Diving + Snorkeling in Destin-Fort Walton Beach
Dip into the water off the coast of Destin-Fort Walton Beach for an underwater adventure to remember. With diverse marine wildlife, artificial reefs and whole ecosystems waiting for you to discover, a snorkeling or diving excursion should be high on your list.
If you’re looking for things to do, visit Norriego Point for an iconic snorkeling destination. Slip into your mask and fins before jumping into the crystal-clear water. You’ll likely catch sight of fish, crabs, or maybe even a sea turtle or two swimming below the surface. The calm waters between Norriego Point, the Destin jetties, make up one of the best snorkeling spots in all of northwest Florida. Swim alongside schools of fish, shrimp, crabs, seahorses, and other tropical marine life. Find snorkel reefs at Henderson Beach State Park and John C. Beasley Park.
Snorkeling in Destin, Florida, is one of our favorite pastimes, and there are so many ways to get out (then in!) the water. Jump in from a beach access point at most places along our shores, rent a pontoon through Island Watersports Company, or guide yourself along the beaches and stop to snorkel on your schedule. Or, combine snorkeling, dolphin-watching, and the Gulf sunset on a eco-cruise with Cattywampus. You and your whole group could even charter a private catamaran with Smile N’ Wave to sail and snorkel the local waters.
Off the shores of Destin-Fort Walton Beach is a world-renowned diving experience. The 100-Fathom Curve (a steep dropoff into the Gulf of Mexico) is at its closest point to the shore, which means the visibility tends to be much better than nearby destinations, and divers can swim with tropical fish, dolphins, and other marine life without going too far out.
The world below the surface of Destin-Fort Walton Beach’s emerald-green waters is teeming with sights for adventurous divers, whether you’re just getting your certification or you’re a seasoned pro.
Beginners can train along the East Jetty Pass, where tropical fish, flounder, and dolphins make for an incredible diving experience. Certified divers can enjoy waters off Destin-Fort Walton Beach coast and Okaloosa Island. Hundreds of dive spots await your exploration, including natural limestone reefs, shipwrecks and other artificial reefs—all attracting some of the widest diversity of marine life in all of Florida.
A boat charter can even take you out to explore deeper waters, including Wreck Alley, which spans roughly 16 miles. Discover the “Miss Louise” wreck or dozens of the other nearby wrecks to swim with marine life, Goliath grouper and even maybe whale sharks.
Best of Both Worlds
You don’t have to be a certified diver to swim deeper into the waters surrounding our beaches. There’s always SNUBA, a hybrid of diving and snorkeling. With SNUBA, you can explore up to 20 feet deep for up to 30 minutes at a time, which means you can feel like you’re part of the local underwater ecosystem just for a bit and spot marine life that you may not see on a snorkeling excursion.