Known to scuba divers as the “Wreck Capital of the South,” Panama City Beach provides an amazing variety of dive sites. As one of the best places to explore underwater without packing your passport, here are just a few things you can see under the sea in Florida with a number of dive centers and charter boats to help guide you.
The area’s historic wrecks include the ever-popular “Black Bart,” a 185-foot supply ship resting at a 75-foot depth; the 441-foot World War II “Liberty Ship; “The Chippewa,” a 220-foot tug; the “S.S. Tarpon,” a 160-foot coastal freighter; “The Chickasaw,” a 100-foot tug, and “The Grey Ghost,” the 110-foot tug, as well as the 465-foot “Empire Mica.”
There are 50 artificial reefs off Panama City Beach, providing unique habitat for marine life and an amazing experience for divers. These include former Navy platforms Stage I and Stage II; fifteen 160-foot-long and 35-foot-high bridge spans, ten barges, the LOSS Project and many more.
The natural reefs range in depth from 80 to 100 feet and are just a few miles offshore. These reefs range in height from three to eight feet and are teeming with sea life, including small corals and colorful sponges. Closer to shore, the jetties at St. Andrews State Park are popular snorkeling sites.