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Money: USD
Language:
English 82.1%,
Spanish 10.7%
Time Zone:
GMT -5 hours
Sun 10:42:40
Phone Code: +1
Religion:
Protestant 52%,
Catholic 24%
Electricity: 120V
United States (south) Scuba Destination Info:
      Overall summary of United States (south)
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The south of the United States (for our purposes) runs around the Florida peninsula, and then along the costal areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, finishing at the Mexico border. Most of the diving is focused around Florida and the popular Keys, but there are also some well known locations around the southern state coasts.

Florida is set up as a very easy tourist destination. Accomodation and facilities are plentiful with the obvious holiday attractions like Disney Studios and holiday parks of Orlando. A great family destination if a little formulaic.

For the diver the main draw tends to be the Keys, a chain of 34 islands starting just south of Miami and ending up at Key West and it's famous sunsets! In between you have Key Biscayne, the Marathon Keys, and Key Largo (home of the Duane and the Speigel Grove for the wreckies). The keys are connected by the Overseas Highway - US Route 1, a set of bridges and roads that join the islands like a necklace of pearls. The lifestyle gets more relaxed as you head west and the crowds thin out until you hit Key West, where it all comes flooding back. Some great diving in warm waters.

As already mentioned this is a superb location for wreck lovers. All along the florida coast to the keys are a range of artificial and natural wrecks for all levels. Take a look at the wreck search page to see them all.

But the Keys are not the only diving Florida has to offer, along the east coast are multiple dive locations such as Palm Bay, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and Blue Springs. Florida has an advanced attitude to artifical reefs and these locations can also come up with some interesting dives such as the 2 M60 Army tanks at Miamai Beach, or the Mercedes in Fort Lauderdale.

On the west coast there is Crystal River and the Florida Springs where you can snorkel with Manatees, or go Cavern diving.

Moving away from Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, there are 2 special dive sites that take a bit more work to get to. Decommissioned Oil Rigs close to the outflow of the Mississippi river can produce some great dives but are not for the faint hearted. Whilst the Flower Gardens Banks Marine Sanctuary, 100 miles from land are spectacular salt domes covered in coral. Manta rays and Whale Sharks have been seen here. The seas can be tough and very unforgiving and the dive season runs from February through to October. Served by Liveaboard, you motor out overnight to start the first dive in the morning.
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      How to get to United States (south)
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      Top travel tips for United States (south)
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      What's the diving like in United States (south)
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      Best wreck dives in United States (south)
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      Chance of big fish in United States (south)
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      Coral quality in United States (south)
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      Best time to dive in United States (south)
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      What to take to United States (south)
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Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in United States (south):

Boca Raton / Deerfield Beach
Diving in SE Florida is fantastic. All the dive sites from Delray Beach in the north to Boca Raton and Deerfield beach in the South are within one mile of the shoreline. Three reef lines offer depths from 15 to 150 feet with the most popular sites be...
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Crystal River
From snorkeling with the manatees, to cavern diving, to crystal clear river diving...this is the place to go. Water temps stay at a nice 73 degrees. Visibility will range from 10 ft. to 200 ft. depending on where you are diving. If you are looking...
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Florida Gulf Coast
The Florida Gulf Coast waters are sub-tropical which means there is little hard coral or brightly colored fish but it makes up for that with a tremendous variety of beautiful sponges, soft corals and many, many invertebrates. Expect visibility t...
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Florida Springs
The water is warm,viz is excellant and always plenty of wildlife to see. The manatee are there from October onwards as the winter comes in and although it is best to snorkel with them it is a wonderful expeirence. A great place for families as will y...
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Flower Gardens Banks Marine Sanctuary
Picture yourself over 100 miles from land, in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. At times, the seas can be very unforgiving, and the weather can turn foul in an instant. But here, in the midst of this unpredictable Gulf, lie three of the most beautif...
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Key Largo
The diving was superb in May 2006. The Heavy Metal Tour of the Eagle, Duane and Speigel Grove made up our Wreck Speciality dives. These wrecks, along with the Benwood, offer a great variety of scale, condition, orientation and depth on which to work ...
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Key West
The diving in Key West is great, year round. Temperatures range from 86F in the summer to about 73F in the coldest months (I'd say January-March), depending on the depth you like. Visibility is generally about 50', but there is a large range. You ...
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Oil Rigs in Gulf of Mexico
For every terrific or easy day of diving the rigs, there are likely 100 days where the conditions will test and challenge even the most experienced of divers. In short, the 'rigs' are not for the meek or inexperienced. As the Mississippi River fl...
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Panama City
Vortex Spring is located north of Panama City, in a little town on I-95 called Ponce de Leon. Vortex Spring is a small diving resort a short drive north of PdL that has an awesome area for swimmers (including a rope swing, trapese, and slide). The...
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Pensacola, Florida
During the past years combined efforts of the Escambia County Marine Recreation Committee, the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Navy have greatly enhanced the recreational opportunities for sport divers in the Gulf waters just out from Pensacola B...
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South Padre Island
Diving here is generally good. Most dives lie below 100ft due to surf and kicked up sand at shallow depths. Lots and lots of things to do. You will never be bored. Dolphin watches, good seafood, banana boats, nice sand, and more await you. V...
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West Palm Beach Florida
West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and North Palm Beach is the diving destination for divers that are experienced with Florida diving. It is here that the warm waters of the Gulf Stream come closest to the east coast. It keeps the water here warm and clear....
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