Diving in Panama City Beach
If you are seeking a unique and memorable vacation experience in Panama City Beach, diving is the perfect answer. Below the surface of our turquoise waters awaits a second world, a different kind of paradise. Sea turtles, goliath grouper and even bottlenose dolphins frolic off the shores, and numerous historic shipwrecks are scattered throughout the region.
Check out our dive map for some of the most popular dive sites!
Historic wrecks are scattered throughout the region, and include the 185-foot Black Bart, the 441-foot World War II Liberty Ship, and the 465-foot Empire Mica. Because of these and so many other artificial reefs in the area, Skin Diver Magazine dubbed Panama City Beach the "Wreck Diving Capital of the South."
Gear Up: Scuba Dive Shops and Training
Never tried scuba diving before? No problem. Panama City Beach is the ultimate spot to get your feet (as well as the rest of you) wet. Our dive shops are ideal to get you certified and on your way to the bubbly deep. For instance, Panama City Dive Center is more than equipped to get you started on your new, aquatic lifestyle. A one-stop-shop, they have offered dive training, equipment rental and repair since 1983.
Another asset to any diver is Panama City Diving, our newest dive shop. It is also a great location to get certified through PADI, the world's largest scuba certification agency. Their expertise is sure to make you a more knowledgeable and confident diver.
If you are looking to train, seek out Red Alert Diving, a full-service dive center and aquatic training facility. Their expert instructors have over 50 years of global diving experience, parlayed to students in both their heated pool and range of open-water courses.
Dive In: Awesome Ocean Depths are Waiting
Say you are ready to embark. Now what? Turn to our year-round dive charters, of course!
For example, The Dive Locker can take you to famous watery shipwrecks, including Black Bart, or for beachside snorkeling at St. Andrews State Park. At high tide, the park's remarkable rocky jetties allow you to see ocean creatures up close, such as octopus and redfish.
Diver's Den is another exceptional charter option. Known for their personalized excursions, their US Coast Guard-certified captain can take you on the spearfishing or diving trip of your dreams. Will you descend at our natural limestone reefs, or an artificial one made from a fighter jet? Would you like to explore an underwater bridge? The choice is yours.
For dives at various levels of difficulty, look to DownTime Dive Charters. Whether you are on a family vacation, couples retreat or solo adventure, their passionate divers can craft an optimal experience. Feel the rush of descending to exciting depths in optimal, expertly-selected locations.
Or perhaps Dolphin and Snorkel Tours is the right match for you. With an emphasis on local wildlife, this charter provides unforgettable and educational day trips focused on wildlife photography, shell collecting, private island picnics and (of course) dolphins. In fact, dolphin sightings are guaranteed!
With all of these great options, it isn't hard to see why Panama City Beach is the second-most visited dive location in Florida. You too can jump fins-first into the Gulf of Mexico to experience the marine life and treasured underwater landscapes we call home.