What Is It?

Just south of where U.S. Route 1 hits Key Largo, visitors can explore beautiful coral reefs teeming with sealife at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Something to Look Forward To

After months of staying mostly indoors to protect public health, everyone will deserve plenty of sun and surf. Explore mangrove swamps or the world beneath the waves, where you can see Christ of the Abyss, a 9-foot-tall bronze statue of Jesus.

A Sunken Trilogy

In 1965, the statue in Key Largo became the third from the same cast to be submerged. The first was placed off the coast of northwest Italy in 1954 to honor those who lost their lives at sea. The second was placed off the coast of Grenada in 1961 after a passenger boat manned by an Italian crew sank there.


The park became America’s first underwater park when it was dedicated in 1960. It encompasses 70 square nautical miles. Egidio Cressi, an Italian industrialist whose business manufactured diving equipment, donated the statue.

Time to Get Out

Once physical distancing restrictions are lifted, the park will open again. There are plenty of lodging options in the Keys. A fall or winter trip to the park can start you swimming back to normalcy.

More Info

For more information, or to start penciling out ideas, visit tinyurl.com/rcr9nfd or call 305-676-3777.