Crystal River, Florida
There are only a handful of places in the world where you can come face to face with the gentle manatee. But the clear waters of Crystal River, Florida invite your whole family to do just that. Your children are sure to be thrilled by the playful and curious nature of the sea cow. Because manatees feel more comfortable with calm, slow swimmers, this trip is ideal for families with older, more mature kids. Young children may frighten manatees, causing them to relocate.
La Jolla Cove, California
With a name like the Children’s Pool Beach, you can be assured that your youngest ones will get the most out of snorkeling and exploring this easy-entry beach at La Jolla Cove. Not only will you be treated to calm, rich waters, but you may even catch a glimpse of the local sea lion population sunning themselves along the rocky coastline. Outfitted with the powerful, snorkel-specific Cressi Palau Fins, you and your family will easily be able to keep up with all the native Californian ocean life.
While Massachusetts may not spring to mind as a snorkeling hot spot, the summer months at Cape Ann make for a fun snorkeling and water sports vacation for the whole family. The area is home to the National Marine Sanctuary System and everything from brightly colored starfish to dolphins and whales are regularly spotted here.
Conasauga River, Georgia
Located in the Cherokee National Forest, the Conasauga River is a unique swimming locale that plays host to an extremely wide variety of aquatic life. Over 70 species of fish have been identified in this snorkeling spot. And, because the waters are so calm and clear, your kids will feel secure exploring the world below. A trusty, leak-proof snorkel, like the Tusa Platina Hyperdry II, is great for kids and beginner snorkelers because of its dry-top design.
Key Largo, Florida
Florida, once again, provides some of the most snorkeling destinations for you and your whole family to enjoy (we live here, but we're not biased!). Head down to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is one of the best places around for kids and new snorkelers. The Florida Keys are teeming with ocean life and provide quite the show below the surface. Fit your youngsters with the Cressi Ondina Junior Snorkel Mask so they won’t miss a moment of the action.