5 South Florida Diving Spots Worth Taking the Plunge

The Sea Emperor Wreck, AKA "Aqua Zoo." Photo provided by Nikole Heath.

Whether snorkeling or scuba diving is second nature or a brand-new hobby, there are plenty of sites across South Florida for everyone—and a chance to explore life beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s our summer dive list to get you started.

Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park

Divers under Blue Heron Bridge. Photo provided by Nikole Heath.
Divers under Blue Heron Bridge. Photo provided by Nikole Heath.

Voted “Best Shore Dive in the USA,” this snorkel spot on the Intracoastal Waterway in Lake Worth is prime snorkeling real estate to see batfish, frogfish, octopus, pipefish, seahorses and sea turtles, to name a few. It’s ideal for new divers, snorkelers and photographers because of its shallow depth between 5 and 20 feet. Grab a pair of goggles, a set of fins and a snorkel, and take in the sights.

Breakers Reef

A whale shark swims with a school of fish at Breakers Reef. Photo by Dennis Whitestone.
A whale shark swims with a school of fish at Breakers Reef. Photo by Dennis Whitestone.

Named after the Breakers Hotel, this West Palm Beach site is great for Open Water-certified divers, with depths of 50 to 65 feet. The east side of the dive is deeper, and divers who want to lobster or spearfish are allowed to do so. In the spring and summer, keep an eye out for green, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles.

Lady Luck Wreck

The Lady Luck Wreck in Pompano Beach. Photo provided by Nikole Heath.
The Lady Luck Wreck in Pompano Beach. Photo provided by Nikole Heath.

This casino-themed shipwreck in Pompano Beach gives divers the chance to explore 16 rooms, the captain’s deck, engine room, galley and surroundings. Look for the statue of the mermaid cocktail waitress, the faux casino in the main deck and other details, which were designed by Pompano artist Dennis MacDonald. Nikole Heath of Force-E in Boca Raton says this is one of the most popular dives in the area and is between 80 and 130 feet deep.

San Remo Reef

San Remo Reef is about 3 miles north of the Boca Inlet. Photo provided by Nikole Heath.
San Remo Reef is about 3 miles north of the Boca Inlet. Photo provided by Nikole Heath.

For a change of pace, try night diving or drift diving at San Remo Reef. The caves and overhangs make for great scenery and are home to octopus, squid and tropical fish. This reef is only 3 miles north of the Boca Inlet, and the depth ranges from 45 to 65 feet.

Sea Emperor Wreck

The Sea Emperor Wreck, AKA "Aqua Zoo." Photo provided by Nikole Heath.
The Sea Emperor Wreck, AKA “Aqua Zoo.” Photo provided by Nikole Heath.

Also known as the “Aqua Zoo,” the Sea Emperor in Boca Raton is the perfect place to spot moray eels, stingrays and nurse sharks. The barge is upside down and contains 1,600 tons of drainage culverts at a depth of 70 feet. A second dive site, the United Caribbean wreck, is only 300 feet south of the “Aqua Zoo” and is easily accessible—just follow the coral trail.


This story comes from our July/August 2017 issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to the magazine