Fun Facts About Scuba Diving in Florida
When you think of dreamy scuba diving locations, you may well think of Costa Rica or the Caribbean, but does your mind ever swim to Florida?
If the coastal waters of North America's southeastern-most state have never appeared on your underwater radar, then now might be the time to think again. Because Florida is home to hundreds of fantastic scuba sites with something to suit every diving level.
Here, we will explore the best scuba diving Tampa has to offer, the ins and outs of Fort Myers scuba diving, and much more!
What might divers heading to Florida expect? Well, if you'd like to get acquainted with some tiny seahorses or spotted eagle rays, then Blue Heron Bridge is a Florida dive location that will happily oblige you.
If you're in the market for dramatic cave diving, then seek out Devil's Den.
Or, if your scuba diving dream includes shipwrecks, then head to Tampa, Fort Myers, or Key Largo. There really is something for everyone.
1. You Can Learn to Dive in the Everglades
The Everglades tend to be a place more associated with crocodiles and alligators than scuba diving. However, the welcoming year-round temperatures and clarity of the shallow waters makes the Everglades a wonderful place to learn to Scuba Dive.
We can only imagine that the scuba instructors are well versed in keeping their students away from the environment's larger sharp-toothed inhabitants!
2. You Can Charter a Boat to Go Scuba Diving in Tampa
Situated on Florida's west coast, Tampa serves as a fantastic launch point for those aiming to explore the underwater worlds of Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast.
The scuba diving Tampa has to offer includes an area that is home to wildlife preserves, so anticipate excellent reefs and meeting plenty of marine wildlife.
There are also lots of great wreck dives to explore, like the USCG Blackthorn. A popular option is to charter a boat from a dive shop and head out on adventures both before and beyond the barrier islands.
3. There Are Manatees at Crystal River
Herds of sea cows like to congregate in the Crystal River waters between November and April, making this a fantastic bucket-list destination for fans of the 1,000-pound animals.
Scuba divers are warned, however, that many stretches of water will only allow you to snorkel during this time to protect the manatees from human interruption. So do check your location online before departure.
4. Fort Myers Scuba Diving Offers Wrecks and Artificial Reefs Galore
Fort Myers is a great base of operations for those wanting some of the best-submerged sights in the Gulf of Mexico.
There are more than 20 artificial reefs in the area where you can see corals, sponges, lobsters, snook, and greater amberjacks.
Not far away, wreck divers can discover the Mohawk Veterans Memorial Reef, which was the first military ship to be sunk as a dedicated memorial to all U.S. veterans. This vast vessel features guns and an enormous propeller, making for a striking underwater scene to explore. Plus, the site is also a hotspot for whale shark sightings!
5. You Can Scuba Dive in an Infamous Den of Hell
While the title of this section may seem off-putting, don't be alarmed! Happily, these days, scuba divers understand that Devil's Den isn't actually a portal for the dammed, but rather a spectacular fern-framed sinkhole.
Devil's Den presents an incredible opportunity to cave dive and snorkel in warm subterranean waters.
Enchantingly, long ago, the locals saw the steam rising from this large window into another world and imagined that it must be inherently evil. However, today's divers take the steps that lead down into the sinkhole so that they can take to the waters within its heavenly underground basin.
6. There Is an Air-Supplied Underwater Bell at Blue Grotto
For something really novel, head to Blue Grotto and breathe underwater without the assistance of your apparatus.
This fun location isn't far from Devil's Den, so you can really collect some cool scuba diving stories!
Blue Grotto is a large clear-water cavern that is suited to divers of all levels.
The total water's depth is 100 feet, but you can stop for a breather at 30 feet. How? Well, Blue Grotto is equipped with an incredible underwater bell at 30 feet that is supplied with compressed air. Divers can pop up inside the bell, take out their regulators, and have a quick chat about their diving experience so far. Now that's novelty!
7. You Can Swim in the Fish Bowl at Flower Garden
Unfortunately, we don't mean an actual fish bowl, but certainly the next best thing.
At the Flower Garden dive site, there is a spot known to local divers as the “Fish Bowl” because there are always thousands of fish to be seen.
Divers can simply hover at this incredible location as endangered fish, sharks, and sea turtles amble around them. Enormous goliath grouper makes an appearance in the fall, while sharks tend to appear in the winter months.
8. Lazy Divers Can Make the Most of the Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream creates a natural current on the Florida coast that carries savvy divers effortlessly over the reef tracts. Local dive shops accommodate this phenomenon by dropping off and picking up divers in different locations so they don't need to navigate back to the start!
Drifting along, scuba divers can catch slow-passing glimpses of coral reefs and vast shoals of fish. The Gulf Stream's assistance is available in West Palm Beach, where dozens of sea turtles can be spotted during the summer season.
Did we forget anything? It would be a challenge to list every amazing scuba diving opportunity in Florida in a single article, but we'd still love to hear your best tips.
And before your next dive, don't forget you check the local water temperatures using our free water temperature checking tool. We're here to make your scuba diving adventures even more incredible!
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