Florida is well known for its beautiful beaches and amazing scuba diving locations. From the crystal clear waters of the Florida Keys to the adventure of scuba diving in caves, there is something for everyone who loves scuba diving. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best dive sites in Florida and what you can expect to see when you visit them!
What are the best locations for scuba diving in Florida?
The best dive sites in Florida include the coral reefs of the Keys, the mysterious caves and caverns of north-central Florida, and the unique wrecks scattered along both coasts. The warm waters of Florida make it an ideal place for divers to explore. Each area offers a unique set of underwater experiences that can’t be found anywhere else!
What can you expect when scuba diving in Florida?
When visiting a dive site in Florida, divers can expect to find some amazing marine life. From sea turtles and dolphins to eels and seahorses, there is sure to be something new around every corner. On top of that, there are also some truly spectacular underwater landscapes to explore like coral gardens, shipwrecks, and even underwater caves!
What safety precautions should be taken when scuba diving in Florida?
When scuba diving in Florida it is important to take all the necessary safety precautions. This includes making sure to have the proper dive certification, renting or buying the right gear for each dive site, getting a dive buddy, and following all local laws regarding water activities. Taking these simple steps will ensure that your time while exploring some of Florida’s best sites is safe and enjoyable!
10 Best scuba dive sites in Florida
- Ginnie Springs
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo
- Molasses Reef, Florida Keys
- Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach
- Dry Tortugas National Park, Key West
- Spiegel Grove Wreck Dive Site, Key Largo
- Fort Jefferson Wrecks off the Coast of Pensacola
- Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole near Marianna
- Vortex Springs near Ponce de Leon
- Cayman Salvager Wreck, Key West
Ginnie Springs is one of Florida’s premier dive sites. Located near High Springs, this freshwater spring is a popular destination for scuba divers. The visibility in Ginnie Springs is typically excellent and the water temperature is usually around 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Divers can expect to see a variety of fish and other aquatic life, such as bluegill sunfish, largemouth bass, garfish, and turtles. In addition to fish and other animals, there are also many colorful plant species that make Ginnie Springs a great spot for underwater photography!
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo is one of the most popular dive sites in Florida. It offers a wide variety of marine life and stunning coral reefs. There are over 70 species of coral and 250 types of fish, as well as wrecks, artificial reefs, and other interesting features.
Molasses Reef is located near Key Largo and boasts a beautiful array of colorful corals and tropical fish. There are plenty of interesting features to explore including a sunken ship, the Molasses Reef Wall, and even 19th-century cannons!
Blue Heron Bridge is located in Riviera Beach and is known for its excellent visibility, making it perfect for photographers. There are plenty of turtles, rays, barracuda, and more to be seen here!
Dry Tortugas National Park is located off Key West and features numerous shipwrecks, coral reefs, and brightly colored fish. An abundance of marine life makes this a great spot for snorkeling or scuba diving!
Spiegel Grove Wreck Dive Site is located in Key Largo and offers deep-water dives with plenty of interesting artifacts to explore including cannons, anchors, masts, and even a torpedo!
Fort Jefferson Wrecks are found off the coast of Pensacola and offer a unique look at some of Florida’s oldest shipwrecks. There are plenty of interesting artifacts to explore!
Eagle’s Nest Sinkhole is located near Marianna and offers a unique look at the underworld with its crystal-clear waters and stunning formations.
Vortex Springs is located near Ponce de Leon and is known for its warm, crystal-clear water that makes it perfect for swimming or scuba diving. The site also has an abundance of fish and other marine life.
Cayman Salvager Wreck, Key West, is home to the remains of a sunken cargo ship. Divers can explore the wreck and a big artificial reef. High visibility at 90 feet depth makes it a great dive site. However, strong underwater currents require experience.
Florida’s astonishing underwater world provides an amazing opportunity for divers to explore. From colorful coral gardens to fascinating wrecks, there is something new around every corner in this beautiful state! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. So grab your gear and dive into the incredible world of Florida scuba diving!
Scuba diving with sharks in Florida
Shark diving is a popular activity in Florida, with many tour operators offering trips to see sharks in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. Sharks are some of the most majestic and awe-inspiring creatures in the ocean and can be found off Florida’s coasts. Divers can experience a unique underwater adventure as they swim with these incredible animals, which can range from gentle giants such as whale sharks to small reef sharks.
Read our full guide on sharks in Florida.
Cave diving in Florida
Florida is famous for some of the most spectacular cave diving locations in the world. Divers can explore underground rivers, sinkholes, and other incredible formations as they navigate these dark and mysterious places. With the right equipment and training, cave divers can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in these unique underwater worlds.
Warning: Cave diving is dangerous and many caves in Florida cost many lives of experienced divers. Don’t dive into a cave without the right training, qualification, equipment, planning, and scuba buddy.
Top cave dive sites in Florida
- Blue Grotto near Key Largo
- Goliath’s Grotto
- Devil’s Den, Williston
For those looking for a more challenging dive site, Blue Grotto near Key Largo offers some fantastic dives. This deep cave system contains three different levels with depths ranging from 40-90 feet. Divers can expect to see a variety of aquatic life, such as grouper, snapper, moray eels and even nurse sharks. The clear waters of the Blue Grotto provide excellent visibility for spotting these creatures!
Goliath’s Grotto is located in Homosassa Springs and is home to some of the most beautiful caves and underwater formations in Florida. Divers can explore the depths of this site and even take a swim with manatees!
Devil’s Den is located in Williston and is home to some of the most spectacular caves and underground springs. The site offers stunning formations, crystal clear waters, and a variety of species living in its depths.
How much does it cost to scuba dive in Florida?
The cost of scuba diving in Florida can vary depending on the type of dive and equipment rental. Generally, for a one-day excursion including boat rental, gear rental, and other fees, prices range from $100-$200 USD for a two-tank dive.
No matter what type of dive experience you’re looking for, Florida has something for you. Whether it’s a peaceful dive in freshwater springs or an exciting wreck dive, Florida has plenty of amazing dive sites to explore. So grab your gear and head to the Sunshine State for an unforgettable scuba diving adventure!