Last Updated: February 14, 2023
If you’re new to scuba diving, or looking for a first-rate location to dive, you may have heard of Venice FL mentioned as a popular choice. But what makes this small seaside town stand out when it comes to scuba-diving?
Venice in Florida boasts a number of dive spots, where everyone from beginners to experts can practice open-water or shore diving. In addition, this location holds a special appeal for treasure hunters and archeologists – ‘The Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World’.
To learn more about Venice diving opportunities, read on.
Venice Beach Diving Options
While you’re at Venice, as long as you have the appropriate training and assistance you can:
- Try reef diving at the artificial reefs cultivated offshore
- Try diving around various wrecks.
- Experiment with shore diving.
- Try off-shore or open-water diving.
- Go searching for fossils and shark teeth in an underwater treasure hunt.
- Watch marine life of all types, from turtles to jellyfish to barracuda.
Best Dive Sites in Venice
A small town with a number of excellent diving sites located in Sarasota County, Venice has a unique charm. With the variety it offers in terms of scuba opportunities, there’s something for everyone.
1. The Boneyard
The Boneyard is one of the best places to find fossils. Local experts theorize that a prehistoric river current emptied millions of fossilized teeth into the area of Venice Beach.
Every year, thousands of people flock to The Boneyard to hunt for shark teeth.
While a lot of finds are from local predators of the modern era, many people have also found prehistoric megalodon teeth, some as large as an adult’s hand.
The search for shark teeth, ancient or otherwise, has been compared to a treasure hunt, and is one of the most popular pastimes in the area.
2. Caspersen Beach
Caspersen beach is a tranquil seaside area that also makes an amazing dive site. But even if you’re interested in staying above the ocean’s surface, this location is well worth seeing.
The pristine sand has plenty of seashells for children to find.
Caspersen Beach makes an excellent site for shore diving, and for beginners learning how to dive. It also has its own supply of fossils you can find, enough to easily fill a basket even on a shallow dive.
Getting to Caspersen Beach will take a bit of effort, but it is considered a dive that anyone who visits Venice should make at least once.
3. Venice Pier
Venice Pier is also known as Venice Jetties. Close to the shore, it’s an ideal location for beginners or those who aren’t too fond of deep water.
It is a prime location for checking out the marine wildlife. On the best days, you don’t have to enter the water to see several varieties of fish swimming nearby. But on any day, entering the water by the pier means you’re likely to see all manner of creatures.
Grouper, Snapper, Barracuda, Jellyfish and even Turtles can be found swimming around the Venice Pier.
Recommended Read: Best Scuba Diving in Destin, Florida
The availability of marine life to watch makes this an excellent spot for family outings everyone can enjoy.
4. Army Tanks
Years ago, 5 army tanks were sank to the bottom of the sea floor (around 60 feet). Now, along with the local artificial reefs developed to rehabilitate marine life, these tanks have become a attraction for adventurous divers.
These structures are home to a wide variety of sea life, and are unique in terms of underwater wrecks.
The Army Tanks aren’t a dive site for everyone. Eventhough the visibility is great, it requires an advanced certification and can be risky for beginners to attempt.
If you want to try visiting the Army Tanks, it’s best to make sure you get your advanced scuba diving certification, to be sure you’re prepared for the depth and the hazards of exploring these underwater wreckages.
Diving Conditions and Best Time to Dive
The weather in Venice means it has a decent climate for diving all year round. However, depending on your preferences, some times of year are better than others.
Picking the best weather is an important factor in ensuring you have the best experience possible.
If you prefer cooler weather, January is the best to visit. You’ll want to take precautions, though, as water temperatures can go as low as 50s. Spending too long in water that cold without insulation may result in health issues.
If you prefer warmer temperatures, then you may want to go during the summer. For the warmest temperatures, you’ll want to look at visiting in July. Air temperatures during July are usually in the mid-80s, and the water is at its most comfortable for those who like a warmer environment.
Expert divers and dive centers suggest April through June as the best time to visit Venice.
Among other things, April is the month when Venice holds its weekend Shark’s Tooth Festival, celebrating the town’s status as the ‘Shark’s Tooth Capital of The World’.
Visibility will vary with different conditions, so it’s best to consult with experts before going on a dive. However, unless the visibility is incredibly poor, you’ll still be able to get a good look at everything the local dive sites have to offer.
Top Dive Shops in Venice, Fl
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, it’s always a good idea to charter with someone who knows the local area. Local dive shops and charters can help identify the best conditions to dive, and give you helpful advice to make the most of your experience.
They can also help get you outfitted with equipment, if you don’t have your own.
These are some local dive shops and charters that are considered the best in the area.
– Venice Dive Center and Charter
The Venice Dive Center and Charter offers both classes and chartered tours. Classes include open water certification, among other certifications. They also offer rentals of all dive equipment.
Chartered dive trips require a minimum of 4 people, and can be 2 tank or 3 tank. 2 tank trips are 4 hours, 3 tank trips are 6 hours.
You can also charter a Bubble Watcher trip, which involves no diving, but give you an excellent view from the deck.
– Aquanutz Diving
Offering full-service dive boat complete with gear to rent, Aquanutz Fossil Dive Charters are specifically geared toward fossil hunting.
They provide introductory classes in underwater fossil hunting, especially finding shark teeth.
With dives on 3 sites available, you can choose a 2 tank or 3 tank dive package
– Keys Huka Dive
Based in Siesta Key, Keys Huka Dive center offers a number of services, including paddleboarding, snorkeling, diving, fishing, and even just a casual cruise.
Dive charters are their most popular service, in particular the private and personalized 4 hour trips on the water with fossil hunting.
They also offer CPR classes and Manatee tours.
– Black Gold Fossil Charters
Another dive shop devoted exclusively to fossil hunting is the Black Gold Fossil Charters. They provide personalized, customized trips and all-day experiences.
Offering full service, including tanks, weights, collection bags and water, their personal one-on-one communication is top notch. As are
their classes on pro fossil hunting underwater.
If you’re looking for good scuba diving spots in Florida and with a wide variety of options, Venice should definitely be given serious consideration.
It may take some planning to get the best visibility and the most comfortable water temperatures, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a wonderful and memorable experience.
There’s plenty to see, plenty to do, and multiple opportunities for a shark-tooth souvenir that you can find yourself.
My unbounded love for the oceans and everything it has to offer motivated me to pursue my passion and become a professional scuba diving instructor.
I keep reading, exploring, and learning more about scuba diving and the underwater world all the time, so I’m excited to share my knowledge with fellow scuba enthusiasts and hopefully contribute a little to your development as a diver. I want people to fall in love with the oceans with as much passion as I have. Read more about me here.