A two hour drive north of Tampa, and can you dive in Crystal River’s King Spring. Caverns start at 30 feet (9 meters) and drop down to 50 feet (15 meters). Expect to see sheephead with their distinct vertical stripes and human like teeth as you descend for the main attraction – the manatee. Often referred to as a sea-cow, this relative of the elephant has a docile face dominated by its whiskered, upper lip. Located at Key Largo – 50 minutes from Miami – is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park with 40 living coral species and 650 varieties of fish. Take a selfie at 25 feet (7 meters) with a bronze statue of Jesus Christ, his hands reaching for your bubbles that head to the surface. The Molasses Reef (up to 70 feet deep (21 meters)) has spur-and-groove formations, boulder corals, caves, lobsters, turtles and rays. Don’t be scared by a face-to-face encounter with a gentle looking goliath grouper. Advanced divers can explore the US Coast Guard’s sunken Bibb, a cutter that lies on her starboard side at 135 feet (41 meters) – you may be accompanied by schooling barracuda.If you’re an advanced diver looking to develop your skills then head to Peacock Springs, located in the Northern swamplands, and take a cavern or cave diving specialty course. You will then be able to explore the spring water caverns which extend for thousands of feet, and have a consistent water temperature of 72° F (22° C).Florida offers great variety, and whatever your skill level it also offers your next challenge.
Best Scuba Diving Spots in Florida
Ginnie Springs & Peacock Springs
Florida Sea Life
Florida’s oceans contain pelagic such as sea turtles, sharks, whales, and sailfish with its elongated bill and distinctive sail that often stretches the entire length of its back.The reefs contain a vast array of tropical species such as the foureye butterflyfish with a large, false eye near its fin which may exist to confuse predators. Wonderful midnight parrot fish have patches of moonlight on their otherwise dark, blue scales. The corals are alive with knobbly sea rods – grey and naked like a tree after a forest fire – and stony symmetrical brain coral.If the manatees haven’t satisfied you, then during the summer months lemon sharks can be found in the shallower waters around the reefs.
How To Get There
Depending on your destination, Florida has three main international airports located in Orlando (mid central), Tampa (west coast), and Miami (south). The state is well served by domestic airports to the major cities, including Key West.Independent travelers can easily rent a car at the airports.