Here is a quick guide on where to go snorkeling in St. Pete Beach, Florida, and how to enjoy some of the top locations along the Gulf of Mexico. You will be thrilled by crystal clear waters, coral reefs, variety of shells, but you might also encounter friendly octopuses and Bottlenose dolphins!
Is St. Petersburg good for snorkeling?
Snorkeling in St. Pete Beach will provide some of the best experiences visitors can get in the area of Florida’s gulf coast. There are many things to do in St. Petersburg aside from enjoying beautiful sunsets and pristine beaches. And one of them is snorkeling!
Where can I snorkel in Pinellas County?
Pinellas County is situated on the west coast of Florida. It is abundant in barrier islands and passes, making the area perfect for snorkeling. Visitors can choose whether to go to the St. Pete Beach area, including Madeira Beach, Shell Key Preserve, Egmont Key State Park, or Fort De Soto Park.
Can you snorkel at Shell Key?
Oh yes, Shell Key Preserve provides calm waters perfect for experienced divers and snorkeling beginners. Not only that the Preserve is safe for snorkeling, but you will be stunned by its wildlife. In some areas, there are tons of seabirds. This is their natural habitat. Tourists can do birding or wildlife watching.
Best Places to Go Snorkeling in St. Pete Beach
If you’re planning a beach vacation in Florida, then you won’t be disappointed with St. Pete Beach and St. Petersburg. The sandy beaches here are beautiful, and booking a tour with any of these businesses and private charters listed below will be an incredible experience. Small groups of all ages and experience levels can enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and water sports in the area.
1) Island Ferry
One of the local businesses that will take you on a Dolphin Snorkeling Cruise to Shell Key is Island Ferry. Visitors can see Bottlenose dolphins in person and some of the most beautiful shells in Florida. Other than that, there are manatees, rays, wild seabirds, and sea turtles.
Island Ferry is located at 198 Madonna Blvd in Tierra Verde. The tour lasts for 2 hours and costs $49 per person.
Captain Dalton is highly knowledgeable. Some groups were even able to see sharks!
2) Island Boat Adventures
One of the best snorkeling spots in St Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Area is over the sunken ruins of Old Fort Dade – and this is where the first stop is when taking a tour with Island Boat Adventures. The sunken ruins became an artificial habitat for a variety of marine life. You can see Starfish, Seahorses, Hermit Crabs, Sting Ray, etc.
The business is situated at 2902 Miriam St in Gulfport. The tour is $55 for adults and $45 for children while the prices include all the snorkeling gear for the day. Captains Dave and John are very friendly!
3) Adventure Cruises
With Adventure Cruises, you can choose whether to take a two-hour expedition of collecting shells and dolphin watching, or the four-hour trip to historic Egmont Key. Visitors will enjoy the sights of St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, and Tampa Bay while having some of the snorkeling experiences.
Adventure Cruises is Dolphin Smart certified, meaning that it’s committed to ecologically-sound practices in order to preserve wild dolphins.
It is located on St. Pete Beach at the Tradewinds Island Grand Resort. Egmont Key snorkeling trip is due 3 times a week at $60 per person or $50 for children under 12.
4) Allen’s Aquatic Adventures
Another great way to snorkel at Egmont Key is to take a tour with Allen’s Aquatic Adventures. The snorkel spot is about 6 feet deep. Not to worry if you don’t have your own mask and fins, because snorkel gear is provided, along with life jackets.
There are trips that last for 2, 3, 4, or 6 hours. The latter option is perfect for experiencing a little bit of everything. The price is $600 plus tax and fuel for 6 people.
5) Sharkey’s Glass Bottom Tours
If you are interested in glass-bottom kayaks to visit islands, sandbars, beach coves, and mangrove tunnels, you should head out to Sharkey’s Glass Bottom Tours at 423 Gulf Blvd on St. Pete Beach.
This can be a family trip or a tour with your friends. Some made it into an unforgettable date, especially when taking a night tour when kayaks get LED illuminated. Imagine how fantastic that kayak tour must be!
Tours can last for 75 minutes or 4 hours depending on the schedule, and cost about $55 per person.
6) St Pete Dolphin Snorkeling Tours
Half-day Egmont Day Boat Tour at St. Pete Dolphin Snorkeling Tours includes dolphin show, snorkeling, shelling, and exploring Egmont Key. This is also a great photo opportunity for dolphin watching.
It is located at 12831 Village Blvd on Madeira Beach while the boats leave from 4630 29th Ave S, Gulfport. The tour is $50 for adults and $40 for children 4-12 years.
7) Charter Finders
Located at 15015 Madeira Way on Medeira Beach, Charter Finders will provide not only sunset cruises, Egmont Bay snorkeling but a private charter. The tour goes to Egmont Key for seeing the sunken ruins and the marine life, heads over to Outback Key or Sand Dollar Island, and then to Shell Key Island.
The tour lasts for 5 hours and costs $550 for 3-6 people.
After you’re done with your tour, be sure to head to downtown St. Petersburg and enjoy one of the many fantastic restaurants like Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro.
Have you visited St. Pete Beach and gone snorkeling during your vacation? Let us know what your experience was like in the comments below! We’d love to hear more about the great time that you had.
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