Looking for the Best Dive Spots in Miami?

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Diving in Molasses Reef, Key Largo

It has been said over and over by many, but it always puts a grin on my face when I can tell someone I live where they vacation. Miami is truly an international city where you’ll find every food imaginable, be immersed in every language, and experience vibrant nightlife–but the excitement doesn’t end there! Miami is also one of the best dive spots in Florida. Since the early 80’s, artificial reefs have been created by sinking ships, tugs, army tanks, an airplane, radio antennae, and even man-made concrete “reefs”. These reefs have quickly attracted the growth of corals and sea life. I haven’t had a chance to discover every reef listed below, but here are a few reefs off the shores of Miami Beach and scattered throughout the keys.

  • Army Tank #1

    3.5 stars
    48 – 48 ft.
    15 – 15 m.

    One of two M60 Army Tanks placed in 48 feet of water in June of 1994 just off Miami Beach.

    Army Tank #2

    4 stars
    48 – 48 ft.
    15 – 15 m.

    This is one of two M60 Army Tanks placed in 48 feet of water in June of 1994 just off Miami Beach.

    Arratoon Apcar

    5 stars
    15 – 25 ft.
    5 – 8 m.

    The Arratoon Apcar was a 260-foot iron-hulled screw steamer built in 1861. She ran aground and quickly sank on Fowey Rocks in January of 1878.

    Atlantis Memorial Reef

    4 stars
    40 – 50 ft.
    12 – 15 m.

    The Atlantis Reef Project is a man-made reef off the coast of Miami, Florida, 3.25 miles east of Key Biscayne, in the image of The Lost City of Atlantis. The site will be the largest man-made reef ever built, covering more than 600,000 sqft of ocean floor

    Bache Shoal

    3.5 stars
    10 – 15 ft.
    3 – 5 m.

    A popular shallow patch reef just east of Sands Cut and Elliott Key. Great snorkeling location for the kids.

    Belzona Triangle

    4.5 stars
    60 – 85 ft.
    18 – 26 m.

    Belzona America, Inc. acquired these three tugs and donated them to be sunk in the Artificial Reef Program. The three ships lie in a triangle with lines connecting them for ease of navigation from one tug to another.

    Billy’s Barge

    5 stars
    50 – 50 ft.
    15 – 15 m.

    A barge and concrete structure that has a great deal of coral and sea life

    Biscayne Freighter

    3.5 stars
    50 – 60 ft.
    15 – 18 m.

    A very popular wreck offshore of Key Biscayne. A vibrant community of fish makes this a great spot for photography and night dives.

    Blue Fire

    3 stars
    100 – 110 ft.
    30 – 34 m.

    This 175-foot passenger freight was sunk in 1983 and is filled with sea life. A great wreck fo runderwater photographers.

    Concepcion

    4.5 stars
    68 – 68 ft.
    21 – 21 m.

    The Concepcion is a steel freighter sunk in 68 feet of water in the Sunny Isles Artificial Reef Site in June 1991.

    C-One

    5 stars
    65 – 82 ft.
    20 – 25 m.

    The C-One is an intact U.S. Navy steel tug sitting in 65 feet of water in the Sunny Isles Artificial Reef Site.

    Customs Reef

    4.5 stars
    130 – 145 ft.
    40 – 44 m.

    The US Customs Reef is located four miles east of Key Biscayne and contains four cargo ships. These ships lie in 130 feet of water.

    Deep Freeze

    5 stars
    100 – 135 ft.
    30 – 41 m.

    This 210′ freighter was sunk in 135′ of water in October 1976. She’s a popular site with local fishermen and deep divers.

    DEMA Trader

    3.5 stars
    70 – 80 ft.
    21 – 24 m.

    The DEMA Trader (formerly known as the GGD Trader) is a 165-foot-long freighter in 80 feet of water about 3 1/2 miles east of Key Biscayne.

    Doc DeMilly Memorial Reef

    5 stars
    70 – 140 ft.
    21 – 43 m.

    This large freighter was sunk in 1986 after the Air Force conducted a simulated bombing of the ship.

    Emerald Reef

    4.5 stars

    15 – 25 ft.
    5 – 8 m.

    Emerald Reef is a small shallow-water patch reef one mile east of Key Biscayne. It’s considered by many to be one of the most beautiful reefs in Miami, rivaling those found further south in the Florida Keys.

    Erl King

    4 stars
    15 – 20 ft.
    5 – 6 m.

    The vessel Erl King was a 305-foot three-masted, single screw, iron auxiliary steamer with a 34-foot beam. On the December 16, 1891, The Erl King ran aground on Long Reef during a voyage from Swansea England to New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Esjoo

    5 stars
    65 – 70 ft.
    20 – 21 m.

    The 70 foot Haitian freighter Esjoo was sunk as an artificial reef and sits in 50 feet of water.

    Dewey Lighthouse / Fowey Rocks

    3.5 stars
    15 – 100 ft.
    5 – 30 m.

    This is a great location for a repetitive dive and for snorkeling. The shallow waters underneath the lighthouse are home to an abundance of fish live and coral gardens.

    Golden Beach Boulder Reef

    4.5 stars
    45 – 45 ft.
    14 – 14 m.

    A shallow water artifical patch reef system created with 850 tons of limestone boulders.

     

     Half Moon Preserve

    4.5 stars
    10 – 10 ft.
    3 – 3 m.

    Half Moon was a 154-foot steel sailing yacht that was once a floating saloon during Prohibition. The ship sank during a storm in 1930 in just 10 feet of water. It is now an Underwater Archaeological Preserve.

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