Underwater Treasures In The Palm Beaches

Fantastic fish, wonderful wrecks and … a Rolls Royce? Some exceptional underwater attractions for divers and landlubbers alike.

The clear blue water off The Palm Beaches draws many visitors each year.  Fed by the warm Gulf Stream Current, the Atlantic Ocean has attracted snorkelers and divers in search of underwater treasures and marine life sightings to its captivating underwater landscape.  Dotted up and down the 47-mile coastline are special points of interest where curious travelers can make a splash. Here’s a list of just some of the treasures you can look forward to, including a few that non-divers will enjoy!
 
Phil Foster Park’s underwater sculptures – Riviera Beach, Fla.

Phil Foster Park's shark sculptures
The perfect underwater selfie can be found at the artificial reef at Phil Foster Park.

An underwater treasure doesn’t need to be hard to reach.  Just a few feet into the clear waters of the Intracoastal Waterway and steps from Phil Foster State Park’s shore, is a beautiful man-made Snorkel Trail reef system that is filled with octopus, rays, various fish species, sea turtles and much more.  Carefully placed along the reef are three 1,500-pound sculptures of hammerhead sharks and a mermaid, all within easy reach to the novice diver and snorkeler.  It is also, an underwater selfie spot that is included in our Selfie Trail, so don’t forget your camera!
 
Rolls Royce on the ocean floor and other artificial reefs

The Rolls Royce artificial reef shortly after its sinking.
A 1967 Rolls Royce was sunk off the coast of Palm Beach in 1985.

The Palm Beaches has an impressive collection of manmade reefs, many created from old ships that were especially cleaned and prepared for this use. The fish move in quickly and create a diving experience that keep visitors and locals coming back for more. Among these artificial reefs is a treasure people have talked about for decades, a Rolls Royce. This vehicle was prepared and placed on the sea bed in 1985. Its owner hoped to spur the creation of more artificial reefs, which today has reached 151.  While heavily deteriorated, it is still possible to make out the luxury car parked 80-feet below the surface, and part of a dive site referred to as the Triangle.
 



Cable Crossing Natural Reef
Among the many natural reefs in The Palm Beaches, the one dubbed “Cable Crossing” stands out for its beauty and ease of access. Cable Crossing, a coral reef that takes its name from a communications cable that passes through the area, is known to be a great place for novice divers.  The reef is three and three-quarter miles South of the Palm Beach Inlet and only quarter mile off shore.  A depth of 25 feet and only moderate currents make it ideal for less experienced divers and snorkelers.  While there are no luxury cars parked near Cable Crossing, the reef is made up of ledges honey-combed with mini-caves.  Many fish call this home and locals recommend it as a great spot to dive.



Many visitors choose to find a dive and snorkeling shop in the area to help with guidance and outfitting. Shops like Pura Vida Divers in Riviera Beach and Jupiter Dive Center can get you going. For even more on the many great reefs, reach out to The Palm Beach County Diving Association in Palm Beach Gardens. Even more snorkel and dive providers can be found, here.
 
If you’re not interested in diving or snorkeling, there’s still underwater treasures for you in The Palm Beaches to view from land.  Here’s just a few attractions that bring the sea life directly to you:
 
Manatee Lagoon | An FPL Eco-Discovery Center


Manatee Lagoon | An FPL Eco-Discovery Center is a perfect place to observe gentle and protected manatees.

One of The Palm Beach’s greatest treasures is the population of gentle Manatees.  These slow swimming mammals float in the local waterways and eat vegetation. It is illegal to swim with or otherwise disturb the manatees, but a trip to Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach will get you up close during the winter season.  An observation deck affords a great view and a two-story learning center will entertain for hours.
 
South Florida Science Center and Aquarium



Another dazzling example of seeing underwater treasure without getting wet can be found at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach.  The center’s new 3,000 square foot Aquariums of the Atlantic displays some beautiful local fish.  Visitors will see tanks dedicated to fish found in the open sea, inland river environments and The Everglades.  There’s live aquarium feedings and touch tank demonstrations available.
 
Local experts can talk endlessly about “treasures” to be found off the coast of The Palm Beaches.  No matter what dive skill you may have, there’s something to see in the clear, blue waters.  Come explore nature here in The Palm Beaches! 

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