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Where to Go Scuba Diving in Georgia

Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary offers surprising reef dives near Savannah, Georgia
By Jennifer Idol | Authored On December 28, 2019
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Where to Go Scuba Diving in Georgia

COVID-19 travel restrictions and border closings are constantly evolving. There is no guarantee that the dive sites mentioned within this article will be open at your time of travel.

St. Marys lies between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida, and is known for the Kings Bay Navy base located nearby, where submarines ply the St. Marys River. However, the southern Georgia city is also close to pristine beaches and wild horses on Cumberland Island National Seashore, as well as surprising coral reefs.

Georgia Scuba Diving

The waters off coastal Georgia boast a surprisingly tropical vibe, with coral reefs and schools of resident fish.

Jennifer Idol

IF YOU HAVE ONE DAY
Divers Den in St. Marys offers a charter that serves dozens of local dive sites defined by healthy coral reefs. It can also reach Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary if you book a full boat. These reefs are nurseries for juvenile fish and home to larger fish such as Atlantic goliath grouper and southern stingrays. Soft corals and sponges add unexpected color to this surprisingly tropical destination. Afterward, book a ferry or schedule a tour with your charter to enjoy 17 miles of undeveloped sandy beaches, historic mansions and wild horses on Cumberland Island.

IF YOU HAVE TWO DAYS
Large schools of fish and natural coral reefs dominate the best local diving, but artificial reefs also support the ecosystem. Submerged M60 battle tanks, subway cars, barges and a liberty ship form nearby HLHA Reef, where visibility is best during an incoming tide. Charters can accommodate small groups, so it is easy to customize your dives. Southern destinations are best in early sum- mer, while northern sites can be reached with good conditions in late summer. Finish diving with a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island and learn more about sea turtle nesting and rehabilitation.

IF YOU HAVE THREE DAYS
Leave the local reefs and jump into St. Marys River for a day of fossil dives, where megalodon teeth, whale bones and artifacts can be found during slack tide. This experience is akin to black-water diving, with low to no visibility, as it is located at the mouth of the river where fresh and salt water mix. Some locals dive this site regularly to bring up megalodon teeth and show their finds at dive shops. If you’re looking for the most renowned beaches of Georgia, head to Ty- bee Island for fine dining and sunset in this coastal community.

NEED TO KNOW
When to Go Charters run during the summer and early fall.

Dive Conditions A 5 mm wetsuit is recommended, with average water temps in the mid-70s; visibility ranges from 5 to 50 feet.

Operators Book charters through Divers Den Georgia

MORE: Best Scuba Diving in the USA