Exploring the Underwater Wonders of Panama City Beach

Dolphin and Snorkel Tours offer guests an unforgettable three-hour experience full of dolphins and snorkeling, with a tour of Shell Island and the Bay of St. Andrews. If you're looking for a spot to snorkel, the rocky pier and artificial reef on the Gulf shores of St. Andrews is a great option, with access to St.

Andrews State Park. Here, divers can observe stingrays, dolphins, octopuses, and a variety of sponges and corals. Both experienced divers and beginners are welcome, with the option to bring your own equipment or rent it at the park concession. South Walton is renowned for its sugar-white sand and turquoise waters, but thanks to the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA), it's also known for its snorkel reefs that dot the coast from Miramar Beach in the west to Inlet Beach in the east. The dive reefs are close enough to the coast to be reached by kayak or paddleboard, so that divers or snorkelers can access them directly from the beach.

We highly recommend that divers use a kayak, paddleboard, or other flotation device when visiting the snorkel reefs. The recorded video of the reef deployment shows a crane lowering the imposing artificial reefs into the water, just 3 miles off the coast of Panama City Beach (the deployment was visible from the city pier and from nearby condominiums). Grab your snorkel gear or rent the equipment from a local supplier and get ready to explore an underwater world worthy of a photograph. Now that you know where to book your tour and rent equipment, here are some of the best places to dive in Panama City Beach. Beyond the sandy shoreline and calm waves of Panama City Beach lies an incredible underwater world waiting for you to discover. The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) has proposed artificial reef areas in federal waters and by both the ACOE and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in state waters.

Local providers include the Panama City Dive Center or the Diver's Den, which offer masks, snorkels, fins and diving equipment. In addition to grants, FWC staff monitor compliance and performance across the state through diving, side-scanning sonar and underwater video to provide local reef coordinators with assessment information that can help obtain permits, disseminate information and increase reef productivity.

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