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Peanut Island – Snorkeling and Other Things to Do

a person swimming in the water

Location – Peanut Island

You don’t have to travel all the  way to the Caribbean to experience white sand beaches, palm trees, and turquoise waters. If you’re looking for a tropical getaway, look no further than Peanut Island near West Palm Beach, Florida. In this blog you will learn everything you need before traveling to this unique and vibrant island.

Paddle boarding Peanut Island

How to Get to Peanut Island

Peanut Island is situated perfectly in the Lake Worth Lagoon and Intercoastal Waterway just inside the Lake Worth Inlet and in between Palm Beach Island, Singer Island, and mainland West Palm Beach, FL. There are no roads or bridges here, so you MUST travel by boat or paddle craft. The options for traveling to Peanut Island are:

Paddleboard or Kayak– The most popular launch destinations are Phil Foster Park, Jim Barry Park or Riviera Beach Marina. Being that the Island is located in the Intercoastal waterway, it has natural wave protection from the barrier islands- Palm Beach and Singer Island. This allows for much smoother waters compared to open ocean, but be advised that boat traffic intensifies heavily on weekends. Paddle the island at high tide and you will be met with crystal clear waters teeming with tropical fish. Visit Palm Beach has kayaks and paddleboards available for rent.

Private boat To rent your own boat!

Ferry Boat For a small fee, there is a ferry from Riviera Beach Marina offering round trips to and from Peanut Island

Book a charter Live Free Diving has a Peanut Island Boat & Snorkel Tour or you can look into private charters for larger groups with Visit Palm Beach. 

Snorkeling Peanut island

Snorkeling Peanut Island

The Snorkel area resides on the Southeast portion of the Island. You will see rock structures protruding from the water as well as a lifeguarded shallow lagoon area. This a perfect spot for all levels of snorkelers, as the water is shallow enough to stand and FULL of remarkable sea life from tropical fish such as Rainbowfish and Parrotfish to large, gentle giants such as Eagle Rays and Manatees.**Note that the BEST time to snorkel Peanut Island is ALWAYS around high tide, this is when the water will be clearest. Click here to check the daily tides.

Live Free Diving is now happily offering a Peanut Island Boat & Snorkeling Tour on our new boat, Fins Up or you can join us on our Guided Snorkeling Tour – Blue Heron Bridge which is  an eye distance from Peanut Island. LFD also has another fun boat tour, Palm Beach Sea-to-Plate Safari: Spearfishing & Ceviche Experience (snorkeling included). 

Want a private guided paddleboard and snorkel at Peanut Island? Shoot us an email at Traveling to Peanut Island requires a bit of coordination, so please include desired travel dates and number of people in the group.

Peanut Island Lagoon

Walking Peanut Island

There is a 1.3 mile walking path that loops the perimeter of the island, connecting points of interest such as:

Eastern Lagoon Area The aft mentioned snorkeling area and mangrove lagoon.

Fishing Pier- Along the Northeast area of Peanut Island lies a wooden fishing pier where anglers target snook, tarpon, snapper, sheepshead and a host of other species.

Lookout point A lookout point extends from the Southwest corner of the Island. Here you will find elevated views of mainland Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island.

Old Coast Guard Station and Kennedy Bunker The Southern Point of Peanut Island is home to an old Coast Guard station, a two-story colonial revival style building built in 1936 as a base for patrols during World War 2. Directly behind old Coast Guard station is the “Kennedy Bunker” a 1,600 square foot nuclear bunker intended for use by President John F Kennedy in 1961, leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. More on the history and future of Peanut Island later in this blog! Whatever it is, the way you tell your story online can make all the difference.

Other Things to Know About Peanut Island

Peanut Island is equipped with restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, and pavilions.

Dogs are welcome, but alcohol is not (unless you are in the permitted campground area).

There are many Green Iguanas that inhabit Peanut Island, but don’t worry, they’re very shy around humans. 🙂

Live Free Diving does have a Peanut Island Sunset Cruise where alcohol is allowed!

Peanut Island Memorial Day - 2021

Navigating Peanut Island

If you are boating to Peanut Island, pay attention to tides and stick to channels while underway. The waterways surrounding Peanut Island experience heavy boat traffic on weekends and holidays, whether you’re paddling or boating, it is important to have a navigation plan. Stick to marked channels as there are many sandbars that form just North of Peanut Island at low tide.

Peanut Island Coast Guard Station and Kennedy Bunker

Peanut Island Past

To understand how Peanut Island came to be, one must first understand the Lake Worth Lagoon and the changes it has undergone over the last two centuries. The area where Peanut Island currently sits was once a freshwater lake- Lake Worth. A stable inlet was built at the current location of the Lake Worth Inlet, and the subsequent intrusion of saltwater created a brackish water environment, creating the Lake Worth Lagoon. Navigation projects such as the creation of the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) in the early 1900’s further increased salinity levels in the Lagoon. The Lake Worth Inlet is Florida’s easternmost point, meaning the Gulfstream current reaches closer here than anywhere in the world, bringing warm, clear waters into Peanut Island every day at high tide!

During the construction of the inlet, the need for an area to place the excavated dredge materials from the inlet led to Peanut Island’s creation in 1918. Originally named “Inlet Island,” the name changed to Peanut after plans to use the island as a terminal for shipping peanut oil. These plans were scrapped in 1946 but the name stuck.

For many years Peanut Island remained just a sand island full of Australian Pine trees, then in 1999, Palm Beach County created Peanut Island Park around the perimeter of the Island. In 2005 a $13 million renovation was completed, creating the lagoon areas, snorkel trail, docks, and other amenities such as restrooms and picnic areas.

Snorkeling Peanut Island

Peanut Island Present & Future

Today the Island faces the challenge of maintaining its oldest infrastructure- the old Coast Guard station and Kennedy Bunker, as decades of aging and storms have made it unsafe to visit these historic sites. Palm Beach County Is currently seeking local, state and federal funding sources to renovate this area of the island and reopen to the public.

Blue Heron Bridge Snorkel Trail

Can’t Make it to Peanut Island?

The Blue Heron Bridge is located directly North of Peanut Island in the Lake Worth Lagoon. The spot offers world class diving, and is accessible by car. We offer weekly guided dives at the Blue Heron Bridge, for more information & availability check out our website.

Live Free Diving is now happily offering Peanut Island trips on our new boat, Fins Up! Click here for more information!



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