Florida Travel And Tourism
The Great Carrier Reef
Diving The Great Carrier Reef and Other Underwater Museums in Florida
Firstly, welcome to Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 – The Great Carrier Reef. Surprisingly, the first comment, by the first person to review this article, was about the title. Specifically, they noted that it was a great title, but that I had misspelled The Great Barrier Reef. In addition, they had never heard of underwater museums. So, they wanted me to explain that to them.
Of course I realize that there is a famous dive area called the Great Barrier Reef. Moreover, it is actually the world’s largest coral reef. As well, it Australia considers it a natural wonder.. And, from all accounts, it is breathtakingly beautiful.
First, the title was not a mistake. Indeed, one of the most famous dive sites in Florida is our Great Carrier Reef. Second, it is a man-made reef. Third, they made the reef by sinking a famous WWII Aircraft Carrier, called the Oriskany, off the coast of Pensacola.
Certainly check out the Official Tourism Website of Pensacola, Florida for the many other fantastic things to do and see around Pensacola. As well, Military members and veterans will want to make sure that they visit the National Naval Aviation Museum. Moreover, there will be more on this in another article.
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 – Background
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 – The Great Carrier Reef. To begin with, Florida has many of this country’s “only” type spots. As well, we have many of the country’s “firsts”. Surprisingly, Florida has the “only” living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. In addition, according to CoRIS (Coral Reef Information System) “The Florida Reef Tract is nearly 150 miles long and about 4 miles wide. Also, it extends to the edge of the Florida Straits. Additionally, it is the third largest barrier reef ecosystem in the world! And, all but the northernmost part of the reef tract lies within the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary”.
Furthermore, part of the reef, the “South East Florida Reef Tract” goes from the SE coast of Palm Beach southward to Miami. In addition, some say it has the “largest number of scuba dive sites on Florida’s southeast coastline with over 100 reef and wreck sites.”
The Great Carrier Reef Underwater Museum
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 – The Great Carrier Reef explains how this aircraft carrier became a reef. Indeed, Florida has some of the most famous wreck sites in the world. And, you can find a true one-of-a-kind dive experience available only in Florida’s panhandle. Obviously, the site got its nickname, “the Great Carrier Reef” because it was an aircraft carrier. Certainly, it is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. Dive Photos
Interestingly, it is a man-made reef made by sinking the WWII Essex Class Supercarrier called the Oriskany. Certainly, the Oriskany saw much action in the WWII pacific area of operations. Florida has a huge choice of these underwater museums.
Moreover, if you would like to know the history of this historic sunken museum, here is a great link. This Is How the Aircraft Carrier USS Oriskany Became “The Great Carrier Reef”
Other Museum Dive Sites
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 introduces you to other Museum dive sites. In addition to the famous Great Carrier Reef site, we have the Aquarius Reef Base. Indeed, in Florida many other undersea adventures await you. Additionally, many of our dive sites are underwater museums. As a result, they offer educational opportunities for the whole family. As well this provides a great opportunity for Homeschool Field Trip Ideas.
For example, the Pine Island area of Lee County’s Fort Meyers has several civil war era historic wreck sites. Indeed, many Civil War shipwrecks exist in the waters around Matlacha Pass and Pine Island. They were blockade runners sunk trying to ship cotton and turpentine through the pass.
Quick Note: Elvis Presley fans may want to visit this page “An Introduction to Matlacha Island “, about one of the Lee County Attractions of the Pine Island Community. Elvis Presley was quite fond of the Nature Coast.
As well, just north of Lee Country is neighboring Charlotte County. Interestingly, it is close enough for tourists visiting The Beaches of Fort Meyers and Sanibel to visit the USS Annie (1862). The USS Annie was a Civil War era schooner. The Union Navy captured the schooner during the Civil War. In addition, she was also used by the Union Navy as part of the Union blockade of Confederate waterways.
3D Scuba Maps by Otto Wagner and Raymond Poudrier
Additionally, we provided a link to 3D scuba maps in the last article: Florida Travel and Tourism Part Three – Finding NEEMO.
“To help make wreck diving safer and more fun, Otto Wagner and Raymond Poudrier began developing detailed underwater maps of wrecks and dive sites. Read Mary Frances Emmons June 15, 2016, interview of ArtToMedia: Meet The Men Behind The Amazing 3-D Scuba Diving Maps”
As well, another exciting dive opportunity mentioned in that article is “Aquarius Reef Base”. This is an underwater adventure available for more than just NASA Aquanauts training for harsh space missions. It is a prime dive spot for Scuba Tourism. Located in only 63’ of usually clear water, and being the size of the International space station, it can even be seen by surface snorkelers.
Florida Keys Shipwreck Heritage Trail
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 presents another “only” for Florida. The Florida Keys Shipwreck Heritage Trail located off the Florida keys. The “only” underwater trail of historic museum sites for divers. “The Florida Keys Shipwreck Heritage Trail” offers a water-based line of notable wreck sites. These sites are suitable for both snorkeling and diving. Moreover, the trail stretches from Key Largo to Key West.”
DO YOU WANT TO LIVE UNDERWATER IN AQUARIUS REEF BASE?
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 – Aquarius Reef Base. Surprisingly, for the first time, FIU (Florida International University) now offers “Introduction to Saturation Diving.” And, according to FIU, who owns the underwater laboratory, “This course starts off by giving you in-depth discussion on the theory of saturation diving and finishes off with practical application of your skills in an overnight stay at Aquarius, the world’s “only” undersea saturation diving facility.” Yes, another “only” for Florida!
Scuba diving and snorkeling is a constant in Florida. This is possible because of our diverse coastline and inland freshwater dive sites. These sites offer suitable diving and snorkeling all year around. So, here are some links for each of our most popular water types for diving and snorkeling.
Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 – About Florida’s Nature Coast
Dawn Henthorn is About.com’s Florida Travel Expert. Dawn is an editor and freelance writer who grew up in, and loves, Florida. She has written an excellent article on Florida’s Nature Coast.
The Florida Keys Overseas Highway
What a fantastic idea. And in exhilarating Florida style, if you are driving to the Florida Keys, you will be driving on another “only” in Florida. The Florida Keys Overseas Highway is the only All-American Road in Florida! Being named an All-American Road is a high honor. In fact, it is “the highest recognition possible under the National Scenic Byways program established by the U.S. Congress in 1991”. In the entire United States, there are only 30 other roads awarded this prestigious title. So, just getting to the World’s First Underwater Hotel is a one of a kind adventure. See Below.
However, why is it called the overseas highway, when it is within the state of Florida? Because the Overseas Highway is quite literally over the seas – three of them! It incorporates 42 bridges over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. “They include the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon, which stretches 6.79 miles across open water and regarded on its completion as “the eighth wonder of the world.””
You and your entire family will have an amazing time enjoying scuba diving, snorkeling and observing the diversity of this special ecosystem and its inhabitants. This is an amazing family vacation opportunity especially if it is part of a road trip.
Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel
After all that time in the water you will want a safe place to rest your head and body. Naturally you are going to want a great place to relax when you aren’t enjoying your underwater activities. What better place for water and scuba diving enthusiasts to relax than in an underwater hotel? Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel is the World’s “first” fully self-contained affordable mini-luxury underwater hotel. It is now being offered to resort properties around Planet Ocean.
Your Educational Moment
I always try to make my articles educational. Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 offered a great deal of information and resources. So, here is a link for your very own educational moment. What Is the Difference Between a Dry suit and A Wetsuit?
Florida Tourism Information
For more information on Florida Tourism – please visit our Pinterest board: Florida Tourism – Family Friendly Tourism #LoveFL
Please also check out Florida Vacation, Tourism, Travel & Entertainment | VisitFlorida.com
For more information about Florida Tourism visit the State of Florida Travel Page.
In sum, we hope Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 provided you with a wealth of information. Of course, we want you to enjoy every aspect of Florida. Do you have your own story to tell? Send it to us. Be sure to read our Writing Guidelines first. Admittedly, there were many links. Bookmark this page for later reference. Lastly, if you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment.
- Articles In This Series
- First, Florida Travel and Tourism Part 1 The Sunshine State
- Next, Florida Travel and Tourism Part 2 – Scenic Inverness, Florida
- Then, Florida Travel and Tourism Part 3 Finding NEEMO
- Also, Florida Travel And Tourism Part 4 The Great Carrier Reef (this article)
- Finally, Florida Travel And Tourism Part 5 Florida Scuba Tourism
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