The snorkeling reef at Park East located on Pensacola Beach is a perfect place to paddleboard, kayak, snorkel, and dive.
Paddleboarding around this reef has been on our to-do list since it was installed in 2011. We finally got a sunny, calm day and a chance to go out this weekend to enjoy the reefs. The water was nice and clear and perfect for paddling to the reefs which are 500 feet off the beach. There are about 40 oyster reef trees to explore.
This shore reef is located about 1.4 miles to the east of the Portofino Resort. During an artificial reef snorkeling dive off Pensacola, you may encounter a large quantity of marine life. To find the artificial reef, there are orange-tipped, range finding poles placed into the sand at the east side of Park East, and just snorkel straight out. The water depth varies from 12 to 14 feet deep and the tops of the reefs are 6 to 9 feet below the surface.
Note: A diver-down flag is required by Florida Law for snorkeling and diving.
Location of Reefs
The reefs are located on the east side of Park East (see map on top right). From Pensacola Beach access the second parking area (on right) for Park East. After turning you will see a gravel parking area with an access to the beach. The gravel parking area is the best location to park to access the reefs.
To find reefs, line up Range Markers and swim offshore approximately 450 feet to a water depth of 14 feet. Top of reefs are approximately 9 feet below water surface. The Range Markers are located on the dunes just to the left of the access trail to the beach.
Photos and Video of Reef