Cover photo for illustrative purposes only

An archeological site lies beneath the ocean with a trail that will take you on dive adventure. The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary has a historic shipwreck trail you can dive to buried in the sandy shallows a few miles offshore.

If you want to explore a different type of museum, a dive to this historic site will enchant you. The trail features nine shipwrecks, some dating back to the 1700s, scattered along the coral reefs with many tales to tell.

Divers are welcomed to explore the underwater sanctuary and discover the different wildlife inhabiting the waters such as dolphins, manatees, jellyfish, sea turtles and many other species of marine life. However, a dive should always be done with precaution - always being aware of rip currents and tides nearby.

This surreal trail protects 2,900 square nautical miles of waters and is administered by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). There are an estimated 1,000 shipwrecks off the Florida Keys and despite the many modern navigations systems, shipwrecks keep happening. 

If you are planning to visit this shipwreck be aware that is prohibited to extract artifacts from the shipwrecks without a permit. Many of these wrecks hold mystery and tell stories of our nation and ancestors' past.

The trail consists of nine shipwrecks including The Adelaide Baker, The Amesbury, The Benwood, The City of Washington, The Duane, The Eagle, The North America, The San Pedro, and The Thunderbolt.

Even though the sanctuary does not schedule trips to these shipwrecks, you can book a dive trip with Blue Star Operators here.

Some of these shipwrecks are scattered through the ocean floor and have a lot of debris which that can lead to low visibility. However, there are some ships that have been sunk as artificial reefs. This is a trip to do with your friends and a wild adventure that will take you back to colonial times. 

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Location: Florida Keys

Why you need to go: It's like visiting an underwater museum while exploring the ocean.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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