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  • Dry Tortugas National Park (Dry Tortugas): Snorkelers of all levels bubble over when talking about the carpet of white sand that's illuminated by Technicolor tropical fish and living coral at this coral island off of Key West. For divers, nearby off Loggerhead Key is the Schooner wreck, the Windjammer.
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo): This is the country's first undersea preserve, with 188 square miles of protected coral reefs. The water throughout much of the park is shallow, so it's a great place for snorkelers to see a vibrant array of coral, including tree-size elkhorn coral and giant brain coral.
  • Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary (Bahia Honda State Park): With 5 1/3 square miles of gorgeous coral reef, rock ledges up to 35 feet tall, and a colorful and motley marine community, you may never want to come up for air.
  • Florida Keys: The Keys Shipwreck Heritage Trail features nine historic sites from Key Largo to Key West. For each of the nine Shipwreck Trail sites there is an underwater site guide available, who provides the shipwreck and mooring buoy positions, history, and a site map, and identifies marine life you can expect to see.
  • Hutchinson Island: Three artificial reefs off this island provide excellent scenery for divers of any level. The USS Rankin, sunk in 120 feet of water in 1988, lies 7 miles east-northeast of the St. Lucie Inlet. Donaldson Reef consists of a cluster of plumbing fixtures sunk in 58 feet of water. Ernst Reef, made from old tires, is a 60-foot dive located 4 1/2 miles east-southeast of the St. Lucie inlet.
  • Pensacola, Destin, and Panama City: The military town of Pensacola also happens to have some of the best submerged battleships and even a retired aircraft carrier. In Destin and Panama City, military buffs literally dive into history, studying the ocean floor, which is carpeted with everything from aircraft, tankers, and barges to a hovercraft and a one-time Quonset hut.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.