Source: Matador Network | Author: Alona Martinez | Published: June 2020
6 awesome ways to enjoy the water in Greater Fort Lauderdale, FL: Walk-In Snorkeling and Diving
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Kevin Ruck, Matador Network, and Shutterstock/Steven Hodel
The quaint and quirky town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is the place to go for those looking to venture beneath the waves. With a reef only 100 yards from shore, this is an instant and accessible marine hotspot that snorkelers can easily enjoy. Scuba divers should procure one extra piece of equipment: a shipwreck map.
Where to go: El Prado Park — a grassy seaside area lined with Adirondack chairs — is an ideal meeting point for people-watching and getting your beach groove on. There’s direct access to the sand and plenty of public parking nearby. If you’re there on a Sunday, you’ll be able to hit the weekly farmers market.
What to expect: Thanks to the abundant shallow reefs, snorkelers and divers can spot plenty of local sea residents, like nurse sharks, sea turtles, rays, parrotfish, and doctorfish. Both those with tanks and those with snorkels can also visit the SS Copenhagen shipwreck. This 19th-century British steamship wrecked in 1900 and has been designated an Underwater Archaeological Preserve. Divers, grab a wreck map at either of the scuba shops listed below — there’s loads more to explore.
What you need: For gear, head to Gold Coast Scuba or Deep Blue Divers, two local shops that will get you set up with the necessary equipment. They also offer dive-certification classes and excursions.
Waterproof sunscreen and sun shirts are strongly recommended for snorkelers. Nothing stinks more than ending a lovely day of fish exploration with skin that matches the color of those cool spiny lobsters you spotted.