The Travel Professor
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy 50th birthday for America's 1st underwater park

Plans are underway for a milestone birthday celebration as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America's first underwater preserve, turns 50 years old. The historic event is set for Dec. 1 through Dec. 11, 2010, offering an ideal occasion for divers, snorkelers and other visitors to discover or rediscover the Key Largo park.

The park was dedicated Dec. 10, 1960, capping efforts by the late Miami Herald editor John Pennekamp to create the Florida Keys jewel that lies just 90 minutes' drive from Miami. Today, the park named for Pennekamp draws more than one million visitors annually to explore its nature trails and beaches and observe the abundant underwater wildlife that inhabits its 70 nautical miles.

If you haven’t been to the Conch Republic then you’ve missed an interesting slice of Americana. Fly into Miami or Ft Lauderdale; rent a convertible and head south to the Keys!