With some recent work by the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation the state’s Gulf coast has now the country’s largest artificial reef program.
These artificial reefs are created by intentional sinking of ships like The LuLu, airplanes and construction rubble etc.
A diverse range of marine life including different type of fishes, crabs, octopi, molluscs can be found at a dozen locations at the Gulf Shores.
These reefs not only contribute in improving the water ecosystem but also serve as a diving spot for snorkelers and scuba divers.
Although diving is possible all year long in Alabama, the finest months are May through September, when the Gulf of Mexico is at its consistent calmness.
Let’s talk about some of the best scuba diving spots at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
Where To Go Scuba Diving On Gulf Shores – Dive Sites
The Whiskey Wreck and Paddle Wheeler
The Whiskey Wreck is one of the best diving spot on Gulf Shores.
It is roughly 150 yards south of the beach and Bahama Bob’s Cafe.
It lays just beyond a sandbar offshore, and that sandbar provides a helpful landmark and staging area.
The Whiskey Wreck is a 200-foot rum runner boat in less than 20 feet of water.
That depth is shallow enough for snorkelers, first-time scuba divers, and open water diving students alike to enjoy the wreck.
The visibility at the site is usually in the 10 to 15-foot range.
Location: Near Bahama Bob’sBob’s Beachshore Cafe, 601 West Beach Boulevard, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Related Reading: Best Airbnb To Stay On Gulf Shores Trip – Check Out Here.
Scuba Diving Adventures Sites Orange Beach, Alabama
Poseidon’s Playground was created three miles off the Alabama Gulf Coast with the deployment of three Greek mythological statues — Poseidon, Apollo, and Venus — and a table-like, grouper reef topped with marine life ornamental images.
Based in Orange Beach, the buildings were placed by Walter Marine in a state-approved location on the eastern side, south of Perdido Pass.
This is yet another example of why Alabama has the nation’s best artificial reef program, which offers the best scuba diving experience.
Location: Orange Beach, AL 36561
The LuLu is a ship that has been intentionally sunken in 2013 and is the most recent artificial reef in the Gulf Coast Alabama.
It has three deck levels:
- The top of the ship is around 60 feet in height.
- The main deck above the cargo hold is approximately 95 feet in height.
- The sand bottom is about 112-115 feet in height.
The multi-level ship design provides an engaging environment for exploring.
There are several easily accessible rooms on each level, each filled with several deep holes and gloomy areas that are certain to conceal marine surprises.
The LuLu is a thrilling and challenging scuba dive for both beginners and experienced divers because of its size and range of depths.
Location: 1129 Gulf Shores Pkwy., Gulf Shores, AL 36542.
Wallace Reef is formed on a liberty ship that was split in two by Hurricane Fredrick a few years back.
The ship now serves as a scuba diving spot and is home to breathtaking marine life.
In Orange Beach, Alabama, Wallace Reef is a saltwater dive spot that may be reached by boat.
The depth can go as deep as 91-100 feet, and the average visibility is 51-60 feet.
Locations: Orange Beach, Alabama
Related Reading: Parasailing Adventures At Gulf Shores – Find Out Here.
Local Dive Shops & Charters – Planning For Scuba Diving
Down Under Dive Shop
Down Under Dive Shop has been in the diving business for the last 20 years.
They offer gear for scuba diving and training classes for those who want to become certified divers.
Their team of competent divers is ready to help you explore an exciting underwater world throughout the year.
Location: 1129 Gulf Shores Pkwy, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Red Flag Surf And Dive Shop
Red Flag Surf And Dive offers surfing, freediving, and spearfishing supplies at discounted offers.
They also offer lessons in surfing.
Location: 824 Gulf Shores Pkwy Suite C1, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Alabama Gulf Divers
Located in Safe Harbor Sportsman, Alabama Gulf Divers are a full-service Dive Charter Boat.
Their dive sites include numerous Wrecks, Artificial Reefs, and Natural Bottom Reefs.
They offer scuba diving trips for entry-level through technical divers. and provide dive training to novice divers.
Rental gear is also available for their charters.
Address: 27844 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Reel Suprise Marina
The Reel Surprise Marina provides a wide range of Gulf Coast activities, including fishing excursions, sky surfing, scuba diving and other aquatic adventures.
They are open every day and everything needed for a day on the water is available in their dock store.
Snacks, soft drinks, frozen bait, ice, mid-grade marine gas, fuel, and a pump-out station are all available.
It is one of the most fully facilitated scuba diving charters.
Location: 27267 Perdido Beach Blvd, Suite 100B, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Scuba Diving Gulf Shores – FAQs
Is there good scuba diving in Alabama?
Yes. As discussed above, there are various operators who offer guided scuba diving tours and lessons all year round. The waters around Alabama are also perfect for beach dives. The Gulf of Mexico’s water is 79–80°F in the summer and 60–72°F in the winter and spring, making it possible to dive in the waters all year round.
Is there snorkeling in Gulf Shores?
Yes, snorkeling is excellent along the Gulf coast. A popular snorkeling spot in Orange Beach (near Gulf Shores) is the Alabama Point Jetties, close to the Perdido Pass Bridge.
Is there good scuba diving in the Gulf of Mexico?
Some of the best scuba diving in Mexico may be found in the pristine, blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, making it the best spot for scuba diving.
Can you snorkel at Orange Beach, Alabama?
Yes, you can snorkel in Orange Beach, Alabama. Three artificial snorkeling reefs, often called circalittoral reefs, are located near Orange Beach, where tourists may immerse themselves in a vibrant underwater environment.
Related Reading: Top Dolphin Tours At Gulf Shores – Know More Here.
The Bottom Line:
Alabama is home to the largest artificial reef network in the US.
This makes Gulf Shores and Orange Beach one of the best spots for scuba diving for your next vacation.
With calm waters and weather, let’s plan to explore the underwater world, including all kinds of sea life and natural and artificial reefs.
Different scuba diving sites, gear shops, and dive pros are here to make your scuba diving adventure an experience of a lifetime.