The Florida Keys have many miles of coral reefs and marine life that can be found up and down the coastline. Dive sites in the keys range in depths, but there are a few great shallow dive sites that allow divers of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the coral reefs. Out of many miles of dive sites in the Florida Keys, these three areas are the best sites for shallow dives, allowing divers of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the beauty of the reefs located in the keys as well as allowing longer bottom time.
Sombrero Reef is a large reef in the Middle Keys and a great shallow dive site. It is located off Boot Key and is marked by buoys and a lighthouse. The waters are shallow, ranging from just five feet to thirty-five feet, making it perfect for beginners and families with young kids.The reef has a wide range of corals including hard coral, soft coral, and sea fans. The unique corals support parrotfish, nurse sharks, yellowtail snappers, stingrays, and many more unique sea creatures.
Another great shallow dive site in the Florida Keys is Delta Shoals. Delta Shoals is about half a mile long laying east to west, and depths range between six and twenty-five feet deep. The coral fingers and soft coral are home to multiple species of fish. There are also many ledges and crevices that can be explored. The Delta Shoals are also home to some shipwrecks including the Ivory Wreck. It is located on the west end in about fifteen feet of water, although there is very little of it left to see.
One of the popular shallow dive sites in the Florida Keys is Molasses Reef. The reef contains brain coral and star coral. The depth ranges from ten to seventy feet deep, and there is excellent visibility. Some parts of the reef touch the surface, which makes it excellent for young divers to get close to the reef. There are lobsters, crabs, many types of fish, sharks, and turtles that live on the reef.