Snorkeling in Sarasota

07/09/2019 | by LoriAnn Quasky | Guests

At Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals we offer vacation rental homes, townhomes, pool homes, and condos throughout Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice & Palm Island, which offers the perfect vacation destination for families. We provide a unique vacation experience, from challenging golf courses to glorious beaches, as well as wildlife spotting opportunities. With so many different things to do in Bradenton, you’ll love staying nearby all of the attractions at our Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals.

Snorkeling in Sarasota

The sapphire sea along Florida’s Gulf Coast beckons with some of the most exciting marine activities in the world. At the top of the must-do water list is snorkeling. With miles of shoreline and pristine beaches, conditions do not get much better than snorkeling in Sarasota. Grab a swim (or dive) mask, snorkel, and fins, and explore a world like no other – under the sea! The crystal clear, relatively current-free waters make snorkeling in Sarasota an excellent option for amateurs and professionals alike. Enthusiasts can practice their skills by wading off the beach, paddling to a cove, or by joining a charter tour group. All that is required to enjoy Florida snorkeling is some basic gear (which may be rented at any number of swim and dive shops) and maybe a couple of lessons! And don’t forget to combine your week of snorkeling, sunbathing, and dining with a stay with Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals.

Top 6 Florida Snorkeling Locales

The beach district encompasses the entire Sarasota County region.  The recreation area is made up of 150 public beaches, parks, and trails.  It includes six barrier islands, also called “keys.”  Each key offers delightfully distinct water experiences, including snorkeling near Sarasota.

Siesta Key

Siesta Key is considered the best location for snorkeling in the Sarasota area. At the south end of the island at Crescent Beach a formation of flat, smooth, limestone rocks known as “Point of Rocks” is a snorkeling magnet. Catching clear water for snorkeling at the Point of Rocks is a challenge, but the rewards are worth the wait. Lucky underwater swimmers are greeted by a diverse sea-community of colorful fish, crustaceans, red-boring sponge, algae, shells, dolphins, and perhaps even a glimpse of an elusive manatee.

Longboat Key

Longboat Key offers prime snorkeling locations. It is listed on many excursion packages because of the clear water, sand bars, and excellent shelling grounds. Sea creatures like reef fish, eels, seagrass, and hermit crabs are abundant, and Longboat Key is a prime location for dolphin watching.

Lido Key

South Lido Beach is recommended for the best snorkeling from the key. When catching good water clarity, swimmers may encounter crabs, sand dollars, sea urchins, sea stars, and arrays of reef fish.

Casey Key

The “hidden gem,” Casey Key, is accessed off US 41. The best snorkeling from Casey Key is off the North Venice Jetty. When the water is clear and beautiful, unusual shells are visible along with many reef fish. An occasional sighting of the leatherback turtle is common in this area.

Manasota Key

Just a few feet offshore, snorkelers are treated with underwater finds like shark’s teeth, curious fossils, and collectible shells galore. The clear water around Manasota Key is teeming with a variety of tropical fish, crabs, and stingray, making it a popular area for swimming and snorkeling.

Bird Key

Bird Key is located just across the John Ringling Bridge from downtown Sarasota. It is the home of Bird Key Park. Waters along the shore of Bird Key are occasionally too murky for good snorkeling visibility. Bird Key Park is a popular destination for fishing, exercise, enjoying nature, and watching a glorious sunrise or sunset. After a full day of snorkeling, retreat to one of Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals’ finest cottages for a tasty meal, cocktails, and sunset relaxation.