South Florida shore diving is fun and easy. Nowhere else in the United States are can you find an abundance of dive sites simply steps away with warm blue waters and beautiful reefs. There are many dive sites very close to shore, some less than 100 yards away! There are even sites on the Intracoastal Waterway where it’s sheltered from the wind and waves of the open ocean. This makes for a great alternative on days where the sea conditions are less than favorable, and even offer some exotic sea life that make the dive worth the trip anytime. The beaches have very little surf, making entries easy for all skill levels of divers.
Force-E has everything you need to make your shore diving experiences memorable. We have guides and dive masters who are knowledgeable experts in all facets of local diving. Stop by the shop and ask us for free advice, or maybe hire a guide
Don’t forget that Florida law requires that divers must display a dive flag when in the water. Make sure you’re in compliance with this regulation before you dive.
Phil Foster Park/Blue Heron Bridge Beach Dives
One of the premiere shore diving locations in all of South Florida is actually on the Intracoastal Waterway just inside of the Lake Worth Inlet, and just past the Force-E Riviera location. Diving the Blue Heron Bridge is a macro photographer’s dream! There’s seahorses, pipefish, decorator crabs, batfish, and other rare and exotic species of sea life, all in a relatively small area and all at depths ranging from 6 to 16 feet.
The best time to dive the bridge is between a half hour before and after high tide. Check with our Blue Heron Bridge experts at the Riviera Beach location for best times, or you can hire one of our guides to show you the best places to find your favorite critters. Stop by our Riviera Beach location, just 2 blocks from the bridge, and pick up a free site map.
The entrance to the park is on the East side of the Blue Heron Boulevard Bridge about a quarter mile east of our store. There is plenty of parking. Enter the water under the bridge via the small beach on the west side of the bark. Swim to the right and go back under the bridge from south to north. Continue past the bridge to the foundation of the old bridge. There are old concrete columns that lie just north of the old bridge foundation.
CAUTION: Do not swim too far to the west into the boat channel. Don't go west of the fourth set of bridge columns. Be considerate to fisherman on the old bridge.
Check with our Force-E Riviera Store for the best times to dive. Depths range from about 6 to 16 feet.
Worth Avenue Pier Debris (Palm Beach)
This site is easy to access for either snorkelers or scuba divers. The debris from the old pier is spread across the bottom in a west to east direction directly in line with the Worth Av. street sign. The eastern edge of the pier reveals a patch reef and ledges that run North and South. Depths range from 8 to 14 feet. Assorted Jacks, Barracuda's, and Mangrove Snapper abound.
Boca Raton and Pompano Beach Stores vicinity
Deerfield Beach Ledges
This site is adjacent to the public beach in Deerfield Beach and has no lifeguard on duty. Take Hillsboro Blvd to A1A and proceed south. Turn left on SE 6th St. and then right onto Ocean Way. Park in the spaces between the Cove Beach Club and the Embassy Suites.
There are three lines of reef here running parallel to the beach. The first line reef area rises only one to two feet off the bottom, it is in approximately 6 feet of water and is only about 75 feet off the beach. It's depth and close vicinity to the shore makes it a great location for snorkelers. There among the soft corals and sponges you will find juvenile multicolored fish, puffer fish, tangs and drums. The second line of reef is about 50 feet beyond the first and is 10-12 feet deep. This area has more relief and life on it. There are many grunts and yellowtails out here, and even the occasional ray. The third line of reef is another 40 feet past the 2nd line with depths reaching 16'.
Stop in the Force-E store in Boca Raton or Pompano Beach to get more tips, or hire a local guide.
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Fort Lauderdale Beach
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is called the "Shore Dive Capital of South Florida."
From anywhere in the town of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, you can enter the water, swim out about 100 yards and be on a reef. Many people like entering the water at Datura or Hibiscus streets, which are south of Commercial Boulevard.
If you enter at the Datura Portal, you can check out the artificial “Shipwreck Trail.” by swimming out just past the buoys (that mark the swimming areas), then drop down and continue east. There you’ll find a replica of what would be left from a shipwreck in the early 1800s. All artifacts are within a 100' x 20' area. A set of two concrete replica cannons is on the North side and three on the South side of the site. Further east takes you to the “potholes” which have lots of juvenile fish species. Swimming further out to the east takes you to the “second reef” where it’s approximately 12-15 feet deep. Some of the reef features like hard corals can be 3-4 feet tall here.
Vista Park (North Fort Lauderdale)
(Just south of Oakland Park Blvd in N. Ft. Lauderdale)
This reef is very wide and healthy and runs North to South for about 600 yards. To dive it, park in Vista Park. Enter the water and swim east about 70 to 80 yards from shore. The depths range from 10 to 18 feet, and the reef is centered at the Vista Park entry. There are patches of healthy staghorn coral here, and often people will see turtles, nurse sharks, juvenile tropical fish, and other plentiful sea life.
For more information on Lauderdale-by-the-sea or Vista Park shore diving or to hire a local guide to show you around, stop in to Force-E Pompano Beach.