Best Scuba Diving Trips in Florida

From shore diving fun to amazing artificial reefs, here are my favourite Florida diving spots. Take in sharks, colourful schools, maybe even a spot of cave diving – regardless, be sure to check out the best of the coral islands no matter where your holiday takes you.

florida dive sites beach

If you’re really into your sea life, then this is an incredible spot to visit. Crystal River is best known for being a manatee hub.

However, this isn’t the kind of spot where you’d go on a dive trip. Since manatees are an endangered and now protected species, you are only allowed to snorkel in the area. But don’t let that deter you! 

You are more than likely to spot a few manatees, especially between November and April, and even come across a few snapper fish, redfish, bass, and garfish.

Blue Heron Bridge

Situated in Palm Beach County, Blue Heron Bridge is a highly popular dive site amongst scuba fans from all over the country.

Aside from the occasional tidal restrictions, this is an excellent dive site for both intermediate and advanced divers. It’s pretty shallow, very easy to access, and the perfect spot for macro underwater photography. 

The area welcomes multiple tropical fish and stunning eel grass. And you’ll likely come across a few octopi, skates, rays, and flounders in the sand! There are also a few snappers, eagle rays, and barracuda. Therefore, it’s a perfect spot for anyone interested in marine life and looking for an easy scuba dive.

DoD Towers

If you are interested in seeing the largest artificial reef in Florida, then it’s best to head straight to Tenneco Towers, home to some genuinely world class diving.

These incredible coral structures are part of an aggressive artificial reef program where decommissioned oil platforms were placed in the sea to form the reefs.

There are three that you can see on a normal scuba diving trip; however, if you wish to see the last two, they are reserved for more experienced divers and technical diving.

Aside from the stunning coral reefs, you can also spot an abundance of sea life, including sea turtles, tuna, barracuda, and the occasional bull shark!

It’s a stunning spot for scuba diving in Florida.

Key West

There are multiple dive sites worth visiting in the Florida Keys, and Key West does not disappoint. Some of the best dive sites include the Maze, Dante’s Inferno, the Caves, the Windjammer Wreck, Texas Rock, and more!

However, as with any area, it’s important to be very respectful of the amazing marine life and avoid touching it or even brushing up against it wherever possible.

It’s also best to go with a dive leader or instructor who will be able to guide you through this incredible underwater world and around the wonderful reef life in the Florida Keys. 

Fort Lauderdale

If you’ve ever heard of Florida, then the chances are that you’ve already heard of Fort Lauderdale. But did you know that it has one of the most popular dive sites in the whole state?

The great thing about this dive site is that it offers completely natural and super pristine reefs, as well as numerous artificial reef builds! You’ll see everything from whale sharks and tropical fish to barracuda, lobsters, crabs, and eels!

It also has stunning shipwrecks to visit and is the perfect location for underwater photography – so make sure you decide on your favourite filters before you get started.

And, not too far away, you can explore the incredible barracuda reef with a spiny lobster or two, reef fish, and reef sharks.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a fantastic destination for those interested in coral structures, sea turtles, and treasure. 

The area is known as a great spot for treasure hunters due to the shipwrecks under the water that were said to have been transporting gold and silver.

It’s also home to various animal life, including green moray eels, as well as a few shark species and the beautiful parrotfish!

Freshwater Springs

Florida freshwater springs

For scuba divers that prefer freshwater experiences, you’ll be glad to know that South Florida has plenty of springs that are easy for novice divers to navigate, and fascinating for more experienced divers to get into. Here are some of my favourite freshwater locations across Florida’s diving map.

Rainbow River

Rainbow River is ideal for world-class marine safaris – It’s rife with all kinds of freshwater fish and turtles, as well as birds, and land animals that may follow you around if you’re lucky! 

It’s the ideal spot for drift dives and snorkeling and is suitable for beginner to expert divers. It’s well worth checking out some gorgeous shots of this stunning site before you head off on your adventure, too.

Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto is a privately owned dive destination, making it one of Florida’s more exclusive resorts.

About 30 feet into the dive, there’s a diving bell with an air supply that allows you to remove your regulator and experience the deep inside your own air bubble! 

The area boasts incredible ancient fossils, waves of turtles and even offers a guide service if you really want to take it all in.


Venice is certainly a spot for more advanced divers, but do still take a look out here if you’re just getting started with scuba adventures. There’s plenty of artificial and colorful reefs, a varied marine community, and wonderful warm currents coming from the Gulf Stream.

However, what makes Venice unique is that it is the shark tooth capital of the world – meaning if you’re crazy about sharks and other toothy creatures, you’re going to want to head here first.

It is believed that Venice was once the home of the prehistoric Megalodon, which makes it a great spot for animal lovers, history buffs, and Jason Statham fans. I’m afraid, however, I can’t guarantee there are any ancient beasts left behind at the bottom of Venice these days…

Other Places to Dive

Written by Katy

Thank you for reading. I started to share my passion for diving. I am an environmental educator, scientist and now an MSDT diver.

This platform has been made to create, connect and share my knowledge in the world of diving.

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