4 Best Spots to Snorkel and Shore Dive in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
How do you get the thrilling underwater exploration of a SCUBA dive without the commitment?
By taking an easy and fun snorkeling trip or shore dive! In part three of our in-depth dive series, we’re taking a plunge into shallower waters to find the best ways to snorkel and shore dive on the Alabama Gulf Coast.
These adventures are perfect for families or beginning explorers because they’re easy to access, have shallow depths, and don’t require hours of logged diving time. You just need the right snorkeling gear (find it at any local dive shop), the heart of an explorer, and some key information. And, we can help you with that last one.
The most popular shore-dive in the area takes you to the site of a 200’ Spanish Rum Runner that was sunk in less than 20 feet of water. Its shallow depths and easy access make it a prime spot for snorkelers, beachgoers, and novice divers, while its vibrant marine life and hidden crevices make it a thrilling site for even experienced explorers.
Located just 150 feet off the beach, the Whiskey Wreck is near a handy sandbar that offers a nice spot for gearing up. Its murky depths offer limited visibility of 10-15 feet, so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for nautical neighbors.
When you’re finished with your tour, head to the shore to dry your fins and enjoy a cocktail at Bahama Bob’s Beachshore Cafe, located near the dive site!
2. The Jetties at Alabama Point
The jetties are rock and concrete structures that protect Perdido Pass from the tides and currents of the Gulf, and they are home to a large variety of marine life that swim in and around these shallow waters. This makes them a popular spot for fishing, birdwatching, snorkeling, and beach diving.
You can reach the jetties from the shores of Alabama Point Beach. With ample parking and public restrooms nearby, the jetties offer a dive that’s as convenient as it is fun. There are also boardwalks that lead to the water, though the distance may make it a tiring trek if you’re lugging gear.
When diving the jetties, you may encounter crabs, sea urchins, octopus, stingrays, and even sharks, plus a large variety of local and tropical fish. Though the water level is only nine to 12 feet, the area is heavily populated with passing boats and anglers, making it more suitable for experienced divers. For the best experience, time your dive with the incoming tide - you want to head out an hour or more before peak time.