Off-the-Rail Adventure

Scuba Diving in Miami, Florida

You might think all of Miami's wrecks are clustered around the bars of Miami Beach's Art Deco district. However, offshore lies one of the world's largest collections of diveable wrecks, downed not by forces of nature but as part of a government-sanctioned program to increase the diversity of undersea habitats. This "junking" of the ocean floor is all good news for the first-time or expert scuba diver. Many outfitted trips will take you from the Sunshine State's hedonistic heart to one of 50 diveable wrecks submerged about 45 minutes offshore. Such artificial reefs include the shells of decaying cargo ships, abandoned oil platforms, and crustacean-dotted army tanks, now home to moray eels, stingrays, turtles, and hordes of tropical fish. These "shipreefs" are anchored in formerly barren areas of the ocean floor, where they won't disrupt other natural, living reef systems. The best dives sites are to be found at Government Cut, Key Biscayne, and Haulover. More skilled divers might want to try a night dive, adding to the haunted atmosphere surrounding the wrecks and their reconstituted cargo.

Rail Info
( for full details)

ROUTE: Union Station, Washington, D.C., to Miami, FL
LINE: Silver Service
DURATION: 24 hours
PRICE: $176 to $474 (cheaper Monday to Wednesday and non-holidays; additional for coach seat sleepers)
SCENERY: Pine trees, ocean views
ARRIVAL TRANSPORTATION: Taxi ($30) or bus to Sunny Isles Beach (North Miami Beach)

Activity Info

OUTFITTER: H20 Scuba: 1-888-389-DIVE;
WHAT TO BRING: Personal dive equipment, food, sunscreen, towel, and camera
DURATION: 4 hours (two tank dives)
PRICE: $35 to $85 (more if you require equipment rental)
DIFFICULTY RATING: Easy to advanced
WHEN TO GO: May to September

Having earned her B.A. in journalism, Sharael is the climbing guide for and has been published in Working Woman magazine, Outside Online, and Wired News. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, where she enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, and rock climbing.

Published: 27 Nov 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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