Scuba diving in Destin Florida

If you’re looking for an unforgettable scuba diving experience, look no further than Destin, Florida. With its clear waters, diverse marine life, and numerous wrecks and reefs, this Florida Panhandle destination is a haven for scuba divers of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s plenty to discover. In this ultimate guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about scuba diving in Destin, from the best dive sites to the local dive shops.

Where to Dive in Destin

Destin is home to several amazing dive sites, each with its unique underwater landscape. Here are some of the best ones:

The USS Oriskany

This decommissioned aircraft carrier was intentionally sunk in 2006 to create an artificial reef, and it has since become one of the most popular dive sites in Florida. The Oriskany sits 212 feet below the surface, with its highest point at 84 feet. Divers can explore the ship’s interior and exterior and spot a wide variety of marine life, including barracudas, octopuses, and sea turtles.

The Bridge Rubble

Located just a few hundred yards offshore, the Bridge Rubble is the remnants of a bridge that was destroyed by Hurricane Opal in 1995. Today, the rubble forms an artificial reef that is home to a wide variety of sea creatures, from colorful angelfish to curious bottlenose dolphins.

The South Walton Trench

This deep underwater trench begins at around 70 feet and descends to over 100 feet. It’s a popular spot for advanced divers due to the depth and the sometimes strong currents. Divers can expect to see schools of colorful fish, eels, and the occasional shark.

Best Time to Dive in Destin

The best time to scuba dive in Destin is during the summer months, between June and September. The water is warm and clear, with excellent visibility, and the marine life is at its most abundant. That being said, scuba diving is available year-round in Destin, with winter months offering fewer crowds and sometimes better visibility.

Local Dive Shops

There are several reputable dive shops in Destin that offer scuba diving courses, gear rental, and guided tours. Some of the best ones include:

Scuba Tech

This PADI 5-star dive center has been operating in Destin for over 30 years and offers a wide range of courses, from beginner to advanced levels.

Destin Dive Center

Destin Dive Center is a full-service dive shop that offers everything from equipment rentals to guided dive trips. They also have a huge selection of dive gear for purchase.

Emerald Coast Scuba

Located in nearby Fort Walton Beach, Emerald Coast Scuba is a PADI 5-star IDC training center that offers courses in scuba diving, freediving, and spearfishing.

Tips for Scuba Diving in Destin

Here are some things to keep in mind when scuba diving in Destin:

Always dive with a buddy and check each other’s gear before entering the water.
Pay attention to the weather conditions and avoid diving if it’s too windy or there’s a storm brewing.
Respect the marine life and don’t touch or disturb them.
Be mindful of your air consumption and stay within your limits.
Take only photos and memories, and leave nothing behind.

Scuba diving in Destin, Florida, is an incredible experience that divers of all levels should not miss. With its clear waters, diverse marine life, and fantastic dive sites, Destin is a true paradise for scuba enthusiasts. Whether you’re exploring the USS Oriskany or the Bridge Rubble, diving with a reputable dive shop, or simply taking in the stunning underwater surroundings, Destin has something truly unique to offer. So grab your gear, get ready to dive, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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