Scuba Diving around St Petersburg, FL
Scuba Diving around St Petersburg, FL
St Petersburg is one of the best places in Florida when it comes to water sports of all kinds, and scuba divers will find plenty to explore in the St Pete Beach area.
Diving the St Pete reefs
Think you have to go out to the keys for great diving? No way. Pinellas County has an extensive and fascinating collection of artificial reefs, including some wonderfully atmospheric wrecks. These act as magnets for marine life of all kinds and are carefully maintained for the benefit of divers and fishing enthusiasts.
There are 42 reefs to choose from, and because they were deliberately placed with divers in mind, most lie in shallow water and offer a relatively easy, relaxed experience.
The Sheridan: wreck diving at its best
The Sheridan was once an ordinary 180ft tug boat but now it's famous as one of the best dive sites in Florida. It's a great place to spot really huge Grouper, and there is usually plenty of other wildlife to see- Barracuda, Triggerfish, Snapper, and more.
The base of the Sheridan is at about 80ft- easily accessible within normal Open Water diving standards. Some of the compartments are open, so there's something to tempt more advanced divers as well. For a full underwater outing, combine it with a visit to the USCG Blackthorn, another excellent wreck just 100 yards away.
Although the reefs make for great diving, the St Petersburg area also has something a little different to offer. Crystal River is within easy reach (about 90 minutes by car), and its springs provide freshwater diving that can only be described as unique. The perfectly clear waters are home to some of Florida's most spectacular and iconic species, like the strange and wonderful manatee.
Some of the best dive spots around this area are access-restricted and there are no motorized boats allowed, which makes them even better for diving, swimming, and snorkelling. Local operators run excellent SCUBA tours.
Learning to dive in St Pete
Most local dive shops (and there are plenty of them) offer the standard Open Water SCUBA course, after which you'll be licenced to dive independently and be able to get your tanks filled at any good dive store. Some, like Jim's Dive Shop offer intensive SCUBA camp courses that pack all the necessary learning into a single week and top it off with fantastic boat diving experiences.
Of course, if you don't want to go the whole way, there is great snorkelling around this part of Florida as well. Take a look at our local snorkel guide or just hop on the ferry out to Shell Key.
Located on the top floor of the Inn, the Magnolia is our “Honeymoon Suite” with Gulf and sunset views. This prime one-bedroom suite features the very best of the Inn with a king bedroom, bathroom with over-sized shower, living and dining area, fully sized kitchen, and private balcony.
Located on the top floor of the Inn, the Gulfstream comes complete with a king bed, cathedral ceiling, kitchenette, bathroom with shower, and wraparound balcony with Gulf and sunset views.
The Sea Loft
The Sea Loft is a second floor open plan apartment with a queen bed, fully equipped kitchen, living/dining area, sun porch, and balcony. The unit has cathedral ceilings giving it a spacious feel, and there are lots of windows providing stunning natural light. It's a peaceful, romantic escape just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico.
Next door to the Inn, this tranquil oasis has a large bedroom with a king bed plus a fully equipped kitchen. The living room is complete with seating area, cable television and a DVD player. The bathroom has a large shower. The outdoor deck has plenty of seating and a gas grill - perfect for outdoor suppers.