank toberua

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?