This is one of the most underrated yet attractive dive spots in Florida. Located on the Sante Fe River, Ginnie Springs has crystal clear water that makes you rethink everything you ever thought about freshwater diving. With a mild water temperature, abundant aquatic life, underwater caverns and caves ready to be explored, Ginnie Springs is the perfect destination for those looking for a diving experience that stands out from the rest.
This key is not the most popular dive spot on Florida’s barrier islands, yet it is truly a secret gem.
The reefs off Marathon are less crowded and quite undisturbed, allowing the diver a chance to experience a pristine marine environment. Some highlights in this area include the Thunderbolt Wreck and Coffin’s Patch, the latter of which is perfect for underwater photographers and beginners.
This is one of the largest, most well maintained artificial reef systems on the Florida Coast.
The reef was first started in the 1960s and is composed of everything from shipwrecks to army tanks. Among these manmade formations are also some beautiful limestone ledges that create a shelter for dozens of fish species. Spear fishers will be delighted at the big game to be found in this reef system. Snapper, mackerel, grouper alongside crabs lobster and oysters.
This city is more recognized as a party spot than a diving location but diving enthusiast will find it surpasses their expectations. The advantages of Panama City are world class beaches for those days that don’t plan on diving, and the fact that it’s a quieter, lesser known destination, perfect for those looking for relaxation.
There are a number of wrecks off Panama City including Empire Mica, a 465-foot British tanker sunk by a U-Boat during World War II; and the Tarpon, a twin-screw steamer that sank during a storm in 1929 and that will fascinate history buffs. A number of other ships have been sunk to create artificial reefs and marine habits.
The perfect spot for a wild dive! Until recent years, the waters off Jacksonville were considered too deep and dark for any serious diving. Spear fishermen however, continuously reported on the sheer abundance of fish in the area. Further exploration revealed nearly untouched reef systems and ledges home to thousands upon thousands of fish. Visibility is best in the summer and tapers off towards August.
Some of the diving spots are very far off shore so expect hour long boat rides to your destination. Nonetheless, Jacksonville makes for a thrilling and different diving experience.