If you’re taking a vacation to Florida, or already live in the Sunshine State, activities like scuba diving and snorkeling might be on your agenda. Don’t be too concerned about which coasts are nearest to you, fortunately for visitors and residents alike, Florida’s diving sites are located on multiple coasts throughout the peninsula.
Here are some of the best sites for scuba diving throughout Florida!
Biscayne Maritime Heritage Trail
Biscayne National Park
Dive into some maritime history on the heritage trail at Biscayne National Park. Groups of divers and snorkelers can take a visit here to experience an underwater history lesson spanned with shipwrecks dating back to the late 1800’s. Provided with waterproof maps, divers can make their way to each separate wreck to explore the sites below.
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary
Big Pine Key
If you’re looking to experience one of the states beautiful living reefs, Looe Key is a great place to start. A protected underwater ecosystem, this site is full of high rock ledges, colorful exotic marine life, and of course, miles worth of living coral reef structures that are more than just a site to see. In fact, the reef was previously home to the HMS Looe shipwreck dating back to 1744. Though the wreck is no longer present in the reef, but it’s a great back story to how the site obtained its name!
A name with an interesting history, the Devils Den is a warm spring set in an underground cave with a ton of ancient history behind it. It’s name was given by early settlers who, due to the warm steam coming up from the above ground at the caves location, thought that the site may be the pathway to hell. While in the following years that theory was debunked, visitors can experience this underground wonderland while enjoying the warmth and scenery of this 2 million year old cavern.
Half Moon Preserve
Biscayne National Park
An early 1900’s racing yacht originally named the Germania, is the setting to this underwater diving site. From it’s build date in 1908, the Germania had a number of different captains, homes, and two name changes, officially taking its final name “Half Moon” around 1920. By 1930, the Half Moon was being used as a fishing vessel, until its ultimate demise during a storm. Today, the wreck sits about 10 feet underwater, is a home for marine life, and a great attraction for divers looking to experience a little piece of history.
Quite close to our previously mentioned diving site, the Devil’s Den, Blue Grotto is a stunning clear water cavern, that is open to divers and snorkelers of all experience levels. With a maximum diving depth of 100 feet, divers can experience what is said to be one of the clearest waters in Florida. An additional perk for divers is the diving bell at the 30 foot mark, where divers can take an opportunity to take a quick break and converse with their diving partner.