10 Great Places to Scuba Dive in Florida

Drift dives along miles of spring-fed river. Shipwreck trails in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Delicate, vibrant coral reefs. Gin-clear freshwater springs and underwater caves.

When it comes to scuba diving, Florida has it all.

Here are 10 of the best places in the Sunshine State for scuba diving.

Maritime Heritage Trail, Biscayne National Park

The many shipwrecks along the Maritime Heritage Trail of Biscayne National Park, south of Miami and north of Key Largo, make it an idea place to see explore nautical history of South Florida. The oldest of the wrecks date from the 1800s to the 1960s. Tropic Scuba offers scuba and snorkeling charters to the Maritime Heritage Trail and other locations within Biscayne National Park.

SS Copenhagen, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea

The steamship SS Copenhagen ran aground on a rocky ledge in the Atlantic Ocean and sank at the turn of the century. Now the 325-foot vessel’s wreckage is part of the coral reef, which scuba divers can explore three-quarters of a mile offshore, 3.6 miles south of Hillsborough Inlet. The vibrant reef is relatively shallow at 15 to 30 feet deep and is home to a variety of marine species including sponges, tropical fish, eels, and hard and soft coral. Gear rentals are available through South Florida Diving Headquarters.

Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

Besides having brilliant, blue-green water and miles of pristine beaches, the Emerald Coast is a treasure trove for wreck diving in the Gulf of Mexico. Twelve shipwreck sites offshore between Pensacola Beach and Port St. Joe in Northwest Florida make up the Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail. Five of the wrecks are near Pensacola Beach, one is off the shore of Destin, five off Panama City Beach, and one is near Port St. Joe. Dive shops along the coast can provide rentals and boat charters to wreck sites.

DevilsDen_AboveView_Mims.jpg.1028.640.imagerendition

As unique as it is breathtaking, Devil’s Den in Williston is unlike anywhere else in Florida.

– Kevin Mims for VISIT FLORIDA

Devil’s Den, Williston

From above, there isn’t much to see of Devil’s Den in Williston—until you step down the steep staircase that leads to the glowing blue spring within the surrounding prehistoric cave. The privately-owned spring is 120 feet in diameter at the surface with a maximum depth of 54 feet. There are campsites and cabins available on the premises for divers and snorkelers who want to stay for more than the day. Rental equipment is available on site. Be sure to arrive with a dive buddy—it’s required.

Ginnie Springs, High Springs

Ginnie Springs is synonymous with freshwater scuba diving and cave diving in Florida. The property has seven springs, a full dive shop with rentals, hot showers, a large campground full of tent camping sites, and one rental cottage. Depending on skill and certification level, divers can explore the Santa Fe River, Ginnie Cavern, and the Devil’s spring system, made up of three springs (Little Devil, Devil’s Ear, and Devil’s Eye), which is open to swimmers and scuba divers alike. Not certified to dive? Ginnie Springs has instructors who can provide training and certification.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo

For many, the thought of diving Key Largo likely conjures images of the famed Christ of the Abyss statue submerged in the clear waters offshore, but there’s much more to see in the coral reefs of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the nation’s first underwater park and one that spans 70 nautical square miles in the Florida Keys. To see the best spots on the coral reef, book a scuba tour directly at the park.

Neptune Memorial Reef, Key Biscayne

For anyone who has ever dreamed of seeing the Lost City of Atlantis, Neptune Memorial Reef should be at the top of the diving wishlist. An artist’s interpretation of the lost city, this artificial reef 3.25 miles east of Key Biscayne is both a massive work of art and an active cremation memorial site. It sits at a depth of 40 feet and features statues and structures—from the lions that guard its gates to intricate pillars and columns—that create an otherworldly atmosphere and unique scuba diving experience. Divers can get there with their own or rented boats (there are buoys at the site) or book a tour with one of the reef’s dive partners.

Phil Foster Park, Riviera Beach

Phil Foster Park in Southeast Florida offers easy access shore dives, where an artificial reef stretches on for 800 feet and marine life abounds. Parrotfish, angelfish, sergeant majors, rays, starfish, octopus, and more can be seen in water averaging six to 10 feet deep, with maximum depths of 20 feet. Guided tours and equipment rentals are available through Blue Heron Bridge Scuba and Pura Vida Divers.

Rainbow River, Dunnellon

A drift dive with the current along the clear, spring-fed Rainbow River in Dunnellon is among the best freshwater scuba diving experiences in Florida. With visibility up to 200 feet, it’s easy to observe the flora and fauna of the river system, from gar and turtles to otters and anhingas catching their dinner. Guided drift dives are available though Mac’s Sports Inc.

Wreck Trek, Fort Lauderdale

It’s possible to see several wrecks in one drift dive along the Wreck Trek in Fort Lauderdale, which is made up of the Jay Scutti, Merci Jesus, and Tracey wreck sites. The vessels, which vary in size, were sunk in the 1980s and 1990s to depths between 50 and 72 feet. If the conditions are right, a diver can cover all three sites in a single dive, which can be arranged through South Florida Diving Headquarters.

15 Best Places For Scuba Diving In Florida

So you’re looking for places to go Scuba diving in Florida? Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

Scuba Diving is so much fun, and is definitely something that everyone should experience in their lifetime! Its such a magical experience to explore the underwater world to see things from a different perspective, and to possibly see some wildlife that you may never have seen before!

With beautiful, crystal clear waters and great temperatures all year round, Florida is the perfect place to go Scuba diving as its the only place in the continental United States with a subtropical climate, so you will never be too cold! Scuba Diving in Florida is great for all experience levels, as many places in Florida have diving instructors with you, so you will be in safe hands!

There are so many different places to go Scuba diving in Florida, and each one is unique. Whether you’re wanting to see shipwrecks, manatees, or some amazing coral reefs, there will be somewhere in Florida to accommodate you!

there are so many amazing places to go scuba diving in florida you will be spoilt for choice

Ginnie Springs

Located just 6.5 miles away from High Springs and is one of the best places to go scuba diving in Florida as the waters are wonderfully clear!

Ginnie Springs is also one of the most popular springs to visit and there’s so much to do there. If you’re considering Ginnie Springs, we have a whole blog post dedicated to it here.

Whilst Ginnie Springs is on the more expensive side, it is definitely well worth the price as we think it is one of the most beautiful springs that Florida has to offer. And for that reason, we would reccomend visiting outside of it’s peak times so it won’t be too crowded.

There are three different sites at Ginnie Springs for certified Scuba Divers to explore; The Ginnie Ballroom, The Devil’s Spring System, and Santa Fe River. The Ginnie Ballroom and The Devil’s Spring systems are great for exploring amazing underwater caves, but the Ginnie Ballroom is considered much safer and better for less experienced divers. The Santa Fe River dive will allow you to see prehistoric fossils!

To learn more about diving at Ginnie Springs, you can visit the Ginnie Springs website. They even offer dive training if you have no diving experience.

ginnie springs is one of the best places to go scuba diving in florida

Blackthorn Wreck

Who wouldn’t want to see a sunken ship in their lifetime!? Choosing to go scuba diving in Tampa will give you the opportunity to do just that.

The U.S.C.G Blackthorn is one of the most popular dive sites in Florida and lies about 20 miles offshore in the Pinellas Artificial Reef Site #2, and is located 80 feet down.

The 180 foot long Blackthorn sank in 1980, after colliding with the S.S. Capricorn just west of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay. She capsized and sank within minutes. Unfortunately, more than 20 people lost their lives.

Three weeks later, the Blackthorn was raised and removed from the shipping lane and was eventually scuttled in the Pinellas Artificial Reef Site #2 for the purpose of diving and fishing.

It’s located super close to another sunken ship, The Sheridan, and whilst scuba diving around the ships are fine, it is not recommended and very dangerous to go inside the ships as visibility is so poor.

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You will see a tonne of wildlife at this scuba diving location in Tampa! Goliath grouper, snapper, mackerel, schools of spadefish, and even whale sharks have been reportedly spotted in the area!

The U.S.C.G Blackthorn is one of the most popular dive sites in Florida and lies about 20 miles offshore in the Pinellas Artificial Reef Site #2

Christ of the Abyss

Key Largo is known as the dive capital of the world, so another super popular place to go scuba diving in Florida, mainly because there are a lot of things hidden underneath the water here, including Christ of the Abyss.

in 1965, a nine foot tall bronze statue was lowered into 25 feet of water off the coast of Key Largo. This statue is the third of it’s kind, and is located in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

The original Christ of the Abyss state is located in the Mediterranean Sea, just off San Fruttuoso on the Italian Riviera. It’s said that the statue is to represent Christ in the new world below the waves, and serves as memorial for all of those who have lost their lives at sea.

The statue that you can see when scuba diving in Key Largo only sits 8-10 feet below the surface, so it can also be seen by those who go snorkeling. If you’re looking for some good snorkeling spots, check out our places to go snorkeling in Florida post!

However, you will get the best views of the statue by going scuba diving, and will also get a better look at some of the marine life that call these waters home, such as angel fish, nurse sharks, and moray eels.

This Scuba diving in florida spot is one of the only places where you can see a christ of the abyss statue!

Dry Tortugas

If you want a truly special scuba diving in Florida experience, we highly recommend going to the Dry Tortugas National Park. Less than 1% of the National Park is on dry ground, making the Dry Tortugas an underwater paradise.

Situated 70 miles from Key West, the remoteness has allowed nature to thrive here. The water is crystal clear, and the corals are absolutely beautiful, with some coral structures rising 50ft from the bottom straight up! There are fish species at the Dry Tortugas that you won’t find anywhere else in the world!

Some popular spots to go scuba diving in Key West at the Dry Tortugas are the Maze, the Bat Caves, Dante’s Inferno, Texas Rock, and the Windjammer Wreck which is regarded as one of the most beautiful shipwrecks in the world.

It is VERY important to remember not to touch another when you’re scuba diving at the Dry Tortugas. All of the corals, reef fish, and artefacts are protected and it is super important not to touch any of them, and to take care not accidentally brush up against any coral as it will probably kill it. It’s also important to watch out for sea urchins and lionfish which can cause a lot of harm to you.

The coral at the Dry Tortugas is some of the most vibrant in Florida Keys, and we definitely want to keep it that way!

For more information about the Dry Tortugas National Park, you can read up about it on our blog post.

Scuba diving in Florida is a truly special experience at Dry Tortugas because there are fish species at the Dry Tortugas that you won

Crystal River

Crystal river is another great place to go scuba diving in Florida! It’s actually a well-known place to swim with manatees up close, but that is ONLY allowed with snorkeling and NOT scuba diving!

Even though you won’t be getting up close and personal with manatees, don’t worry! The diving in crystal river is still phenomenal and there are multiple dive locations to choose from depending on what you want to see!

Magnolia Springs is a cave system that was shut down in 1963 after it collapsed. It has a depth of 35 feet, and you can only dive to the entrance room, but there is an abundance of sea life to observe, including manatees if you’re lucky!

Big Spring, or King Spring, is the main diving spot that consist of caverns that are great for some underwater photography. You will get the chance to spot some mangrove snappers, sheepshead, and tarpon from this location.

crystal river is a very popular manatee spot and you can see them when you go snorkeling

Biscayne National Park

If you’re looking to go scuba diving in Miami, then Biscayne National Park is for you!

The best way to experience Biscayne National Park is by being on, or in, the water as 95% of the park is underwater. The Park preserves Biscayne Bay and it’s beautiful offshore barrier reefs.

Scuba diving in Florida is great here if you are a fan of shipwrecks! The Maritime Heritage Trail gives you the opportunity to some of the parks many shipwrecks, six to be exact!

The shipwrecks span across many centuries, from the Arratoon Apcar which sank in 1878, and Erl King that sank in 1891, to the Mandalay that sank in 1966. There’s such a wide variety of shipwrecks and all of them are spectacular to see for yourself.

You’ll also see a lot of wildlife when scuba diving at Biscayne National Park. On top of the gorgeous coral reefs, you may be lucky enough to see Dolphins, Turtles, and even Pelicans!

It is important to note that access to the Maritime Heritage Trail is only available by boat, so it’s great if you have your own but boats can also be chartered to get to Biscayne National Park.

There are so many beautiful National Parks in Florida, Biscayne is just one of them!

Scuba diving in Florida is great here if you are a fan of shipwrecks! The Maritime Heritage Trail gives you the opportunity to some of the parks many shipwrecks.

Panama City Beach

Did you know that Panama City Beach is actually the Wreck capital of the south? With over 150 dive locations and over 50 wrecks sunk as artificial reefs, there is plenty to explore.

Panama City is also a great place to be on land too! With beautiful white sand beaches perfect for sunbathing, outstanding seafood, and the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in the world, Panama City shapes up to be a perfect day out! If you want to see what else Panama City has to offer, check out our things to do in Panama City blog post for some inspiration.

Some of the best dive scuba diving in Panama City spots include the Black Bart Dive Site, an oil ring ship that sank in 1993. Divers can investigate the wheelhouse, the deck, and the cargo holds that many different types of sealife are now calling home, many of them coming from the nearby Warsaw Reef.

The most recent sunken ship you will find in Panama City when scuba diving is the El Dorado Dive site. Hurricane Michael blew this ship ashore in 2018 at Hathaway Bridge. In May of 2019, she started her second life as a dive site. Even though it hasn’t been a dive site for very long, many different types of fish have moved in, making it a great place to see some wildlife!

Panama City Beach is the wreck capital of the south, so it is bound to be an amazing scuba diving in florida experience.

Key West

The Florida keys are known for being some of the best places to go scuba diving in Florida, and Key West is no exception!

The diving sites at Key West truly are a site to behold. With colourful coral, barracuda, turtles, blue tang, butterfly fish, and many more, those looking to see some wildlife will absolutely love it here.

We all know that there are many sunken ships across Florida, but have you ever heard of a ship being intentionally sunk before? The USNS General Hoyt. S Vandenberg is the second largest ship ever to be intentionally sunk! It’s a retired navy ship to got a second life to intentionally create a dwelling for coral and fish. The Vandenberg is 522 feet long and sits 165 feet down.

There’s plenty to see at this dive site, including cargo holds and stairwells. This dive site is best for more advanced divers.

Other than scuba diving, there are so many things to do in Key West that you could easily make a long weekend out of it! If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our things to do in Key West post.

Key West is a great place to see some sea turtles when scuba diving in Florida!

Fort Lauderdale

If you love warm waters, then choosing to go scuba diving in Fort Lauderdale is an excellent decision!

Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Fort Lauderdale waters remain warm all year round with temperatures at 72 degrees in winter and 80 degrees in summer, making it the perfect location to go scuba diving in Florida during the winter months!

Greater Fort Lauderdale is also the only place in the continental US where you can dive on a living coral reef straight off the beach! Yes, that’s right, you won’t need a boat! This coral reef is just a five minute swim from the shore of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Hollywood.

Fort Lauderdale is also a wreck heaven. Over the past 20 years, the artificial reef programs in Broward County have placed 76 artificial reefs on the ocean floor, making it the largest warm water wrecks collection in the western world.

Some of the most popular wrecks include the Kay Scutti, Tracy, and Merci Jesus which can actually all be seen together if the current is right. These wrecks are a great place to see stingrays and schooling reef fish. Hog Heaven is a wreck where you could spot a hogfish or a lionfish if you’re lucky!

If wrecks aren’t up you’re alley, don’t worry! Scuba diving in Fort Lauderdale will also give you the chance to see some fantastic reefs!

The Barracuda Reef is one of the most popular reef dives in Fort Lauderdale and is suitable for all types of divers. Depending on the season, the likelihood of seeing turtles, lobsters, moray eels, and nurse sharks is high!

For more advanced divers, the Hammerhead Reef is much deeper and perfect for coral lovers. the finger-like structure of the coral makes a perfect backdrop for underwater photography, and you never know, some stingrays and parrotfish might make the occasional appearance too!

Hog Heaven in Fort Lauderdale is a wreck where you could spot a hogfish or a lionfish if you

Blue Springs State Park

Yes, you can even go scuba diving near Orlando too! Blue Springs is actually one of your favourite State Parks in Florida too!

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Located just 29 miles away from Orland, Blue Springs State Park has one of the biggest manatee conservation efforts in Florida, with numbers getting up to 485!

For more experience divers, there is actually a hidden cave at Blue Springs State Park that can reach depths of 117 feet! Only certified divers are allowed at that depth, but open water divers are allowed at 60 feet.

The amazing crystal clear waters with give you breathtaking views of fish, sea turtles, and the possible manatee. It’s a very special experience.

Water temperatures are usually around 72 degrees, which makes it the perfect location to cool off on those hot Floridian days,

Blue Springs is one of the most beautiful natural springs near Orlando, but there are many more too! if you want to see other natural springs near Orlando we have a blog post just for you!

Located just 29 miles away from Orland, Blue Springs State Park has one of the biggest manatee conservation efforts in Florida, with numbers getting up to 485!

Jupiter

Jupiter is very quickly becoming a popular place to go scuba diving in Florida for more advanced divers.

A ripping current from the Gulf stream brings in all sorts of ocean life, from reef fish to giant stingrays. You may even have shark encounters, see some sea turtles, and even swim by some rare species! One thing is for sure, every dive in Jupiter will be different.

Jupiter is some of the bluest water in the western Atlantic thanks to the warm water from the Caribbean, which also means that the water is always warm, making scuba diving in Jupiter all year round!

There are so many different dive sites in Jupiter! One of the most popular is Area 51 and is known for its amazing marine life. Loggerhead turtles love to hang out in this spot, as well as reef sharks and Goliath grouper.

The Tunnels are great for spotting different types of sharks such a reef sharks and nurse sharks. There are a lot of natural swim-throughs here too! To spot some green moray eels, head to the Scarface spot where you have the chance to spot the resident green moray eel with a scar across his face, hence ‘scarface’!

To see some amazing ship wrecks, the Jupiter Wreck Trek is an excellent dive site which will allow you to see three wrecks in one dive! The Zion, Miss Jenny, and Esso Bonnaire are all mating grounds for Goliath Grouper, where hundreds gather in the months of August and September!

Jupiter is quickly becoming a very popular scuba diving in florida spot due to the large variety of marine life.

Blue Grotto Dive Resort

Located in Williston, Blue Grotto Dive Resort is an excellent location for scuba diving in Florida for beginners as only open water diving cirtification is needed. Blue Grotto is actually the safest cavern dive in the area!

The Blue Grotto is a freshwater spring and cavern. There are three areas to explore in the crystal clear water that provides excellent visibility!

The Cavern lets you dive down 100 feet and if you’re lucky you may encounter Virgil, a friendly soft shell turtle who lives in the grotto. More experienced divers are allowed to go deep diving in the lower cavern, but a dive torch is recommended.

The newest feature of Blue Grotto is The Cave, which is truly one the most spectacular untouched beauties that Florida has to offer! It remains as close to its natural state as possible, mostly untouched. The rock formations are fragile and are covered by an undisturbed layer of silt. If you love cave diving, this is definitely a place to go as not many people get to see this natural wonder.

d if you

Fort Walton Beach

What’s not to love about Destin? The sand doesn’t get much whiter and the water doesn’t get much more beautiful. No wonder it gets dubbed The Emerald Coast!

Whilst Destin is mainly known for its fishing, what some people don’t know is how much fun scuba diving in Destin actually is! With so much fish to support the bustling fishing scene, you know there are going to be a lot of fish to see under the water too!

Basically, if you’re a scuba diver who wants to see a tonne of fish, go scuba diving in Destin. Destin-Fort Walton Beach is the perfect place to see a whole lot of lionfish.

Given Destin’s military past, history buffs will absolutely love scuba diving in Destin! There’s a whole load of sunken M60 battle tanks and barrel barges along Wreck Alley. Plenty of Amberjack, flounder, spadefish, stingrays, and sea turtles now call these sunken relics home.

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Looe Key

For coral lovers, scuba diving in Florida doesn’t get much better than Looe Key!

Looe Key is named after the HMS Looe which sank on the reef in 1744. Now, Looe Key Reef has been named in the top 10 diving sites for 10 years, and you can totally see why. Over 150 species of fish, including angelfish and yellowtail, call this reef home. There are around 50 different species of coral present, including the beautiful fire corals, after 7,000 years of growth. Much of the reef is protected, meaning the reef life here is super healthy.

Not only is it an incredible spot to go scuba diving in Florida, it is also really accessable. There are three ferries running each day to get to the site and can easily accommodate all levels of divers.

beautiful angel fish are ripe in Looe Key!

Devil’s Den

Now, Devil’s Den may not look like much from the surface but don’t be fooled! Step down the staircase and you will be lead into a cave with an underground spring inside! This makes it one of the most unique ways to go scuba diving in Florida!

The water is crystal clear and the temperature remains a steady 72 degrees all year round. This spot is super popular with scuba divers as the depth can get to 200 feet. If you’re planning to go during summer and peak times, head there early to avoid disappointment.

For up to 50 feet, there will be beautiful sumbeams streaming through the water overhead making Devil’s Den a great photo opportunity! The deeper you go, you will find guppies, catfish, turtles, swim-throughs to explore, and fossil beds dating back 33 million years! Remains of camels, dire wolves, and saber-toothed cats have been discovered here!

Devil

And that is our list of places to go scuba diving in Florida. There are no end of places to go scuba diving, you really are spoilt for choice! And with such a wide variety of diving sites to see, we know you will have the most incredible time! Happy Diving!

9 Best Places to Go Scuba Diving in Miami, Florida

Scuba diving in Miami is a great way to explore the underwater world and get up close to its thriving ecosystem. The warm waters and fantastic diversity of marine life make Miami a perfect place to dive.

There are many local operators in Miami that offer scuba diving trips and lessons. Thanks to that, regardless of your diving experience, you will be able to find an excellent trip that is right for you.

Miami is home to several shipwrecks and stunning coral reefs, which explains why it should be your prime destination! This article will discuss in detail everything you must know for a dive trip in Miami.

Table of Contents

Best Places to Go Scuba Diving Around Miami, Florida

No matter what time of year it is, Miami is a great place to go scuba diving in Florida. With countless locations spanning along the coastline, I make sure you can find a spot that’s perfect for you at ease.

In this section, I will share with you some of my top favorite destinations for diving around Miami. Whether you seek stunning coral reefs, colorful tropical fish, or majestic sunken ships, the following list can serve well. Just pack your dive gear and get ready for an adventure!

1. Jose Cuervo Artificial Reef

Located 150 yards offshore Miami Beach, Jose Cuervo Artificial Reef is a notable underwater wonder that every scuba diver can easily access thanks to a pair of fins. With a full-face mask that helps to protect you from most contaminants, it is simple to enjoy stunning aquatic scenes.

This dive site initially includes a 22-ton heavy concrete bar that has been intentionally sunk to boost diving activities in Miami. Nowadays, the margarita bar functions as an excellent natural habitat for various tropical animals.

Thanks to incredible water visibility that enables you to see more than 25 feet underwater, it is effortless to discover rich marine life in Jose Cuervo Artificial Reef. Some popular companions during your dive include yellowtail snapper, parrotfish, and spiny lobsters.

Besides, the maximum depth at this location is only 20 feet, which means that divers of all levels can enjoy it. Jose Cuervo Artificial Reef is the best choice for family vacations as well. If you are looking for somewhere for beginners, do not skip visiting here.

yellowtail-snapper

2. Biscayne National Park

With 12 feet maximum depth, some advanced divers may find that Biscayne National Park cannot challenge their limits. However, do not be in a hurry because there are still numerous fascinating things for you to explore.

Biscayne National Park comes with about 95% of its acres submerged in the water. Therefore, there is no doubt that diving is one of the most effective and exciting ways to admire the resplendence of this dive spot.

If you have no idea where to go in Biscayne National Park, there are a few must-see locations to keep in mind. First of all, head to Maritime Heritage Trail, where you will find a wide range of shipwrecks.

The majority of wrecks have been placed at shallow depths, making them ideal for snorkelers and entry-level divers. In addition, there are some exotic items that require you to go deeply to get a close glimpse as well.

You can also explore a nearby lighthouse called Fowey, a gorgeous natural reef named Trump Reef, or the most well-known artificial reef like Key Biscayne Artificial Reef. All three dive sites I have mentioned above are popular with locals and tourists.

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Additionally, Biscayne National Park is a treasure trove of abundant aquatic life. It is home to hammerheads, tiger sharks, manatees, and a few tropical fish species. Moreover, you do not even need to scuba dive in Hawaii to swim with gentle sea turtles since Miami offers the same.

Remember to pack a GoPro for scuba diving into your suitcase so that you can capture stunning footage of colorful sea creatures. In case you are a tight-budget diver, cheap underwater cameras are also good choices. Check the most fashionable models here!

See how incredible scuba diving is in Biscayne National Park with the following video.

3. Neptune Memorial Reef

It will be a big mistake if you leave Miami without scuba diving on one of the most extensive artificial reefs in South Florida – the Neptune Memorial Reef.

A long trip into the blue water allows you to enjoy exceptional experiences of a city ruin that has been lost for thousands of years.

Resting at 45 feet below the surface, the construction of this place is inspired by the lost city of Atlantis and is surrounded by schools of vivid tropical fish. The spectacular view of the marine life here makes you feel like you are swimming through a majestic aquatic palace.

Besides, the ideal living conditions in Neptune Memorial Reef also help corals to thrive. Flourishing finger-like corals contribute to creating an excellent backdrop for wide-angle diving shots. Meanwhile, unique structures such as arches and statues accentuate your object.

Although the water areas in Neptune Memorial Reef are calm as well as clear, with underwater visibility up to 35 feet, this dive spot is mainly recommended for professional people. Novice divers may encounter difficulties in deep waters or controlling their scuba gear.

Check the video below for some valuable tips for a fantastic trip to Neptune Memorial Reef.

4. Emerald Reef

Located one mile on the eastern side of Key Biscayne, Emerald Reef is constructed by three shallow patch reefs, making it one of the most exquisite natural reefs in Miami. With only 20 feet of maximum depth, this dive site is truly the perfect option for snorkeling and amateur diving.

Emerald Reef is home to various rare coral species, including elkhorn coral, brain coral, hard coral, and pillar coral, along with a few common tropical fish. It is simple to spot lobsters, blue tang, and damselfish gliding around vibrant coral reefs during a dive.

Stunning coral formations, combined with crystal clear water and excellent visibility, are the three most important factors making Emerald Reef a tourist hotspot for scuba diving in Florida.

In addition, Emerald Reef is situated in a unique terrain that gives it a lot of sunlight. Therefore, underwater photographers can get gorgeous diving shots at ease thanks to good lighting conditions.

Elkhorn-corals

5. Ginnie Springs

This dive site is an excellent choice for thrill-seekers. It includes a three-spring cavern system that has been decorated intricately and beautifully. The water in these underwater caves is mirror-like, which enables you to see the sky clearly from the bottom.

However, due to the rugged and challenging terrain, this place is only suitable for advanced and certified divers.

Explore the magnificent underwater world in Ginnie Springs with the following excellent video.

6. Devil’s Den

Devil’s Den provides you with exceptional opportunities to explore crystal clear waters, ancient rock formations and so on. This place is home to a variety of majestic caves where you will have plenty of chances to discover extinct animal fossils!

Do not forget to bring a scuba light when exploring these mysterious caverns. The low-light conditions may make it hard to see the cave structure or find the entrance.

In this video, you will see stunning seascapes in Devil’s Den.

7. Half Moon Shipwreck, Key Biscayne

Just 10 feet below the surface, Half Moon Shipwreck is highly accessible, even for kids! This dive spot lies offshore between Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, where you will find yourself diving with colorful tropical fish species and vivid coral reefs.

The marine life in Florida is different from what it is in California due to distinct climates; hence, scuba diving in Miami also broadens your knowledge about sea creatures. The blue water here offers you common encounters with damselfish, lobsters, angelfish, and porcupine fish.

Nevertheless, a significant disadvantage of Half Moon Shipwreck is that it requires fewer challenges when diving compared to other sites. For that reason, if you are someone who is looking for thrilling experiences, I will not highly suggest this location.

Azure-Damselfish

8. Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West

Diving in Dry Tortugas National Park is relatively affordable when you only have to pay $200 on average. However, most adventures into the sea taken here are deep dives, which means that entry-level divers and snorkelers are not advisable to come here.

A shipwreck known as Tortuga is placed at a depth of 115 feet below the surface. This requires you to equip yourself with a complete dive kit. Vital gear you should bring includes your BCD, a set of primary and secondary regulators, as well as two scuba tanks to access the destination.

If this is the first time you explore a wreck, there is no need to worry much because the entrances are pretty easy to enter. Nevertheless, remember to watch out for jellyfish and lionfish during the penetration process.

See other dangerous sea animals in my articles: How Dangerous Is Scuba Diving.

Do not forget to keep an eye on lush seagrasses where you can find most tropical sea animals such as starfish, queen conchs, lobsters, and more. There are also a few strange coral and sponge species to spot but do not touch on to ensure safety.

lionfish

9. Sheri Lynn

Sheri Lynn is a Dutch shipwreck that lies at a depth of 90 feet in the water, becoming one of Miami’s most notorious artificial reefs. You have countless chances to encounter large pelagic fish species when visiting here.

Grouper, mahi-mahi, and sharks are the top three most frequent sightings during a dive in Sheri Lynn. Also, it is possible to spot ruins of the ship like chevron tanks, cement mixer tanks, bulkheads, and so on.

Sheri Lynn is only suitable for advanced divers due to its dangerous depth. However, booking an adventure tour with an expert sounds safer if you are new to wreck diving. I make sure the unimaginable experiences you can get in Sheri Lynn will be worthwhile for a lifetime.

I believe you will not waste your precious time on Sheri Lynn.

Best Dive Operators in Miami Florida

I have compiled a list of Miami’s most reliable dive operators, so you can rest assured that you are getting the best service possible. Whether you are inexperienced or seasoned, diving with a professional divemaster will be safer and more comfortable.

So what are you waiting for? Book your trip today!

  • Ace Diving Miami – provides snorkeling and scuba diving instruction, offers guided tours as well as excursions, and gives technical diving for certified divers. Phone (786) 241-3194 and visit https://www.ace-diving.com/ for further information.
  • Grove Scuba – supports a full set of scuba equipment for rent, provides private charters and wonderful dive trips, and operates specialty courses. Contact (305) 443-1313 or check its website at https://www.grovescuba.com/ to book now!
  • Tarpoon Lagoon Dive Center – offers unique scuba courses, affordable gear rental, and explorations for divers of all levels. Call (305) 532-1445 or visit https://www.tarpoonlagoon.com/ for more details.

Best Resorts in Miami Florida

Miami is a popular destination for scuba divers. There are many great places to stay while diving here. Below is a list of the best resorts in Miami to consider, based on previous feedback and my own experience.

The options are plentiful, ranging from beachfront resorts to luxurious hotels on land. Let’s get started!

ResortsStarPopular amenitiesAddress & Contact
JW Marriott Marquis Miami5Wi-Fi, Paid breakfast, Parking, Accessible Outdoor pool, Air-conditioned● 255 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL 33131
● (305) 421-8600
Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay4Free Wi-Fi, Paid breakfast, Parking, Accessible, Air-conditioned, Laundry service● 1633 N Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33132
● (305) 374-3900
The Guild Downtown | X Miami4Free Wi-Fi, Paid parking, Accessible, Outdoor pool, Air-conditioned, Kid-friendly● 230 NE 4th St, Miami, FL
● 33132(512) 623-7480
Four Seasons Hotel Miami5Free Wi-Fi, Breakfast, Parking, Accessible, Outdoor pool, Air-conditioned● 1435 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL
● 33131(305) 358-3535
EAST Miami4Free Wi-Fi, Breakfast, Paid parking, Accessible, Outdoor pool, Air-conditioned● 788 Brickell Plaza, Miami, FL
● 33131(305) 712-7000

Conclusion

From the coral reefs of Key Biscayne to the wrecks off Fort Lauderdale, scuba diving in Miami is endless. With its clear waters and rich marine life, Miami offers divers an unforgettable experience.

Among various diving destinations in Miami, I highly recommend Biscayne National Park for its picturesque seascapes, ideal diving conditions, and diverse aquatic life. In the meantime, Half Moon Shipwreck and Sheri Lynn are great options for wreck divers.

Do you have any comments or suggestions for this article? Please leave them in the comment section below. Help other scuba divers know more about diving in Miami by sharing this article. Please use any of the following social media links.

About Scott Maldonado

Hi, I am Scott Maldonado, the founder of diveaeris.com. You are welcome to this website. Diving is so much fun, and I’ve got a flair for it. With many diving sessions under my belt, I have transformed from just an experienced diver to a professional instructor.
I will love to contribute to your development as a diver. Therefore, I will be engaging my years of experience by discussing anything related to diving on this website.
Read more about me.

Source https://www.visitflorida.com/travel-ideas/articles/outdoors-nature-great-scuba-diving-in-florida/

Source https://floridatrippers.com/scuba-diving-in-florida/

Source https://www.diveaeris.com/scuba-diving-miami-florida/

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