Alabama’s Best Places To Go Scuba Diving And Snorkeling

Alabama may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of scuba diving or snorkeling, but this southern state actually has plenty to offer underwater enthusiasts. From shipwrecks to artificial reefs, Alabama’s Gulf Coast has a lot to explore. Here are some of the best places to go scuba diving and snorkeling in Alabama.

The LuLu and The Whiskey Wreck

The LuLu and The Whiskey Wreck are two popular dive sites located in Orange Beach. The LuLu was a 271-foot freighter that was intentionally sunk in 2013 to become an artificial reef. Today, it sits upright on the ocean floor and is home to a variety of marine life, including snappers, groupers, and barracudas. The nearby Whiskey Wreck is another popular dive site, which is believed to be a rum runner from the prohibition era. It’s now home to eels, octopuses, and various species of fish.

USS Oriskany

The USS Oriskany is one of the most famous dive sites in the Gulf of Mexico. This aircraft carrier was intentionally sunk in 2006 to create an artificial reef, and has since become a popular spot for divers and snorkelers alike. The ship rests in 212 feet of water, and its top deck is 147 feet below the surface, which makes it suitable for advanced divers only. However, even if you’re not an experienced diver, you can still enjoy the Oriskany’s underwater beauty by snorkeling around the perimeter of the ship.

The Wharf

The Wharf at Orange Beach is home to an artificial reef that’s perfect for divers and snorkelers of all skill levels. The artificial reef is made up of concrete pyramids, which attract a variety of marine life, including red snappers, groupers, and amberjacks. There’s also a vessel called the Sea Hunter, which sank in 2010 and now sits at the bottom of the ocean, waiting to be explored by divers.

The Poseidon’s Playground

The Poseidon’s Playground is another artificial reef that’s worth exploring. This site features several sculptures that were placed on the ocean floor to attract marine life and create a unique underwater playground. Some of the sculptures include a giant octopus, a submarine, and a mermaid.

The Alabama Point East Jetty

The Alabama Point East Jetty is a popular spot for snorkeling, especially for families with children. This jetty is home to a variety of marine life, including crabs, starfish, and small schools of fish. The water here is shallow and clear, making it easy to spot marine life.

The Turtle Burrow Reef

The Turtle Burrow Reef is another popular dive site that’s located off the coast of Gulf Shores. This artificial reef is made up of concrete pipes that have been arranged to resemble a turtle burrow. This unique design attracts a variety of marine life, including turtles, lobsters, and octopuses.

Tips for Diving and Snorkeling in Alabama

Before heading out to dive or snorkel in Alabama, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • All divers and snorkelers are required to have a valid Alabama saltwater fishing license.
  • Always check the weather and water conditions before diving or snorkeling. The Gulf of Mexico can be unpredictable, so it’s important to stay informed.
  • Make sure you have the proper equipment and training before diving. If you’re not an experienced diver, consider taking a course or hiring a guide.
  • Respect the marine life and the environment. Do not touch or disturb any wildlife, and always follow local laws and regulations.

Overall, Alabama’s Gulf Coast offers plenty of opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, there’s something for everyone to enjoy underwater in Alabama.

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