Travel & Outdoors

Best Scuba Diving Spots

August 19, 2012 2:01 PM

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Diver

While the Florida Keys may be known for their fishing and scuba diving locations, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties have some of the best spots to scuba dive in the nation. From natural reefs to sunken ships, it’s amazing what can be found off our shores. Some of the best reefs and wrecks can be found in 60 to 80 feet of water, making it perfect for beginners through advanced divers to check them out. Here are some of our top picks.

yankee Best Scuba Diving Spots

(Source: AP)

Jay Scutti

Off Ft. Lauderdale

Sunk in Sept. 1986, this 95 foot harbor tugboat was confiscated in a drug smuggling operation. It was bought at auction by a man who renamed it the Jay Scutti after his son. The wreck sits in 70 feet of water and is the centered between a 45 foot wreck named the Moonshot and a 95 foot sailboat Pride; the wrecks are tethered together by a cable. Divers can usually explore two of the wrecks in one dive. Lots of fish inhabit the Jay Scutti and it’s possible to enter the wreck through various openings.

hammerhead1 Best Scuba Diving Spots

(Source: AP)

Hammerhead Reef

Off Ft. Lauderdale

Beginning just south of Port Everglades and running to the Dania Pier, this two and a half mile reef is famous for its sharks, rays and large grouper. The front side of the reef is at about 60 feet while the back side plunges to 80 feet; the reef rises to nearly 20 feet in some spots. This is a great reef dive with tons of marine life.

seaemperor1 Best Scuba Diving Spots

(Source: AP)

Sea Emperor Wreck

Off Boca Raton

About a mile south of the Boca Inlet, some have termed this wreck an “Aqua-Zoo” because of all of the sea life including sharks and rays that call it home. The 171 foot Sea Emperor, a hopper barge, lies upside down in about 70 feet of water. Surrounding the wreck are tons of drainage pipes and concrete pilings which were supposed to rest on the barge’s deck. Unfortunately, when it was sunk, the ship rolled spilling the load.

wrecktrek Best Scuba Diving Spots

(Source: AP)

Miami Beach Wreck Trek

Off Miami Beach

How cool is this not one wreck but several linked together by a guide cable. The Miami Beach Wrek trek is a relative shallow dive, 50-60 feet of water, which begins with a pair of army tanks on its southern end. As divers move north, the encounter several tons of limestone boulders and more wrecks like the Rio Miami; a 105 foot tug which sits upright in about 65 feet of water.

vista Best Scuba Diving Spots

(Source: AP)

Belzona Trio

Off Miami Beach

This trio of sunken tug boats makes up their own mini-wreck trek. The Belzona Ona, an 85 foot ocean tug, was sunk in May 1990. About 75 feet away is the second tug Belzona Two in 60 feet of water. The deepest of the trio, the Belzona Three is a 100 foot tug in 85 feet of water. Not far away is the Belcher Barge #27, a 195 foot steel barge that was sunk in 1985. The barge flipped on its way to the bottom but experienced divers can penetrate it and swim the ships entire length. All of the wrecks can be visited in one wreck trek.

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