Shore diving offers an accessible and affordable way to explore the underwater world. By entering the water directly from the beach and eliminating the need for a boat, anyone can experience the joy of scuba diving or snorkeling. Florida, in particular, offers a diverse coastline with a variety of dive sites, from coral reefs to wrecks. Here are some notable locations where you can enjoy shore diving in Florida.
Blue Heron Bridge, Riviera Beach, FL
Blue Heron Bridge is not only a premier shore diving destination in the Palm Beaches but throughout the state of Florida. The spot is known for its shallow lagoon (4 feet at the entry point to 20 feet near a boat wreck), perfect for beginners and photographers. You can wade into the water from Phil Foster Park, located under Blue Heron Bridge. Once underwater, you may encounter exotic sea creatures such as octopuses, seahorses, manatees, or plenty of tropical fish. Be sure to time your dive around slack tide as currents in the area can be pretty treacherous.
Devils Den, Williston, FL
Looking for a freshwater shore diving experience in Florida? Devil's Den is nestled within an underground spring that’s inside a dry cave and offers excellent day or night diving opportunities. This natural wonder is known for its crystal-clear waters and ancient fossil beds, some dating back millions of years! You can dive at Devil’s Den seven days a week with a proper certification level of Open Water or above. Dive buddies are required for admission.
Pompano Beach, FL
The combination of easy beach entries and underwater landscapes makes Pompano Beach a top destination for divers. Just off the shore are some of the most renowned wreck sites in the region, providing an exciting challenge for advanced divers seeking to explore those underwater depths.
Ginnie Springs, FL
The exceptionally clear waters and comfortable year-round temperature of Ginnie Springs make it a great spot for scuba diving. This top shore diving destination boasts a diverse range of underwater environments, including Ginnie Ballroom, a safe and accessible underwater cavern (even for divers without formal cavern training!). You can explore the large, bowl-shaped basin that leads to the cavern before being greeted by an incredible view from the upper room. The cavern's walls, made of highly reflective limestone, enhance its natural beauty, making it a must-see for certified divers of all levels.
Peanut Island, FL
Snorkeling and diving are popular in the Palm Beaches, especially Peanut Island, which is known for its clear, shallow waters and diverse marine life (including manatees and sting rays!). The island is easily accessible by boat or water taxi, and once you’re there, you can walk into the blue-green lagoon to start your adventure. Peanut Island is a great choice for families and divers of all skill levels; well-marked snorkeling trails allow you to safely explore while observing efforts to preserve delicate marine habitats.
Venice Beach, FL
Earning its title as the "Shark Tooth Capital of the World," Venice Beach offers a totally unique underwater adventure. Divers flock here to scour the ocean floor for fossilized shark teeth (Megalodon teeth, whale vertebra, mastodon teeth!) and other marine fossils. Stretching over 14 miles from Casey Key to Manasota Key, there are countless opportunities for shore diving. Service Club Park is one of the top diving spots for shark teeth hunting and conveniently offers showers for use before and after your dive.
Rainbow River, Dunnellon, FL
Rainbow River is ideal for a freshwater drift diving or snorkel experience. Suitable for all skill levels, this Florida shore diving destination offers serene spots for beginners and more adventurous areas for seasoned divers. Here you can enjoy 100 feet of visibility and a constant temperature of 72 degrees. The river extends for 7 miles, with a maximum depth of 20 feet. Rainbow River is dotted with small caverns and bubbling springs with plenty of freshwater fish along the way.
Florida's coastlines are a treasure trove of diverse and beautiful dive sites. With opportunities to dive right off the shore, people of all skill levels can easily access reefs and wrecks. As you plan your next dive — no matter if it’s freshwater spring or right off the beach — make sure you’re well-stocked with comfortable apparel. Grateful Diver supplies UV shirts, neck gaiters, or hats to provide multi-functional protection against the sun, wind, dust, and insects on your next adventure. Plus, a portion of each purchase goes to Reef Relief's efforts to save the coral reef! See you on the water.