Scuba diving in Florida might be far more ideal than anyone can ever expect! It is because the geographical location of Florida has endowed it with a myriad of exclusive and fabulous features. Wonder what they are? Don’t miss the following lines!
Lied between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean, Florida owns hundreds of miles of coastlines. No wonder why all the best beaches are located in this state! What’s more, the coral reef barrier in FIt is undoubtedly true that Destin is among the best places in Florida to scuba dive! As you all know, the Gulf of Mexico, along with the Atlantic Ocean, lines the coastal borders of Florida. Destin lies in the Northwest part called Panhandle and adjoins the water of the Gulf!
The average ocean temperature in the Gulf of Mexico is usually warm in all seasons. Hence, scuba diving in Destin is possible at any time during the year! No wonder why Destin has become a household name when it comes to diving!
If you wish to have a wonderful time in this city, read my article immediately! I will help you go through some helpful knowledge about scuba diving and the unique features of Destin. Believe me! Every section below will challenge your expectation!
Table of Contents
- The Marine Animals in Destin
- Best Spots for Scuba Diving in Destin
- Divers Guide
- Ways to Watch the Marine Life in Destin
- Top Diving Centers in Destin
- Best Beach Hotels in Destin
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to See Florida as a Local
- Top Dive Sites in Florida
- Divers Guide
- Suggested Gadgets for Scuba Diving
- Water Activities in Florida
- Best Dive Operators in Florida
- Best Coastal Hotels in Florida
- Frequently Asked Question
The Marine Animals in Destin
Do you know that Destin is home to hundreds of aquamarine species? It is because the Gulf of Mexico surrounds almost half of the coastal lines of this city! Join me and find out what sea animals inhabit there!
The most popular sea creature in Destin is probably the dolphin! With a population of around 40,000 individuals, dolphins appear very often here in the open sea. One of the best ways to watch dolphins is to take a dolphin cruise!
In addition, Destin is famous for its extensive coral reef systems. These reef barriers house several schools of fish of different species. You can expect to see flounders, sea pufferfish, small snappers, wrasse, redfish, and sheepshead! Don’t forget your scuba camera!
Besides colorful fishes, you can admire some beautiful sea crabs. They turn up a lot in both natural and artificial coral reefs! Among the most popular are blue crabs and hermit crabs. Pack your things and come here to admire some wildlife spectacles!
Furthermore, you can also catch sight of sea turtles. Most of them usually swim near the pier. You may be able to take some beautiful pictures because they sometimes get close enough for you to do so. Some kinds of octopuses and jellyfish will also make their appearance.
Best Spots for Scuba Diving in Destin
Not only Hawaii has the best dive sites, but Destin also does! In other words, Destin can offer some of the most fantastic spots for scuba diving in the United States! Keep scrolling down and discover what they are!
1. Destin Jetties
Destin Jetties perhaps is a common name among divers around the world. There is a little fun fact that the place is regarded as the luckiest fishing village because of its diverse marine biodiversity.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are the most popular ways to watch the underwater world in the jetties. However, the battle between scuba diving and snorkeling is still a controversy as each activity offers distinctive experiences under the water.
To be more specific, you can stand the chance of witnessing several kinds of fish in different seasons. There are black drums, amberjack, trout, and Spanish mackerel from spring through summer. Meanwhile, flounders and redfish appear during the rest of the year.
2. Tug Boat Janet
The wreckage of the tugboat Janet is another fascinating scuba diving site. It sank to around 93 feet underwater in October of 1997. After being discovered, the tugboat is open to divers worldwide.
An artificial reef complex known as Okaloosa Haven was built on the M/V Janet. Hence, many species of fish swim to the wreck and inhabit it. This fascinating fact attracts thousands of divers worldwide to come here to watch the incredible wildlife.
Scuba divers often say the boat is teeming with kingfish and baitfish. Besides, there are also triggerfish, amberjack, grouper, and snapper. On top of that, you are advised to equip yourself with some scuba lights to watch the tugboat.
Let’s see the M/V Janet in this video:
3. Mohawk Chief
Like the M/V Janet, Mohawk Chief is also a tugboat. Its sinking date was on June 23rd, 2003. Since you can reach the boat within 30 meters, the visibility is excellent. However, this wreck is far from the shore, so you must travel by boat before diving.
With six reef complex structures, the Mohawk Chief acts as a home to several types of aquamarine animals. In particular, goliath grouper, amberjack, and baitfish dominate the vessel. You can also swim through the pilothouse to explore the inside parts of the boat.
Additionally, you can expect to observe sand dollars as the tugboat is located in the center of the sand dollars complex. Sometimes, you will witness some nurse sharks as the Mohawk Chief lies in the open water.
Check out the video below to discover the Mohawk Chief in Panhandle:
4. Fort Walton Beach
If you are a little bit afraid of the mysterious open water, you can go scuba diving on Fort Walton beach instead. This dive site is adjacent to the shore. Therefore, it is suitable for both beginners and recreational divers.
The natural limestone reefs are highly incredible. They house large quantities of fish, so you can wish to have a wonderful experience while diving at the Fort Walton seaside! The lionfish is an invasive species, and thus you can see them very often!
Not far from the beach is the Miss Louise wreck. Like other sunken wrecks, this ship is associated with artificial reef systems and is a fantastic place for scuba diving. Fortunately, its depth is so shallow that divers don’t need special training.
Admire the aquatic world under Fort Walton Beach by checking the video below:
5. Destin Bridge Rubble
In the mid-1970s, a boat called Bridge Rubble to a depth of fewer than 70 feet in the sea of Destin. This leads to another introduction of a spectacular scuba diving site! Put on your scuba suit and head to Destin to explore the Bridge Rubble!
Since the boat has been under the water for a long time, it has gradually become a sizable fish haven. There are three separate reefs: Main Stack, North Stack, and East Stack. The Main Stack has the most extensive profile of up to 69 feet.
You can expect to observe a wide range of marine creatures. The boat’s structure offers many hidden places for eels, octopuses, and lobsters. Some big-size animals like sharks and manta rays also appear around the Bridge Rubble.
Watch the video below to see Sandbar sharks and a school of Spadefish in Destin Bridge rubble:
One more critical section of the diving guideline in Destin is some breakdowns of desirable water temperatures, diving equipment, and diving tips. If you want to have a comfortable and safe experience, don’t ignore the lines below!
1. Diving Conditions
You may have heard that Florida is suitable for scuba diving all year round. Remarkably, the water of the Gulf of Mexico, where Destin lies, is warm enough for water activities during all seasons. However, when it comes to visibility, there are some favorable periods.
Take a quick look through the table below!
|Air temperatures||20°C – 28°C|
|Ocean temperatures||13°C – 27°C|
|Water visibility||50 ft – 100 ft|
|Wetsuit Thickness||3 mm – 5 mm (summer and spring)
6 mm – 7 mm (autumn and winter)
2. Suggested Equipment
The water environment is unpredictable. Therefore, when participating in activities that are associated with water, you should carefully prepare some specific gadgets to warrant your safety. In this subtopic, I will suggest some necessary equipment for scuba diving.
First, it is crucial to wear a scuba wetsuit with suitable thickness. A flimsy suit may not keep your body warm, and an extremely thick one can prevent you from propelling through the water quickly.
Next, you should invest in a scuba mask to protect your face. Remember to opt for the right size to avoid having any trouble with loose or tight protection masks underwater. Choosing the wrong face mask can cause you to be subject to stinks from sea animals.
You may also need a couple of scuba fins to help you dive with ease. Otherwise, you have to make a great effort to tackle with bare feet, especially in deep dive sites. Scuba lights are also among the indispensable gadgets for wreck diving.
Your diving experience will be more interesting if you bring a scuba camera to save some beautiful memories underwater. Many people say that GoPro has the best cameras for scuba diving. Why don’t you visit their websites and purchase one for yourself?
3. Wreck Diving
There are many shipwrecks under the sea in Destin. Therefore, when scuba diving in Destin, you may also have the opportunity to experience wreck diving. If you are new to this branch of scuba diving, I will provide valuable instructions.
First of all, make sure you are well-equipped with diving gadgets. Especially, pay more attention to the quality of your scuba tank because you will need to dive deep under the water to reach the wreck. A minor mistake can even result in your fatality.
When a shipwreck is diver-friendly and is open to tourists, you can usually swim through them to explore the inside. However, some tugboats or aircraft are extremely large, and you can get lost in them. Hence, remember to dive with a group or your diving instructors.
Moreover, visibility can be a big problem when wreck diving. If you can’t see clearly, you might get entangled and injured. Therefore, you should bring a couple of dive lights because they can prevent you from losing vision and act as an SOS sign in emergencies.
Some other safety accessories may include gloves and scuba knives. You will also need some extra breathing gas when you want to dive into a deep shipwreck. It will be far safer if you can afford a dive computer to help you identify your location.
Ways to Watch the Marine Life in Destin
Undoubtedly, Destin has one of the most diverse marine biodiversity in Florida. Therefore, the local people often exploit the mesmerizing sceneries as a tool to attract tourists all over the globe. Visitors can admire the wildlife in different ways and from various angles.
An interesting activity is to take part in a dolphin cruise. A large population of wild dolphins live in Destin and have become a tourist attraction. You can wish to float on the crystal clear water and witness dolphins swimming around!
In addition, the Okaloosa Island Pier is famous for its wide range of sea turtles. Specifically, there are several species of saltwater turtles swimming around the pier. They also occasionally get close enough for visitors to take some spectacular photos!
If you want to challenge yourself a little bit, snorkeling is an ideal experience for you to try. Typically, people will snorkel in shallow water, so non-swimmers are also congenial! You will stand a chance to wear cool goggles and observe schools of fish under the water!
Another fascinating way to watch marine life is to go scuba diving. You will need a special suit to dive deep under the water. Scuba diving allows you to see the magical world of coral reefs and colorful fishes under the water’s surface. You can even swim through some shipwrecks!
Top Diving Centers in Destin
If you wish to be supported by the professional diving community, it’s a great idea to experience the service of some prestigious diving centers. Besides selling high-quality diving gadgets, these centers also play the role of diving operators that offer courses and scuba diving tours.
Since Destin is a paradise for scuba diving, there are hundreds of diving centers in this city. However, remember to make sure that you book service from an accredited operator. Let’s find out what the top diving centers in Destin are!
- Emerald Coast Scuba – offers five-star service, supports beginners and professionals, heated pool for all-year-round diving classes, scuba gear rentals, swimming courses. Discover more at https://divedestin.net/ or contact +1 (850) 837-0955.
- Scuba Tech – sells trips on dive boats, diving courses (online courses included), supports divers of all skill levels, offers tours on liveaboard vessels. Get to know more about Scuba Tech at https://scubatechnwfl.com/ or dial +1 (850) 837-2822.
- Off Duty Dive Charters – charters tours guided by captain Dan (certified since 1999); boats with freshwater showers, drink coolers, storage space, ample decks; provides first aid kits, oxygen bottles, offshore life vests. See more at https://offdutydivecharters.com/ or ring +1 (850) 499-0803.
- Benthic Ocean Sports – renowned service, provides diving tutorials, hosts seminars, sells high-quality diving and snorkeling equipment, offers special diving courses for free. Click https://benthicoceansports.com/ or contact +1 (850) 353-2757 to find out more!
Best Beach Hotels in Destin
Besides excellent diving services, Destin is also famous for many wonderful beach resorts. Since you may expect to spend unforgettable days in Destin, I’ll list some of the finest coastal hotels and resorts.
The table below will help you contrast the prices and amenities of the top six waterfront hotels!
|Hotels / Resorts||Address & Contact||Price||Amenities|
|Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa||● 4000 Sandestin Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
● +1 (850) 267-9500
|From 207$||Eight bars and eateries, two hot tubes, three pools, a posh spa, indoor/outdoor event space, programs for kids.|
|The Henderson Beach Resort & Spa||● 200 Henderson Resort Way, Destin, FL 32541
● +1 (855) 702-3087
|From 221$||An ice cream shop, a seafood eatery, a beach grill, a bar, outdoor pools, fitness classes.|
|Wingate By Wyndham Destin||● 117 Palm St, Destin, FL 32541
● +1 (850) 502-8968
|From 113$||Hot breakfasts, free parking, an outdoor pool, a whirlpool tub, a fitness center, meeting space|
|Henderson Park Inn||● 2700 Scenic Hwy 98, Destin, FL 32541
● +1 (888) 836-1105
|From 219$||Breakfast buffets, afternoon tea, picnic-style lunch boxes, a communal fridge, sunset cocktails, beach chairs, bikes.|
|Hidden Dunes Beach & Tennis Resort||● 9815 US-98, Destin, FL 32550
● +1 (800) 225-7652
|From 150$||Tennis courts, tennis lessons, pools, hot tubs, a basketball court, gas grills.|
|Club Wyndham Majestic Sun||● 77 Seascape Dr, Destin, FL 32550
● +1 (850) 269-3000
|From 151$||Indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, a fitness center, a golf course, bike rentals.|
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are reading this line, you must have grasped some basic knowledge about scuba diving in Destin different sections above. Nevertheless, there may be a few more questions that you are pondering over.
When Is the Best Weather in Destin?
Since Destin is a city in Florida, its weather is cozy all year round. Therefore, ocean and air temperatures are relatively high and suitable for different kinds of water activities. However, some best times of the year when visiting Destin offer the best experience.
The summer months may be the best season to pay a visit to Destin. When setting foot in Destin from April through May, the temperatures range around the most comfortable degrees, from 70°F to 80°F. This is also the desirable weather for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Early fall might also be the perfect time to visit Destin. The climate is still warm enough for different activities under the water. However, there will be some rain during this season. The rain won’t last long so don’t worry about it!
How Deep Can I Dive in Destin?
It depends on different factors. First, the kind of watersports you take part in will decide how deep you can dive. For example, snorkeling will allow you to reach a depth of up to 30 ft under the water, while scuba diving will involve up to 100-foot diving.
You may wonder whether it’s dangerous to scuba dive to a great depth. However, if you are a professional, I believe you can feel brave and confident enough to do so. By contrast, if you are a novice, you can ask an instructor to accompany you on your dive trip.
Destin is genuinely one of the most worth-visiting beach cities. The diverse range of marine animals makes Destin unique and stand out among coastal destinations! It would be great if you stand the chance to visit this city once in your life!
There are various water animals for you to admire, from dolphins to turtles! Accordingly, several recreational activities are open to tourists to admire the mysterious and magical world under the water surface.
When it comes to scuba diving, Destin can offer some of the best dive sites for amateur and professional divers. Besides, different excellent dive operators would do wonders for your experiences! You can also spend the nights in some fine coastal hotels and resorts.
If you intend to travel with your family or a group of friends, share my article so that they can access some helpful information. By reading this topic, I hope you can prepare for some great moments in Destin!lorida ranks among the world’s most extensive systems!
The state is also famous for its sunny weather. It sounds like a perfect place for water sports, right? If you mainly care about scuba diving in Florida, don’t cease to scroll! Don’t worry because I’ve got your back, friends! Dive guides, dive sites, and beach resorts are listed below!
How to See Florida as a Local
The aquamarine world of Florida is as uncanny and fascinating as in your imagination! Since the vast sea surrounds the state, beach life is familiar for local people. Hence, there’s no better way to explore Florida than to discover underwater life!
There are many famous dive sites in Florida, from North to South. However, each area has its distinctive features. More interesting is a large number of water recreational activities like scuba diving and snorkeling! Remember to prepare some scuba suits for a dynamic holiday!
Additionally, when visiting Destin, a city in Northwest Florida, you will stand a chance to admire the Emerald Coast with white sandy beaches. The destination is named for its crystal clear water! Trust me! Nothing would beat a summer day at this beach paradise!
Another place of interest is Miami. Let me tell you a little fun fact about this city! Around fifty shipwrecks were found in the sea of Miami. These samples would pique the interest of divers worldwide, I bet. Bringing a GoPro camera to take some pictures is not a bad idea!
Furthermore, Florida also has Disneyland! There are four theme parks included. Other amenities like water parks, golf courses, themed hotels, shopping centers, and campsites are also open to tourism. Such a wonderful place, right?
Top Dive Sites in Florida
To list all the available dive sites in Florida could take all day long. Hence, why don’t we just pay attention to some of the most worth-visiting sites? To be specific, I nominate six candidates below!
Panhandle can offer you as many as four renowned dive sites, namely Pensacola, Destin, Panama City, and Vortex Spring. What’s impressive is that you will be granted a chance to immerse in warm gulf water and explore gigantic shipwrecks.
Scuba diving in Pensacola Florida will be an unforgettable experience. The world’s largest artificial reef is situated here! The pyramid-like concrete structures, also known as “grouper ghetto,” attract tons of fish so that divers can admire them from a close distance.
Meanwhile, the Vortex Spring is home to diverse freshwater species, from eels to koi carps. Two artificial caverns, which are about 55 feet long, are open to all divers, even beginners! A buoyed line will warrant the safety of both amateur and professional sportspeople.
Sunken airplanes and army tanks make scuba diving in Destin Florida more intriguing. Besides, species of sponges and corals contribute to aquamarine biodiversity. You can expect the same prospect as in a pirate movie by diving in Destin!
|Water temperatures (°F)||80 (summer) / 50 (winter)|
200 (Vortex Spring)
|Best Time To Dive||April – October|
Located in northeastern Florida, the dive site of Jacksonville is far from the seashore. In other words, this diving area is in open water rather than offshore water. This may explain why the depth of Jacksonville is not suitable for novice or recreational divers.
However, if you are a trained diving enthusiast, don’t hesitate to give Jacksonville a go! It’s worth it! Fish-packed limestone ledges are waiting for you! Since you will go deep down in the water, don’t forget to equip yourself with a high-quality scuba tank!
One more thing to discover at Jacksonville is the landing craft called Casablanca. This mighty wreck sunk in 1972! More than ten years later, in 1986, a freighter named Anna shrunk to the depth of 225ft. Remember to pay a visit!
|Water temperatures (°F)||80 (peak)|
|Best Time To Dive||May – September|
3. Gulf Coast
When talking about the Gulf Coast, the two diving spots that spring to mind would be Sarasota and Venice. Affected by the flow of the Mexico sea, both sites offer divers warm water and outstanding visibility.
Scuba diving in Sarasota Florida is an ideal activity. The limestone ledges, which are no more than five miles off the high-rise condos, house various species of fish as well as aquamarine creatures. Another striking feature is the wreck of the British steamship sunk in 1919.
Meanwhile, scuba diving in Venice Florida just brings another vibe. To be more specific, the ancient riverbed in Venice holds an exhibition of different sharks’ teeth. These samples can even cost hundreds of dollars.
|Water temperatures (°F)||80 (summer) / 60 (winter)|
|Best Time To Dive||July – December|
4. Crystal River
The Crystal River is well known for the King’s Bay – the gathering spot of manatees. In fact, from November, these creatures migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to warmer waters and stay there until April.
Manatees are large. Gigantic as they are, manatees are very gentle to human beings. Therefore, it will be super interesting to see them underwater with your naked eyes. Don’t hesitate to book a ticket to Crystal River now!
However, you should be informed that manatees are among the species protected by the national authorities. Hence, it is illegal to chase or hunt manatees in the wild. Let’s explore and conserve the wildlife simultaneously!
|Water temperatures (°F)||72 (summer) / 68 (winter)|
|Visibility (Ft)||200 or over|
|Best Time To Dive||November – December / January – March|
5. Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to scuba diving in South Florida, Fort Lauderdale is a must! This city is often regarded as “the Venice of America,” for multiple canals criss-cross it. A campaign has allowed this place to hold numerous watersports.
In particular, an artificial reef project contributes to setting up three retired oil platforms, also known as Tenneco Towers. In addition, plenty of wrecks are also distributed to the seabed to promote tourism.
Surrounding the rigs are sponges and colorful corals. The place is home to a dense population of grunts – a saltwater fish species. Snappers can also be seen here. Bull sharks are said to swim to Fort Lauderdale on an occasional basis.
|Water temperatures (°F)||80 (summer) / 70 (winter)|
|Visibility (Ft)||Around 100|
|Best Time To Dive||All year round|
6. Florida Keys
Key Largo, Islamorada, Key West, and Big Pine Key are common names when people think of scuba diving in the Florida Keys. These sites can offer diving service all year long! However, visibility is said to be best from spring through fall!
Key Largo has no shipwrecks at all. Instead, it is teeming with vivid coral reefs and a wide range of fishes. Meanwhile, Islamorada is well-known for two massive wrecks, namely Eagle and Cannabis Cruiser. The site also houses mangrove snappers and jewfish.
In Big Pine Key, a reputed wreck called the Adolphus Busch Senior has sparked the interest of divers all over the world. Likewise, Key West is famous for the wreckage of Cayman Salvager, which is now covered with marine life.
|Water temperatures (°F)||80 (peak)|
|Visibility (Ft)||Around 100|
|Best Time To Dive||March – May|
If you are already excited to go diving after looking over all the beautiful sites above, don’t ignore this section but scan through it quickly. It’s crucial to joke down some essential information before scuba diving, right?
In particular, I will deliver some knowledge about the desirable conditions for scuba diving first. Next, you had better learn about some techniques and diving expenses. Finally, there will be instructions on how to get to Florida!
1. Diving Conditions
Generally speaking, the climate in Florida allows divers to experience the underwater all year round as the weather is usually warm. However, there will be some seasons when visibility is the best. Make sure you do some research!
Below are the ideal conditions for scuba diving:
|Air temperatures||68°F – 82°F|
|Water temperatures||55°F – 80°F|
|Water visibility||50 ft – 100 ft|
|Wetsuit Thickness||3 mm – 5 mm (summer)
6 mm – 7 mm (winter)
There is no doubt that scuba diving requires trained maneuvers and special equipment. Don’t miss this part because it will help protect yourself from any possible danger while enjoying the magical life under the water!
In terms of diving techniques, it’s advisable to go through some scuba diving exercises to get used to different sets of movements. By doing this, you can wish to have a wonderful moment underwater without having any difficulties!
Besides, grasp some theoretical knowledge of scuba diving, too! For example, let’s learn about how old you have to be to scuba dive to make sure all your family members or friends can experience this sport! How deep you can scuba dive is also a great question to ponder!
Additionally, since some people may ask “How much does it cost to go scuba diving?”, I will provide brief information about diving budgets. Divers tend to spend 70$ – 200$ for a single dive, while diving in open water with an instructor costs from 200$ to more than 600$.
The best way to get to Florida is by plane, as the vast ocean surrounds the state. There are many major airports in Florida, including Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.
All the airports are served by either United Airlines or Delta Airlines. I bet you guys are familiar with these two brands! Besides, there are carriers from Europes in Miami and Orlando, so you can travel to and from abroad!
The weather in Florida makes it a tourist destination all year round. No matter when you visit Florida, you can go for a scuba dive. That also explains why the airfares are comparatively high during the year.
Commuting within Florida is another issue to consider. You can get around Florida by using cars, bikes, coaches, and cabs. Hiring a car to travel around Florida is the most popular trend among all the listed options!
Suggested Gadgets for Scuba Diving
Like other watersports, scuba divers need to be equipped with special equipment. Ignoring these lines may be a big mistake if you want to prepare for a smooth and enjoyable dive! Let’s find out what are the necessary diving gadgets!
First and foremost, a comfortable scuba wetsuit is exactly what you need! Be careful when opting for the size and thickness of the suit! Next, move on to shop for scuba masks and scuba tanks! I suggest you should ask the salesman for the best recommendations!
A pair of scuba fins would also do wonders for your diving experience as they will help you propel through the water effortlessly. Furthermore, you need to purchase some scuba lights if you go diving in caves or in the vicinity of shipwrecks where there are no lights.
Last but not least, couples of dive watches could also be on your wishlist. It’s cool to be aware of the date and time while you are under the water, right? What’s more, if you want to take pictures of aquamarine life, don’t hesitate to pay for some underwater cameras!
Water Activities in Florida
Multiple places of interest have attracted thousands of visitors to Florida every year. Since the open sea surrounds the state, its aquamarine life is among the most diverse ecosystems. In addition, the unique geographical location also allows a variety of watersports.
A distinctive feature of Florida is that its weather is warm all year round, enabling tourists to participate in different water activities whenever they want to. Let’s scrutinize some engaging recreational activities underwater!
If you discard scuba diving out of your to-do list in Florida, you are making a huge mistake! Lied between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, Florida is home to various marine creatures. The underwater scenery is going to take your breath away!
Besides vast beaches, there are hundreds of lakes for divers who have a soft spot for freshwater marine life. Florida owns a host of both natural and artificial coral reef barriers, promising to offer tourists the best experience.
Moreover, there are mighty shipwrecks under the open water of Florida. It will be super interesting to explore the underwater world and huge mystery under the seabed at the same time. Don’t forget to hire an instructor for your safety!
Snorkeling to admire the wildlife in Florida is extremely fun. Some might wonder: “Snorkeling or scuba diving, which one is worth the money?” The answer is both! It is because each activity has its own merits and offers memorable experiences.
There are hundreds of snorkeling sites within Florida. However, when talking about the best place to snorkel, I can’t help but utter the name “John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park”! This exciting spot won’t let you down!
This spot offers one of the most extensive coral reef systems in Florida! Therefore, incredible aquamarine biodiversity can be expected. What are you waiting for? Explore the colorful seafloor right now!
Parasailing is one of the most delightful things to do in Florida. In case you’ve had enough of the underwater world, give parasailing a go to fly up high in the blue sky. From there, you can expect a spectacular view!
Have you ever imagined admiring the pristine sand and turquoise ocean from high latitudes? No matter what the answer is, come to Siesta Key to experience the scenario in your imagination in real life!
When it comes to top extreme water sports to try in Florida, wakeboarding should be on your list! This activity might be suitable for people from various age groups with different skills levels. As long as you are brave enough, you can always surf on a wakeboard!
The best place for this kind of sport is Orlando. You can hire even the most advanced and up-to-date gadgets here. Additionally, there are also wakeboarding professionals to instruct you if you are going for your first try.
Perhaps one of you is looking for a more peaceful experience. This is exactly what you need! It’s paddleboarding! Once you learn to keep balance on the paddleboard, you can let yourself float on the crystal clear water on sunny summer days.
Key West will make your paddle-boarding experience even more unforgettable. The excellent visibility will allow you to watch the marine life while floating. You can also admire different species of birds as Key West houses two National Wildlife Refuges.
Best Dive Operators in Florida
Suppose you wish to have a whale of time while scuba diving; you may need the assistance from the best dive operators. Since Florida is a paradise for diving, there are multiple choices of excellent services. Below are some of the top dive operators!
- Florida Keys Dive Center – offers spearfishing service, guided scuba diving tours daily, introductory diving tutorials, personal dive charters, crews adept at wreck diving. Check the information at https://www.floridakeysdivecenter.com/ or ring +1 (305) 852-4599!
- Islamorada Dive Center – sells high-quality diving gear, offers more than 50 dive sites, daily diving trips, diving classes, beautiful hotels, endorsement by Gordon Ramsay! Click https://www.islamoradadivecenter.com/ or dial +1 (305) 664-3483 if you are interested!
- Rainbow Reef Dive Center – sells several gadgets for scuba diving, offers private and group service, snorkel & dive trips, wireless Internet access, dive training courses, gear rentals. Find information at https://www.rainbowreef.com/ or dial +1 (800) 457-4354.
Best Coastal Hotels in Florida
Accommodation is a crucial concern when going on a holiday, right? It’s a pity not to find a terrific hotel or resort to relax during your traveling journey. Don’t worry, my dear! I will shortlist some excellent hotels for your experience in the dreamland of Florida!
Thousands of hotels are constructed in Florida – a popular tourist attraction. There’s no doubt about that. But if you wish to go scuba diving or join in other water activities, coastal hotels and resorts seem to be the optimum choices, don’t they?
Hotels / Resorts
|Category||Address & Contact||Price||Best For||
Pros / Cons
|One Ocean Resort & Spa||
|● 1 Ocean Blvd Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
● (805) 232-0453
$189 – $339
|Couples||● Pros: off-campus entertainment, fees include discounts for restaurants and shops, pet-friendly.
● Cons: pets are confined to certain areas.
|Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa||
|● 4000 Sandestin Boulevard South, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
● (805) 267-9500
$194 – $407
|Groups, family, business travelers||● Pros: outdoor pools, golf courses, business center, babysitting service, fitness center, bars & spas.
● Cons: crowded, require reservations for dining.
|Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort||
|● 3030 Holiday Drive,Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
● (954) 525-4000
$199 – $329
|Groups, family, business travelers, friends||● Pros: private beach, watersport rentals, ping-pong tables, tennis courts, event space, yoga classes, kids’ surf club.
● Cons: lack of service.
|W Fort Lauderdale||
|● 401 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard,Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
● (954) 414-8200
$249 – $449
|Family, friends, couples||● Pros: boot camp classes and sunrise yoga class included in accommodation fees, pet programs, fitness center.
● Cons: puzzling room categories.
|Omni Amelia Island Resort||
|● 39 Beach Lagoon Road, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
● (904) 261-6161 / +1 (904) 432-1467
$256 – $416
|Family, couples||● Pros: wide ranges of seafood restaurants, mesmerizing view, kids’ clubs, golf courses, meeting space.
● Cons: Prolonged maintenance.
|Treasure Island Beach Resort||
|● 10800 Gulf Blvd, Treasure Island, FL 33706
● (855) 660-6366
$288 – $512
|Couples, friends||● Pros: hospitable atmosphere, beach yoga, hot tubs.
● Cons: not very large room.
|The Don Cesar And Beach House Suites||
|● 3860 Gulf Boulevard,St. Pete Beach, FL 33706
● (844) 264-3229
$329 – $429
|Family, friends, couples||● Pros: large spa site, kids’ programs, pet programs, fitness centers
● Cons: extra fees on watersports
|JW Marriott Marco Island||
|● 400 South Collier Boulevard, Marco Island, FL 34145
● (800) 438-4373
$329 – $489
|Family, friends, couples||● Pros: live beach webcam, heated pools, sauna, tennis courts, volleyball courts, golf courses, whirlpool, children’s activities.
● Cons: services for both kids and adults are extra.
|Carillon Miami Wellness Resort||
|● 6801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33141
● (866) 800-3858
$359 – $639
|Friends, couples||● Pros: emotional, relationship, and thermal therapies; health programs, fitness center, life coaching, salon, event space.
● Cons: services like therapies and health programs are extra.
|WaterColor Inn Resort||
|● 34 Goldenrod Circle Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
● (850) 534-5000
$392 – $612
|Family, couples||● Pros: hiking trails, excellent kayak / canoe rentals, free Wi-fi, outdoor movies, spas, fitness center.
● Cons: remote location.
Frequently Asked Question
Some minor issues are not included in the sections above. Hence, this is a short list of frequently asked questions. If you find yourself pondering over the same problem, don’t hesitate to read all these lines!
What Are the Average Ocean Temperatures of Florida’s Beaches?
As you know, Florida is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Sea. Therefore, there are actually two different kinds of waters in Florida. The temperatures of the two flows are accordingly not similar.
The ocean temperature in the Atlantic often peaks between 85°F during the summer months. The hottest beach is in Miami, where the temperature can increase to 86°F. Stuart Beach has cooler weather with an average water temperature of around 79°F.
The water of the Gulf of Mexico is comparatively warmer. In summer, the ocean temperature can reach 87°F in Key West and Naples. Meanwhile, the weather in Pensacola is more refreshing as the average water temperature here is 85°F.
When Is Hurricane Season in Florida?
Storm season in Florida starts in late summer, around the beginning of June. It normally lasts until the end of November each year. Remember to watch the weather forecast if you want to have a wonderful time in Florida!
Florida is truly a paradise for your summer vacation. Hundreds of miles of coastlines give rise to several seaside destinations that bring vibrant beach vibes. Spend the best time and save the best memories with your family and friends in Florida!
Numerous water activities will make your summer days more memorable. Among the most exciting water sports is scuba diving. Please give it a go and enjoy a wonderful moment underwater with schools of fish and turtles!
If scuba diving is new to you, don’t worry because this article includes everything you need, from the best dive sites in Florida to good dive guides! You can also find a list of coastal resorts if you want to stay overnight in Florida.
Your friends and family can also reap huge benefits from this article, so don’t be shy to click the share button! I hope to accompany you in the preparation of your journey to Florida!