Opportunities for scuba diving Destin Florida lie all over the region and present some really unique experiences with wrecks and other underwater anomalies. Divers and snorkelers seeking out clear conditions, rich marine life, and captivating sunken treasures need not look any farther than the Emerald Coast. Destin diving is pleasingly clear—more so than many other Florida dive spots. Plenty of colorful, soft corals and teeming reefs brighten up the underwater landscape. There are ample Destin dive sites ideal for numerous abilities so even if diving is a new adventure, there are plenty of platforms to take off from. Many dive tours and guides are found in shops set up around the Destin Harbor.
Destin Florida is littered with awesome dive sites. By the Destin Pass, the jetties at the entrance are of keen interest for abundant marine life, including loggerhead turtles and scores tropical fish. If you’re lucky enough to see the dolphins, there’s no need to pay for one of the Destin dolphin cruises. The area is home to grass flats, too, which attract large numbers of fish and other sea life. The Sand Dollar Artifical Reef is another tried-and-true spot nearby that’s home to the 93-foot Mohawk Chief sunken tugboat, a cluster of patch reefs at about 700 feet apart in a hexagon arrangement around the boat.
Scuba diving Destin Florida sites illustrate how large a role the US Air Force has played in Destin’s history. There are plenty of missile components and even airplanes scattered over the ocean bottom from years of Air Force training. Destin wreck dives are also popular as are the many artificial reefs around Destin’s waters. Descending into the deepest waters at renowned Destin dive sites means a look at some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures; manta rays spanning more than six feet, groups of playful dolphins, graceful turtles, large stingrays, and massive schools of migrating fish.
Ample limestone shelves are a large part of Destin diving. Sometimes fishing nearby can be a good bet too as fish eat the microscopic organisms and smaller fish feeding off the ledges. They’re comprised of parts of the DeSoto Canyon, which opens opportunities for diving extremely deep water closer to the coastline than almost any other area in the Gulf of Mexico. At these popular Destin dive sites, vibrantly colored sea whips, basket and finger sponges, and plenty of kaleidoscopic sea corals wrap themselves over the ledges creating a brilliant vision and gratifying underwater dive.
One of the best spots for Destin diving is where the old Destin Bay Bridge was submersed at about 70 feet in the later 1970s southeast of East Pass. Today it is a haven for marine life. The old Destin Bay Bridge is also a prime location for diving when working toward certification, and renowned as a great spot for spearfishing, particularly for flounder. A diving spot simply named The Tanks, is the location of fourteen M-60 armored tanks, the main component of the Okaloosa County Artificial Reef Program which began in 1994. The Tanks sit at the same depths as the Bay Bridge and remain unbroken.
Scuba diving Destin Florida means visiting a must-dive spot called Miss Louise, and almost 100-foot vessel sunk in 1997 as part of the same program as The Tanks. Sitting at about 60-feet below the surface, Destin diving here means sightings of puffer fish, belted sandfish, and gray snapper. Destin wreck dives include the Thomas Hayward or Liberty Ship, a 350-foot ship built in 1942 and sunk in 1977, decades after significant damage in Europe from an accident, a safe return home, and a repurchase by the Florida Department of Natural Resources. The FDNR sunk the Hayward less than ten miles from East Pass near a popular reef called White Hill. It stands almost 30 feet off the bottom and is the biggest of all underwater attractions in Destin.