Unlike anywhere else in the Panhandle of Florida, Destin is unique in the fact that the limestone native to the region
With formations of beautiful outcroppings, covered with soft corals, sponges, game fish, as well as an abundance of tropical fish, beginning just a few miles off the beach. These ledges are also home to shovel-nose and spiny lobsters, a delicacy on these shores.
This, along with our gorgeous beaches, makes our pristine stretch of the Gulf of Mexico is a divers paradise.
Our speculator reefs typically range from 2-8 feet in height, usually at a depth of between 82-95 feet. The observant SCUBA diver will also notice many types of shells and the photographer will be surprised at the magnificent macro photography and underwater scenery.
Wreck diving is also very excellent in this area, most often found in depths of 57-100 feet.
Other popular dive sights you can visit around Destin include: four Barges, two Liberty Ships, LCM landing crafts, Tugboats, the old Destin Bridge, and so much more you may not know where to start first!
Some of the most common fish found on the reefs and wrecks that you will encounter are grouper, cobia, snapper, flounder, and amberjack, to name a few. The massive Goliath Grouper and large Southern Stingrays are also commonly seen and even Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, and Humped Back Whale have been spotted by divers in our beautiful waters.
With water temperatures ranging from the mid 60’s in early spring to the low 80’s in the summer, most dives take place March through late November. The visibility ranges from as low as 10-100 feet, but the average visibility in the summer and fall is generally around 40 feet, which to put in perspective, is the approximate length of a four story building.
If you’re not sure that you’re ready to dive in with both feet, so to speak and prefer to get your toes wet first, many dive companies offer a beginner SCUBA excursion as well as snorkeling by the Destin Jetties. Beginner SCUBA excursions will give you the opportunity to try a dive before committing to a full open water class with no experience necessary. It is a lot of fun in the sun, trust us.
One never knows what mysteries the Gulf of Mexico has in store for divers to see, so this summer, don’t miss your opportunity to spend time relaxing on our pristine coastline with a stay at the Sea Oats Motel in sunny Destin Florida.