Miami, Florida is one of the most popular scuba dive locations in America due to its warm drift diving sites. The main reef stretches over 20 miles long between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami.
Interested in diving in Miami?
Keep reading to learn about the dive sites, dive charters, where to stay, and more.
Miami, Florida Dive Sites
As stated above, all of Miami’s dive sites take place on the southeast coastline.
Depending on your dive experience, certain dive sites may or may not be off limits to you.
Dive Charters in Miami, Florida
Where To Stay In Miami, Florida
When To Go To Diving in Miami, Florida
History of Miami Diving
Spaniards were the first recorded group that visited the future area of Miami in the 16th century. When the Spaniards arrived, they found a group of natives, the Tequesta Indians.
Miami’s name is said to have been derived from Mayaimi meaning “big water”. Historians suggest the name Mayaimi may have referred to a nearby lake, Okeechobee, as well as local Native American tribes who formed their name around the lake.
The Spaniards launched a campaign in 1567 to gain control over the Tequesta native population and the surrounding area. Having succeeded in their attempt to subdue the Tequesta Indian population,the Spaniards lost control over the region to the British in 1763 before regaining control again in 1783.
1821 serves to be a key year in the history of Florida and the development of Miami as it was the year the United States purchased Florida from the Spanish. In 1836, Fort Dallas was built by the United States in what is now Miami’s downtown area.
Fort Dallas served as a military base during the Seminole Wars, a war predicated on regional conflicts between the United States Military, and the Seminole tribe that formed in the early 18th century. Following the establishment of Fort Dallas, notable settlers such as Julia D. Tuttle (known as the mother of Miami) moved into the area.
1896 was a key year for Miami as the region was officially incorporated into the U.S. as a city. Miami’s incorporation as a city with a population of just over 300 in 1896 was met with an economic catalyst by American financier, Henry M. Flagler.
After Flagler received half of Miami settler’s Julia D. Tuttle and William B. Brickell’s landholdings, Flager extended his Florida East Coast south to Miami. Flagler provided additional boosts to the newly incorporated city of Miami by constructing the Royal Palm Hotel, cleaning the city’s harbor, and promoting tourism.
The cities fortunes through settlers such as Julia D. Tuttle, financier Henry Flager, and a subsequent land boom in the early/mid-1920s were halted by a disastrous hurricane in 1926.
The architecture in Miami Beach can be partly characterized by Art Deco, a design which flourished in cities such as New York and Chicago during the late ’20s and early ’30s.
Miami’s reconstructive efforts post-hurricane benefited from a dose of art deco, as the distinctive art styling still pervades many areas of the city in today’s modern age.
Miami’s tourist economy declined during World War II when the United States utilized long stretches of the beach for rifle ranges. Following World War II, former military members returned to Miami seeking life after the war.
These waves of former military members were met with equally large waves of Cuban immigrants. The Cuban revolution of 1959 led more than 500,000 to flee their native country to migrate toward the United States with partial assimilation aid from the U.S. Government.
After a crime-ridden decade during the 1980s that revolved around cocaine trade and coordinated violence toward tourists in the early 1990s, Miami made a comeback in tourism toward the end of the 20th century.
Miami’s year-round tropical climate makes the city a prime destination for Marine activities. The Port of Miami is a world leader in cruise ship operations providing a plethora of avenues for your next Scuba excursion.
During Miami’s genesis in the late 19/early 20th century, the city has supported and promoted a strong diving culture. During the mid-1920s, the University of Miami zoology students were tasked with studying the region’s underwater elements with primitive diving helmet technology.
Beginning with humble diving technology that provided a limited capability, the University of Miami continued to support the development and study of underwater technology/ elements. Today, the University of Miami has over 125 active science divers logging between 3,000-4,000 dives a year in a variety of environments and dive modes.