UNITED STATES OF AMERICA© Jordan HarrisonBlue Heron BridgeThere are a number of reasons why Blue Heron Bridge has earned a reputation as one of the best shore dives in America. Located in the popular dive destination of Palm Beach, it offers easy water access and convenient shoreside amenities. The site offers something for everyone from snorkellers and novice divers to avid underwater photographers, it is accessible year-round, is not affected by rough weather in the ocean, and it’s definitely worth more than one visit.

The bridge itself is a sweeping arch that spans Florida’s intracoastal waterway, connecting the beach community of Singer Island to the mainland. At the foot of the main span is Phil Foster Park, where divers will find ample parking, tables for gearing up and freshwater showers for rinsing off. The dive site begins at a sand beach located under and just south of the bridge, and divers can explore an area that stretches from the main span of the bridge eastward to a smaller secondary bridge.

Maximum depth at the site is rarely more than 6m, which makes for very long bottom times. In essence, the Blue Heron Bridge is a ‘muck dive’ but the bottom topography is not the main attraction - it’s the marine life.

The sand and seagrass bottom provides ideal hunting grounds for macro life. For many underwater macro photographers, the bridge is second to none, delivering everything from stunning juvenile angelfish and butterflyfish, and nudibranchs to the strange and wonderful octopus, batfish, seahorses and frogfish. Marine life is protected here, with no collecting by scuba or snorkel allowed.

A short swim to the east of the entry point brings divers to the pilings of the smaller secondary bridge, where schooling fish and small wrecks add interest. This area is also visited by spotted eagle rays and nurse sharks as well as the occasional manatee or young Goliath grouper.

Another feature to the south of the beach that is of interest to snorkellers and new divers is a snorkel trail comprised of underwater sculptures, artificial reef modules and rock piles.

Hiring a professional dive guide will get you the optimum experience. In addition to managing logistics, gear set-up and safety, the guides know where the critters hang out. That’s a big plus if your intent is to see the amazing number of things that await discovery.

Be aware that dive flags are required for diving activities, the best time to dive (for visibility and current) is one hour before high tide to one hour after) and the park hours run between sunrise and sunset. Epic night dives are permitted via a parking pass through local dive shops, such as below.

Essential informationLocation: Palm Beach, Florida, USA
Depth: 6m
Diver level: Beginner to advanced

Who to dive with
Force-E Scuba Centers