One of the hottest snorkeling spots in Florida is just steps away from Latitudes and Attitudes ultimate beach house.
The beachfront views along 30A Florida are stunning, but they aren’t the only views you won’t want to miss.
Change your perspective and see the Gulf in a whole new light from inside the Inlet Beach artificial reef. Since its installation in 2017, the Cobia Reef, named after and shaped like the popular Cobia sport fish, has delighted beachgoers with astounding views of the Gulf marine life.
Alternately called the Cobia Reef and the Grouper Reef, this fish-shaped artificial reef right off the coast of Inlet Beach is one of just 4 snorkel reefs deployed in South Walton. A mere 970 feet from the shoreline, this dynamic reef is easily accessible by kayak or paddleboard. The depth of 12’ to 21’ puts this structure at the perfect depth for ideal snorkeling.
Reef Coordinates: N 30 16.23200 W 86 00.36000
For snorkelers’ convenience, public beach access, parking, and restrooms are located near all of the reef sites in South Walton County. Of course, when you stay at Latitudes and Attitudes, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of driving, parking, changing clothes or freshening up in the restrooms. Your beach house rental is impeccably located as close to the artificial reef as you could be while still sleeping on dry land.
If snorkeling isn’t your thing, go out just a little further to the Inlet Beach and Rosemary Beach diving and fishing reef. At a depth of 58’ and within approximately one nautical mile of the shore, this reef is exactly what you’re looking for when planning a SCUBA diving expedition.
Tip:You’ll want to take a boat with a GPS to reach the fishing and diving reefs.
Artificial reefs are perfect for creating a habitat or shelter that nurtures the growth of marine life.
With 94 distinct EcoSystems reefs comprising the Cobia Reef, there’s no shortage of sights to see. The sea creatures you might find as you snorkel or dive in our beautiful Gulf include:
The marine life you encounter within our artificial reefs include fish, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates.
When you’re above the surface of the water, keep your eyes open for uncommon bird species, which are drawn to the artificial reefs as a food source.
If you have never encountered an artificial reef before, you might wonder what makes the structure so unique. First, you need to grasp the importance of reefs.
These underwater ridges of material – such as coral, rock or sand – are home to numerous marine animals and organisms. In fact, coral reefs – an inspiration for artificial reefs – are such densely packed ecosystems that they “support more species per unit area than any other marine environment,” according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As many as 800 species of corals and 4,000 species of fish make their homes in these natural reefs.
Factors such as pollution, overfishing and mining are contributing to the death of reefs and the loss or displacement of the marine animals that call those reefs home.
To address these and other problems, including beach erosion, artificial reef structures are being carefully planned and deployed. Artificial reefs consist of steel, concrete and Florida limestone. The reefs are large, usually including 40 acres of the ocean floor. Over time, marine animals become acclimated to these structures and begin to treat them as their habitats.
Southern Living and Travel + Leisure have highlighted the wonder of our little section of the Florida Panhandle, naming Inlet Beach among the top “beaches that look like the Caribbean” and South Walton County a “trending destination” for 2022. Read more about what they had to say.