Because of its crystal clear waters, Florida offers some of the best diving spots in the entire country. Next time you’re looking for a new underwater paradise to explore, check out these five Florida destinations for divers.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Image via Flickr by BigCypressNPS
Just 70 miles west of Key West is Dry Tortugas National Park, a diver’s paradise that’s only accessible by plane or boat to keep the casual tourists away. Dive down deep to gaze upon numerous coral and seagrass clumps teeming with marine life. You’ll even be able to catch a glimpse of a shipwreck or two, as the clump of seven islands has had several through the years.
West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach is a wonderful place to dive simply because of its diversity. Just 20 feet under the water, you’ll be able to find angelfish, octopus, lobsters, seahorses, and even manatees. Check out the Blue Heron Bridge in particular for myriad shallow-water marine life.
However, most people flock to West Palm Beach because it’s where the turtles swim. During the migratory season between May and September, you might stumble across a whole bale of turtles.
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary
Image via Flickr by amanderson2
Many people love diving at Looe Kay National Marine Sanctuary because it’s home to a 200-yard wide and 800-yard long coral reef. The water clarity here is superb, so you’ll be able to see over 150 species of fish flitting through the water. As for coral, there are about 50 different species in the area, but common ones include fire, star, brain, staghorn, and elkhorn coral.
You might even see some remnants from the HMS Looe — the ship that the area was named after.
Nestled just off Key Largo is the Molasses Reef, which is one of the most popular areas in the state for diving and snorkeling. Because it’s such a shallow area, it’s the perfect place for a beginner to try out their first dive. Just 25 to 45 feet beneath the surface are an array of nurse sharks, moray eels, and lobsters waiting for you.
If you choose to go to Molasses Reef, book hotels in Key Largo with the help of Hotel Planner. That way, you’ll be able to score great deals while staying extremely close to all the underwater action.
Image via Flickr by Thespis377
Pensacola has a rich military history, so it’s no surprise that it’s the site of the shipwrecked USS Oriskany. Dive up to 200 feet under the water to see this retired aircraft carrier take on a new purpose as a home to numerous fish, plants, and other marine life. In fact, the Oriskany has been dubbed the largest artificial reef in the world.
Florida is one of the best places in the world to go diving. Next time you have the itch to sink below the blue waters of the ocean, head down to one of these locales in the Sunshine State for amazing views.