The breathtaking island of Key West Florida attracts scuba diving and water lovers from the United States, Canada, and around the globe. The reefs near Key West are part of the Florida reef tract that extends nearly the length of the state.
The diving scene in Key West is a dream come true for any diver who loves exploring. In fact, you are sure to find scuba diving in Key West Florida to be a great adventure.
Key West offers scuba diving visitors access to two bodies of water, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Here are some diving sites that you should consider visiting when you decide to go scuba diving in the Key West area of Florida.
Scuba Diving the Vandenberg Wreck
The wreck of the Vandenberg is an artificial reef that makes up the southernmost anchor of the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail. Sunk intentionally, the Vandenberg used to be a tracking ship owned by the military. It is now home to plenty of marine life, including colorful tropical fish, turtles, eels, barracuda, and lobster.
The shipwreck attracts divers of different experience levels. Advanced divers can make deeper dives to the lower wreck sections. More novice divers can enjoy a thrilling 50-foot dive.
Most divers take advantage of professional and knowledgeable dive guides, but more advanced divers may buddy up and explore the Vandenberg without a guide.
Sand Key Lighthouse
Sand Key Lighthouse Reef, only seven miles south of Key West, is easily recognized by its red iron lighthouse. Snorkelers as well as scuba divers of all experience levels can enjoy this popular diving paradise, home to coral, nurse sharks, rays, and many marine species. Interestingly, the sandy islet at this site changes with the wind and wave action, which ensures each visit is a different experience.
The caves, ledges, and overhangs you will find scuba diving in Key West at the Ten-Fathom Ledge site are home to lobsters, groupers, spotted eagle rays, and a variety of other marine animals. With an average depth of 40 feet, this site is appropriate for intermediate divers. There is also a sunken tugboat nearby, but it is very deep and only for advanced divers.
Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary
Not too far north of Key West, you can dive the beautiful water of Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. This large “spur and groove” reef formation is excellent for both snorkeling and scuba diving. The Looe Key reef is home to over 150 species of fish, including parrotfish, hogfish, sergeant majors, and many others. You may see several shark and ray species, and perhaps the large goliath grouper.
Wherever you go, enjoy your vacation scuba diving in beautiful Key West Florida. And don’t forget to take pictures you can show to family and friends.