Located in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Cannon Beach is an inviting stretch of golden shores with clear tropical water with a unique setting. The beach gets its name from the army of rusted 17th-century cannons that still lay on the sand.
The water is calm and shallow, and there are designated swimming areas. While the water is perfect for younger ones and children, the bottom can get a bit rocky, so water shoes should be a part of your checklist before visiting Cannon Beach.
The state park that houses this beach is a jewel in its way. The over 70 nautical miles of protected undersea majesty is home to a staggering variety of coral reefs and tropical marine life.
The beach is also home to fantastic nature trails where you can spend some time in some unique tropical ecosystems.
Swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, kite surfing, hiking, nature viewing.
Fishing is also a popular activity here but keep in mind that it is only allowed in certain designated areas.
There is also a visitor center that houses some relatively large saltwater aquariums teeming with life. The visitor center is also home to some educational facilities to take in the natural history of the area.
Bathrooms, picnic tables, public showers, and parking is available at the beach.
There are also places to rent water gear like kayaks and canoes. This is a magnificent way to tour the park, and there are even guided tours available throughout the week.
Near the beach, at the state park, you can find more amenities like concessions and a kid’s playground.
On Key Largo, you will find Dolphins Plus Bayside. This marine education center features a natural lagoon where you can book an experience to swim with dolphins.
There is also a public pool and waterpark facility just down US 1 called Jacob’s Aquatic Center. If the saltwater starts to get to you, make sure you spend some time splashing around here.
John D. Pennekamp, for which the park gets its name, was an integral player in conserving a lot of Florida’s natural wonders. He played a vital role in the Everglades National Park. Seeing what the tourist trade and development was doing to the Keys, he was pivotal in pushing to get the area that we know now as the coral park under protection.
There is a glass-bottom boat that takes tours of the expansive protected area that leaves from the park’s docks three times a day. So if you don’t want to get wet but still want to explore the park’s beauty, this is a must see.
Address: 102601 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL