Snorkeling St Pete Beach
Snorkeling St Pete Beach
Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities around St Pete beach and with good reason. Florida’s beautiful clear waters and wealth of amazing wildlife make it an experience never to be forgotten. It’s great for kids and adults alike and doesn’t require expensive equipment- you can hire snorkels, masks, and fins or buy them fairly cheaply in St Petersburg. Just don’t forget to wear sunscreen- with so much to see down there it’s really easy to get burnt while snorkeling.
You can snorkel on St Pete Beach itself or in numerous quieter spots around Pass-a-Grille, but in order to see the best wildlife head for one of these locations:
Shell Key Snorkeling Trips
Some of the best snorkeling in the St Pete beach area is found at Shell Key, a stunning little island about half a mile out from Pass-a-Grille, and there is no better way to get there than to take the Shell Key Shuttle ferry service. They even provide free snorkels for customer use, along with beach umbrellas and shell bags. As the name suggests, the key is also the perfect place to go shelling.
Shell Key is superbly unspoiled, so expect to see a huge variety of underwater wildlife. Graceful stingrays are often seen and sometimes even manatees and dolphins.
Because the ferry leaves from Pass-a-Grille, it’s very easy to access from Inn on the Beach. Bring your own lunch and take plenty of water as there are no permanent facilities on the island.
It’s a little further afield, but if your heart is set on snorkeling with that most iconic of all Florida wildlife- the strange and wonderful manatee- you can do that too far from St Petersburg. Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge is at its best for manatee spotting from November to March, but they can be seen all year round.
There is a visitor center at Crystal River, and snorkelers can arrange their own equipment or join a guided tour. Much of the reserve is best accessible by boat, so if you’re planning to rent a vessel in St Pete and explore it’s a great point to head for. Organized tours are also available if you’re rather someone else took care of the details.
Snorkel with the Dolphins at Egmont Key and Fort Dade
If snorkeling with dolphins is more your style, take a trip out to Egmont Key. Snorkel cruises leave from St Pete Beach daily and private charters are easily available for larger groups.
Seeing the dolphins at play is an incredible experience, but there is another treat in store for snorkelers at Egmont. You can actually swim and snorkel over the ruins of Fort Dade, a relic from the Spanish-American War that is now home to octopus and the dazzling array of fish that only Florida can provide.
Sea Grape Suite is located on the top floor of the Inn and features a luxurious queen size bed in the bedroom plus a daybed in the living area. The large kitchen has everything you would expect to find to prepare meals. The balcony is a great place to enjoy your morning coffee. Fill the small cooler with your beach snacks and head for the sand!
The Sea Loft
The Sea Loft is a second floor open plan apartment with a queen bed, fully equipped kitchen, living/dining area, sun porch, and balcony. The unit has cathedral ceilings giving it a spacious feel, and there are lots of windows providing stunning natural light. It's a peaceful, romantic escape just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Gardenia is bright and spacious with its own private balcony with views of the gulf. The sleeping area has a queen bed, so the room accommodates two people. Enjoy the views from your comfy couch or from the Adirondack chairs on your private balcony. Fill the cooler provided with your beach snacks and head for the sand!
Hibiscus and the Palmetto share a semi-private patio overlooking the gardens. Relax and enjoy the slower pace of Pass-A-Grille at our inn on the beach. The room is cool and comfy and comes with a complete kitchen.