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Peanut Island Florida Snorkeling Guide

Wishing you could whisk yourself off to the Bahamas for a snorkeling trip full of colorful fish and crystal clear water? You are in for a treat: There’s a magical place in Florida called Peanut Island that will make you feel like you are in the Bahamas – and it isn’t in the Florida Keys! Read on for all the details you’ll want to know before planning your day trip.


Peanut Island Florida Snorkeling Guide

Peanut Island, Florida: Aerial view with a drone -
A drone photo of one of the Peanut Island snorkeling lagoons, taken by the author’s husband.

Where is Peanut Island?

Peanut Island, originally called Inlet Island, is an 80 acre man made island in the middle of the Lake Worth Lagoon. It is located in Palm Beach County, near Phil Foster Park and the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach.

Wondering why it is called Peanut Island? In the 1940’s the island was originally planned to be the site of a peanut oil shipping operation that ultimately failed.

Peanut Island, Florida: Snorkeling Paradise - Bait fish in the snorkeling lagoon at Peanut Island -
Bait fish in a snorkeling lagoon at Peanut Island.

How Do You Get to Peanut Island?

You must travel by water to get to Peanut Island… it’s an island! There are several ways to get to Peanut Island: Shuttle, boat, kayak.

Peanut Island Shuttles

The Peanut Island Shuttle departs from the Rivera Beach Marina. It costs $18 round trip for adults, $9 for children, and $5 for large wagons. The boat ride to Peanut Island is about 10 minutes. This shuttles runs daily from 10am to 5pm – every 25 minutes. The last shuttle to the island is 3pm, and the last return boat is at 5pm.

The Sailfish Marina also offer Peanut Island shuttles, departing from Palm Beach Shores. This shuttle offers three departure times and four return times from Peanut Island – 7 days a week. If you’d like to see the area and stay dry, the Sailfish Marina also offers water taxi tours.

Your Own Boat

If you have your own boat, Peanut Island offers free boat slips on a first come, first serve basis.

Kayaks and Paddle Boards

If you have a kayak or paddle board, you can launch from Rivera Beach Marina and paddle across to Peanut Island. The paddle is about 15 minutes and is an easy paddle. However, you’ll want to watch for boat traffic in the channel as you cross it.

If you want to paddle to the tropical island but don’t have your own gear, you can rent kayaks and paddle boards through Nautical Ventures, located across from Peanut Island. If you are interested, Nautical Adventures also provides guided tours on kayaks or paddle boards of Peanut Island.

Peanut Island, Florida: Snorkeling Paradise - Banded Coral Shrimp -
A Banded Coral Shrimp and corals on the rocks around Peanut Island.

Peanut Island Hours

The earlier you can get to Peanut Island, the better! Peanut Island is open from 7am to 7pm. Since the shuttles don’t start arriving until around 9:45am, if you get there in the morning – you’ll have the beautiful beaches, palm trees, and crystal clear waters to yourself.

Snorkeling at Peanut Island

There are several snorkeling lagoons around Peanut Island. We have found that the best visibility is during or immediately after high tide on the east side of the island, at the mouth of the inlet – but be cautious of strong currents.

Don’t have your own snorkel gear? No need to buy it. You can rent snorkel gear directly from the Peanut Island Shuttle for $20. They offer traditional masks and snorkels or full face masks.

Peanut Island, Florida: Snorkeling Paradise - School of Grunts -
Grunts (a tropical fish) in a school around the rocks at Peanut Island.

Marine Life at Peanut Island

We’ve seen all kinds of sea life at Peanut Island, including: Sea turtles, manatees, fish, shrimp, lobsters, crabs, and more. As you snorkel the island, take a few minutes to stop at the rock formations and look around. The more interesting creatures will be tucked in safely to the rocks. (Be careful though! The rocks are sharp and could cut your fingers.)

What Else Can You Do on Peanut Island?

  • Eat lunch. Bring a lunch with you and stay all day. Peanut Island offer picnic pavilions with picnic tables and grills.
  • Take a walk. There is a 1.3 mile loop around Peanut Island that takes about 25 minutes to complete. It’s a nice, easy walk.
  • Check out the JFK bunker. Would you believe it if we told you there was a presidential bunker right on Peanut Island? Well, there is! Built during the Cuban Missile Crisis, for President John F. Kennedy, this shelter was designed to keep him and his family safe if needed. Unfortunately, it has been closed to the public since 2017. However, as of 2023, Palm Beach County is renovating and (hopefully!) reopening this piece of history.
  • View the area. On the south side of Peanut Island, there is an observation deck that provides unobstructed views of the Lake Worth Lagoon.
Peanut Island, Florida: Snorkeling Paradise - A school of Sergeant Major fish -
A school of Sergeant Major fish swim in the shallow water around Peanut Island.

Can’t Forget Details

  • Bathrooms. There are both bathrooms and showers available on Peanut Island.
  • Camping. Peanut Island offers 17 campsites for tent camping complete with a tent pad, grill, and picnic area. Reserve them through Book Your Site.
  • No alcohol. Alcohol is not allowed on Peanut Island, except in the camping area.
  • No hotels, condos, houses, shops, or stores. You can’t buy anything on Peanut Island, so be sure to bring everything you need.

Heading south from Peanut Island? Check out our guide to the Florida Keys with kids.