Most divers arrive via Miami International Airport or Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. It is easy and relatively quick to rent a car and head south, picking up U.S. Route 1 that runs all the way to Key West. The most popular and arguably the most beautiful reefs are off Key Large, a large, northern key just over an hour from the Miami area. Key West at the tip of the inhabited keys is about a 3 hours drive from Miami. U.S. Route 1, the Overseas Highway, is a spectacular drive and a marvel of engineering. The Seven Mile Bridge is one of the longest bridges in the world. It connects Knight's Key near the city of Marathon in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys.
For those who do not already have their itinerary filled out, there is no short supply of dive shops and dive sites able to accommodate the spontaneous traveler. There are countless dive shops along the keys, some big commercial shops such as Dive Key West, Conch Republic Divers in Tavernier or Horizon Divers in Key Largo. There are also many small family operated dive shops whose owner could end up being the captain of your day excursion. Tourism and human use of the reefs has really grown in the past century. Monroe County reports an increase of 1000% in registrations for recreational boats from 1964 to 2006.
Amy Slate's Amoray Dive Resort is a popular dive shop and resort in Key Largo. It offers the amenities of a resort and specializes in boat tours, dive excursions, weddings, PADI scuba diving courses and certifications, reef fishing, snorkeling, kayaking as well as food and the beautiful views. This is a great place for couples or families who love to dive or want to learn to dive.
There are many dive shops that take divers to the famous USNS Vandenberg wreck site off Key West. An example is Innerspace Dive Center on Big Pine Key just north of Key West. This is a great dive shop that offers a great daily schedule of trips and is affordable. The shop makes frequent trips to the Vandenburg and the shipwreck the Adolphus Busch and to the more remote Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary.
Great local shop. dean is super helpful and certified my 14 year old in the sound. he is patient and knowledgeable. the shop is fully stocked and really cute. I've been diving for 25 years and I wanted my daughter in good hands and she was.