View Full Version : Places to dive in the Destin area
April 21st, 2012, 01:54 PM
We are going to be in the Destin area next week. We are planing to dive Morison and Vortex. Are there any other dive sites you would recommend, be it ocean or fresh? We are trying to keep it within a day trip from our hotel.
April 21st, 2012, 03:58 PM
The Destin "East jetty" is a great dive on a incoming tide, If your willing to drive a little towards the west over to Pensacola, give Fort Pickens jetty a try or towards the east, Panama City, St Andrews jetty is a great dive as well. Destin is in the middle! A day trip is easily done to the east or west of Destin. Have fun!
April 21st, 2012, 04:35 PM
The oriskany is a cool dive
April 21st, 2012, 06:41 PM
Most people will say that their favorite shore dive is at St. Andrews Park in Panama City:
My favorite (even though most people say I'm crazy) is Ft. Pickens:
But you will be right on top of perhaps the third best shore dive in the area, Destin East Jetties:
April 21st, 2012, 07:19 PM
The oriskany is a cool dive Ditto, it's an interesting wreck w/varying depths...If you have a camera the pics will be impressive.......
April 22nd, 2012, 11:47 AM
Look into some boat diving with the local dive shops. There are some cool dive spots like the liberty ship, natural bottom reefs and the destin bridge rubble.
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April 22nd, 2012, 08:57 PM
I dove the Destin East Jetty today; the water was very, very clear and warm (75 on the surface, 71 @ 50 feet). The incoming tide is the best, plan to end around high tide, since the current at the Destin Pass can really get ripping when the tide changes; the water gets very dingy and dark right after high tide, when the entire bay is draining out through the pass. You can park right on Gulf Shores Drive and walk into the beach right by the shower.
I personally believe that for the money ($8/car load/day), the St Andrews State Park Jetty is the best dive close to Destin...Pensacola is a very, very close second, but a longer drive for me. There is a really nice "kiddie pool" for non-SCUBA or snorkellers that has no current, unlimited visibility, lots of fish for the non-divers to look at, and really close picnic tables/pavilions. For divers, you go on the outside of the jetty and go as deep as around 60-70 feet, with great vis most of the time, fairly light current usually, and about a gazillion different types of fishes to look at. The one caution though is you MUST have a dive flag with you (they enforce this pretty regularly) and there is quite a bit of fishing line in the water, so have a knife, and keep a close watch out for your buddy...the only place I have been recently with more fishing line is Fort Pickens, State Park Jetty, in Pensacola (mentioned earlier by Hetland). Fort Pickens has similar admission, but it covers you for a week and I think it includes primitive camping. Fort Pickens has billions of fish, and there is some other underwater attractions to look at.
Good luck, have fun on the Gulf Coast!
April 23rd, 2012, 11:02 AM
I like the Destin Jetties better than Pickens and St Andrews, walk be damned.
My favorite shore dives are on Alabama coast wrecks though :) The only better saltwater diving than wrecks, are shoredivable wrecks ;)
April 23rd, 2012, 01:42 PM
Too bad you moved away! I am coming down to take some of your flounder you let grow!
April 23rd, 2012, 01:43 PM